Blog: MCA DNA

Boppin’ with Samantha Hill

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From footwork to steppin’ to jerking, Chicago’s dance movements are typically spread grassroots-style through clubs and parties, and more recently, through YouTube. Still fairly new to the Chicago dance scene is bopping, a style of dance born on the west side of Chicago that quickly garnered attention due to a 2013 music video by local drill artist, King Louie. Characterized by a loose, butterfly motion of the legs (recalling James Brown’s Funky Chicken) and a freestyle use of the arms, bopping is a fairly approachable style that leaves a lot of room for experimentation. Bopping is upbeat. It is bobbing your head with your whole body. And it is communal—with dancers feeding off of each other rather than competing.

Drawing from this spirit and inspired by a community partnership between the MCA and the Conservative Vice Lords in the late 1960s, which established a community art center on the west side of Chicago, Samantha Hill and West Side Art Chicago founder Leah Gipson lead a workshop on bopping with bop artists Morris Carr and Percy Jones. The blog team, with the help of Samantha and Leah, chose a few videos to get you started (and for those who have no idea who Lil Kemo or Dlow are, to help prep you on the style and history). The fiesta begins at 6 pm on the MCA Plaza!

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