Video: Frenzied "Chicago footworking" fuses juke and house moves with breakdance, tap dance and Riverdance

Saturday, August 16, 2008 - 12:00 AM

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"Chicago footworking" is a fleet-footed style of dance that came out of the city's South and West sides. You know it when you see it—it's one of the fastest forms of movement since the jitterbug. Its dancers say the style combines breakdance, tap dance, African tribal moves—even Riverdance.

The best-known ensemble is called the FootworKINGz. It includes dancers who performed on Madonna's spring promo tour, showcased the Chicago style in a national Verizon commercial and, in late July, took the moves on a brief tour through Italy.

Corey Takahashi caught up with two group members, who were visiting Club Remix in Manhattan.

Charles "King Charles" Parks and Jaron "Prince Jron" Boyd were at an underground dance party. But they say Chicago footworking is well on its way to an international, pop crossover.

Corey Takahashi spoke with members of the FootworKINGz dance ensemble last month in Chicago. Listen to dancers Kendall "Beast" Larkin and Kemo "K-Majik" Sanders, as well as the ensemble's founder, Leida "Lady Sol" Villegas. They explain their Chicago style of dance, its close connection to the city, and their anticipation on the eve of taking it on the road, on a tour through Italy.


Jennifer Hsu and Corey Takahashi


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