ChiStepper made the trek to Phoenix for the second consecutive year to experience One Step Promotions superb weekend of desert sunshine and southwest hospitality. The Four Points Sheraton played host for the weekend, where Steppers packed the house for a crowd that experienced significant growth from last year. DJ’s Shorty Smooth (Milwaukee), Terry Hobson (Oakland), and Mike (Los Angeles) kept the floor packed for the Friday and Saturday events, while Los Angeles’ Alicia played the music for the pool party, and DJ Raven played for the overflow and at other key points throughout the weekend.
The city of Phoenix is experiencing a rebirth in the Steppin industry, having been pioneered in the early to mid 2000’s by Ceola Coaston and current One Step Promotions co-president, Robert. With the help of Chicago Steppin icon Angie Faine, who has leveraged a number of relationships from Chicago and beyond, Phoenix Steppin is at an all-time high.
Upon first arrival in Phoenix, the city greets you with picturesque mountains, large cacti, palm trees, hummingbirds, black bumblebees, and of course, incredible weather. None of this was a big deal for the largely west coast audience of Northern and Southern California, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, and Texas among others. Considering the fact that it snowed two inches in Chicago this very same weekend, the Midwesterners in attendance were counting these small blessings.
The incredible One Step Promotions staff consisting of Daphne, Robin, Detra, and Taylor among others, took care of us all weekend, serving snacks and beverages from the hospitality suite that offered views of the swimming pool, mountains, and palm trees. Speaking of the swimming pool, the Saturday pool party is a highlight of the weekend, where Steppers gathered for Steppin, Spades, Massages, and the hot tub.
Saturday night featured great music, and great dancing, but the highlight of the evening was a tribute to Chicago Steppin legend, Black Mary. Black Mary discussed a dream nearly 50 years ago that Steppin grow into a nationwide dance. She had just two simple messages to the Steppin community … to keep it going and to keep having fun. Black Mary’s tribute was followed by a surprise tribute to Angie Faine, who was given a few dozen roses, 1 at a time, for her hard work helping to organize the event.
On Sunday ChiStepper hosted a Steppers forum to the chagrin of many in the community. It has come to my attention that some left the forum feeling as though a specific city was under attack, so ChiStepper looks forward to expounding on these ideas and creating a running dialogue with our national Steppin family.
I had a great time at the last One Step event, and this year’s gala only solidified my impressions. Phoenix is a wonderful city and I experienced incredible service everywhere I went. Unlike last year, I got an opportunity to drive around the city, eat at a number of great restaurants, and see the beautiful mansions built into the sides of the mountains. There are so many Steppers events around the nation to pick and choose from, but if you’ve never visited this wonderful city, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Photos from the event will posted on ChiStepper’s Facebook Page.