I returned to the Steppers Community a few year ago, and witnessed little to no walking music played at a set. The shock of limited walking music caused me to question how could people of the opposite sex be in an event 4 – 6 hours and not want to be close and embrace each other ? People would attended some of the most popular events and could count the number or walking songs played on one hand. What happened to the individuals who enjoyed stylistically moving around the perimeter of a dance floor to some beautiful music. The answers to why walking was dying were even more shocking! And caused me to take up the banner of “Keep Walking Alive!”
In doing more research some DJ’s were asked why walking more music is not played at sets and events and their responses was disheartening. As a pioneering steppers DJ, it was understandable the reluctance by many of the DJs to play walking music. Probably 99.9 percent of all the DJs today started in HOUSE Music with the craft. And to my knowledge SLOW dancing (couples) is not done at a HOUSE set.
DJing as a craft has changed tremendously with the advance of technology and the era of the Instructors. Many DJs double as music producers as well as mixologists attempting to create the next great steppers mix or remix. It is unfortunate though that the forward movement of walking suffered. DJs cited reasons for not playing walking music as being too intimate, the music is only for married couples, it clears the dance floor, not enough men and the list goes on. Any reason that was stated raised an eyebrow as to the musicology of the DJ and knowledge of the culture prompting the question do you know WALKING MUSIC?
The viewpoint of some instructors was shocking as well. Walking in many of the Steppin classes was not being taught. It wasn’t until recently that walking has emerged since the crusade to “Keep Walking Alive” began 4 years ago. As steppin grew in popularity during mid 2000, the market for “learning to walk” was not there, and as one “prominent” instructor expressed “people didn’t want to learn to walk, so I don’t teach it!” Of course that response raised both eyebrows, and the realization as to why walking was dying and how students were being taught in the classes.