Chicago Footwork | If Cities Could Dance | KQED Arts

Chicago Footwork | If Cities Could Dance | KQED Arts


– [Christopher] Footworking
is more than just a dance. We are taking our struggle and we redirect energy in a positive way. – [Diamond] I started doing
footwork at the age of 13. When I first started footworking, I was going through a lot of stuff. Family issues, my mom being
addicted, and being abused. I didn’t know how to express it. When I footwork, I just show who I am. Once your soul connects with
the music, I feel energetic. This is my meditation spot. – [Christopher] Footwork
is a form of resistance against oppressive living conditions. It’s a tool for young folks — it’s a way out. So it’s like artistic expression
through social liberation. You could take a thousand classes, you will never, you will never perform at the skill that any footworker that’s
from Chicago performs because you’re not from that struggle. – [Donnetta] I grew up on
the South Side of Chicago. I’m the only girl in the crew. Chicago footwork is a style. Our feet move at 160 beats per minute. And I worked my way up, like I practiced, I
performed, I put the work in. Footworking is an art
that I’m trying to master as well as to continue my
reach in tap dance as well. I’m just trying to spread the knowledge and culture for both styles. – [Keith] A lot of
footworkers have looked back, and see it as an African
tradition and African dance. And we were fortunate enough
to hold onto it long enough to still have it here in Chicago. And Chicago don’t get enough credit. And I just see so much potential. – [Christopher] We have to
be willing to educate, teach, and show using footwork as a platform. – [Donnetta] Through my
blood, sweat, and tears, this is the city where I
started from the bottom. This is my home where I went through all my trials and tribulations. – [Diamond] Without Chicago,
it wouldn’t be no footworking. Without footworking, it
wouldn’t be no Chicago.

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