The 2017 Harlem Nights Steppers Ball is currently underway, and Steppers from across the nation are descending on sunny Southern California for a weekend of dancing and vacation. The location moved from the Hyatt and Long Beach Convention Center in 2016 to the Hilton and Doubletree this year. There was a last minute venue change last night, but it didn’t stop Steppers from packing the Double Tree ballroom.
Denise and I chatted last night, and while she’s certainly happy with the incredible turnout, she’s definitely going to need a larger ballroom for Friday next year. It wasn’t too much of a problem, especially for Chicagoans, as they’re used to making magic happen on the floor in tight spaces. There was an after party following the set, but having been up since 2am the previous morning to catch a flight, there was no way I was going to make it.
DJ Shorty Smooth and DJ Kevin worked the 1’s and 2’s last night and did a good job playing a little something for everyone. I saw a number of top dogs from the around the nation like Tyk Man, Carlos Fortune, Charnice Simmons, Pete Frazier, Don Vic, Maddy B, Shawn Bandy, Royce Banks, Pat Clay, Sebrina White, Tim and Catrice Jones, “The Ambassador” Kevin Nevels, Rodney Mack, Cory Carrigan, and Kevin Brewer along with some of the west coasts finest coming out to represent like Carlton Puckett, Garry Fields, Alonzo Williams, Lauren LaGrone, Martha Stephens, Steve Satterfield, Reggie Bandy, Lisa Butler, Damone and Carolyn, Omar Cook, Eddie and Karen Cain, Angela Canidate, and Dwight Farmer. Check out the gallery below for a few faces that were in the place, and head over the ChiStepper Facebook page for the full gallery.
Earlier in the day hospitality suite was pumping until 4pm with Shorty Smooth and DJ Black Ice. Today the Steppers will be dancing on the beach with Seattle’s DJ Stormy Weather before heading to the big set this evening. The toughest decision I’ll have to make this weekend is whether it is totally irresponsible of me to eat Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles for breakfast two days in a row, while trying to retain some semblance of a diet. The struggle is real.