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About Steppin'



The swing dance known as Steppin’ is a part of the WESTERN SWING family the parent dance “Chicago Bop” may have been more EASTERN SWING but Steppin’ has characteristic more towards the west; especially its usage of a lane or slot. Steppin’ has a 6 count basic pattern. This is equal to 1 ½ measures of music in 4/4.  Its tempo ranges 70 to 100 Bpm. Its basic rhythm pattern consists of a double and two syncopated triples. The patterns start traditionally on the downbeat of one. The leader’s footwork is normally started on their left and finished on their right. The follower dances natural opposites. Steppin’ is danced with a lane or slot. Take inconsideration the term “Bop” was used to describe the dance form by Chicagoans until the early 1970’s. Prior to that time “Bop” was the known term and its origin in began sometime between 1945 & 50 to express music and dance. The dance known as Chicago Steppin’ was Bop  and is more likely a derivative of Jitterbug. No published syllabuses exist for the dance.



&a1 &a2





 •  •

  ••  •



   L    R

L R   L

RL    R

Foot Placements

B     B

TB     F

TF      F

Rhythm Units

1st Rhythm


2nd Rhythm


3rd Rhythm


NOTE: The Follower's Footwork is natural opposite to the Leader's.


Steppin’: Up & Back Basic




&a3 &a4

&a5 &a6







L       R

 L R     L

  R L      R

Directional Call

B      B

TB       F

TF        F



R      L

RL      R

L R      L



F      F

TF      B

TB     B







Up & Back Basic: This 6 beat closed lane pattern is danced with the leader & follower moving mirrored linear on a single slot/ lane. The Leader moves backwards until count three and the forward until count 6. They finish face to face on a closed slot/ lane. Up & Back Basic is a double rhythm, a syncopated triple rhythm, and a syncopated triple rhythm.

Leader’s Footwork: back, back, & together, back, forward, & together, forward, forward

Follower’s Footwork: forward, forward, & together, forward, back, & together, back, back

Hands positions: Leader Left to Follower’s Right