The Era of a Chicago Culture

Posted on February 4, 2019 by: Cle’anna Moore

There are many things created in such an artistic city like Chicago. Chicago has created a style of dance that has turned into a culture. There is even a specific genre of music attached to this culture of dance, which stemmed from another Chicago original sound. That style of dance is called footwork. The genre of music is known as juke music in Chicago. Juke music stemmed from house music that was created in the early 80’s on the Southside of Chicago. 

Sterling `Steelo’ Lofton of The Era Footwork Crew has used the culture of footwork to help change lives. Steelo started dancing in 2006. In 2009, while attending Bowen High School, Steelo decided to focus strictly on the footwork culture. In 2014 Steelo co-founded The Era Footwork Crew has made appearances across the world and impacted the city locally. 

The Era has made history in the city while also achieving many accomplishments in such a short time. Teaching all ages, especially youth, as well as foreigners from all over the world. The Era demonstrates the basic concept of footwork along with the history behind it, which originated in late 80’s early 90’s.

Footwork is a fast pace style dance involving your feet, while also using your upper body. The upper body is used to make moves look more dramatic.

Bowen High School located on the Eastside of Chicago, IL where Sterling ‘Steelo’ grew up and attended high school. This is where his footwork journey began. (Cle’anna Moore Feb. 4, 2019)
Steelo using his feet, upper body, and facial expression to demonstrate the concept and emotion of what goes into the footwork dance style. (Cle’anna Moore Feb 3. 2019)
Steelo teaches a couple of colleagues some footwork moves. “I used footwork as an outlet to escape from whatever it is I’m going through. I wanna also give and teach the same outlet to other young men in my city.”-Steelo (Cle’anna Moore Feb 3. 2019)

“I used footwork as an outlet to escape from whatever it is I’m going through. I wanna also give the same outlet to other young men in my city”

Sterling “Steelo” Lofton
Steelo (left) and friend of Steelo, Josh (right) both demonstrating a footwork routine together taught by Steelo during a lesson. (Cle’anna Moore Feb 3, 2019)
Taking his art beyond dancing and footwork, Steelo also designed and created T-shirts and hoodies with “Footwork Saves Lives” slogan on the front of them. Steelo is also the garment designer for The Era Footwork Crew. These shirts and hoodies are given away or purchased by supporters, participants and students that The Era teaches. (Cle’anna Moore Feb 3, 2019)

Steelo wearing one of his own favorite The Era Footwork Crew hoodie. Designed and created by himself. (Cle’anna Moore Feb 3, 2019)
The Era Footwork Crew posted on the front of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Steelo is spotted in the front image of the Chicago Tribune newspaper teaching all ages and ethnicities how to footwork and what the style and culture of footwork is. (Cle’anna Moore Feb 3, 2019)
Steelo is holding the Chicago Reader newspaper with an article featuring The Era Footwork Crew and the culture of footwork inside of it. (Cle’anna Moore Feb 3. 2019)
Sterling ‘Steelo’ Lofton in his own The Era Footwork Crew apparel that he designed, holding his trophies and showing more of his accomplishments he has received throughout his last 4 years of foot-working city wide in Chicago. (Cle’anna Moore Feb 3. 2019)

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