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Florida Steppers help launch first International Gala in London

Lenora & Darrell Robertson - Rosalind & Curtis Lewis

When Darrell and Lenora Robertson of Tampa or Curtis and Rosalind Lewis of Lakeland hit the dance floor, you know they are "steppin". Approximately 20 Steppers from Tampa Bay, Orlando and South Florida traveled to London England to participate in the CBS International Stepping Event. Chrystal Rose of London England, Bobbie Thomas and Sarah Teagle from Atlanta Georgia formed the group CBS International to host steppers from the United States for their first annual event. From September 4th through the 9th the group bopped their way through the Hilton Hotel Kensington showing off their smooth rhythmic moves and spectacular turns and dips. More than 150 steppers from the United States participated in the Black Tie Gala. Darrell Robertson, retired VP from New York Life said, "We made history crossing the waters with this dancing event, 150 strong. The entire weekend was great and the Black Tie Ball was outstanding!"

Tampa Bay Steppers

Straight from WikiPedia: Chicago-Style Stepping, affectionately known as steppin, like most social dances, evolved from the "Bop" in the 1970s. In 1973 Sam Chatman was the first to coin the term "Chicago Step", and has been widely credited with marking steppin's evolutionary transition from Bop. The swing dance known as Steppin' is a part of the

Western Swing family. The parent dance "Chicago Bop" may have been more Eastern Swing, but Steppin' has characteristics more similar to Western, especially its usage of a lane or slot. The term "Bop" was used to describe the dance form by Chicagoans until the early 1970s. Prior to that time "Bop" was a universally known term with its origin beginning sometime between 1945 & 1950 to express music and dance. The dance known as Chicago Steppin' evolved from Bop and is more likely a derivative of Jitterbug. No published syllabuses exist for the dance.[1] Chicago-Style Stepping gained a real foothold when a local radio station, WVAZ (102.7FM/1390AM) began playing "Mr. Fix-It" and "Loves Gonna Last", two obscure songs recorded by Jeffree (Jeffree Perry) from his MCA 1979 Jeffree album. "Mr Fix it" had modest success as a single on the R&B charts. "Loves Gonna Last", an album cut, became so popular in Chicago that the steppers dubbed it The Steppers National Anthem.

R. Kelly's songs that featured Steppin' or Stepping helped move the dance into mainstream culture.

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