Dangerous dancers: we’ve all danced with one. If we’ve been dancing a while, probably several. But, one thing many people do not pause to consider is:
Are we the dangerous dancer everyone keeps talking about?
It is important to note that I have never, ever met a dancer who is actively looking to hurt or endanger their partner. I don’t think anyone comes to social dance and thinks “How can I cause harm to this person today?” Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be social dancing.
There are also a few ‘types’ of dangerous dancers. Some dangerous dancers can even be really good partners when conditions are right – but when conditions fail, all hell breaks loose.
Type 1: The One Who Thinks They’re Doing It Right
Who they are: This is the type of dangerous dancer we think about more often. This is the dancer who pulls their partner around, self-dips, or otherwise ‘forces’ the partner into movements.
They’re like the driver on the road who never thinks they’ll get into an accident because they’re ‘too good a driver’, so they ride the edge of safety – thinking they can ‘handle it’.
Where it comes from:
Overleading, backleading, or arm-leading.
Lack of connection and awareness of the partner’s body.
How they’re dangerous: These ones are generally most prone to injure a partner through force. This is where pulled shoulders and bad backs most frequently come front. Whether the ‘blame’ is placed on the partner or not, it’s the dancer’s faith in their own skill set that is the cause of peril.
You may be one of these dancers if:
You think you’re doing it 100% right, or you refuse to get training
You assume that because a move didn’t work, you should lead or follow more forcefully
You assume that because a move didn’t work, it’s your partner’s fault
You learn ‘cool stuff’ from YouTube – and don’t get formal training.
Your lead stays only to very basic movements, even though you think you can do more
Your follow is adding resistance to the connection, slowing down movements, or aborting some movements
You invitations are frequently declined, or
Many people seem to tell you about ‘injuries’ they have – and ask you to please dance softly/gently.
How you can fix it: Practice your connection skills, and learn how to sense when your partner is not in the movement with you. If you are a lead, try leading with less force and arm motion. If you are a follower, err on the side of not dipping and taking your time to understand the lead.
Type 2: The One Who Speeds
Who they are: This dancer loves fast speeds – even in super-complex moves. They tend to forget to breathe and wait for their partner
They’re like the driver who goes 160km on the highway. As long as conditions are good and there are no other drivers, all is good. Then something goes wrong – and what could have been a not-so-bad outcome can be catastrophic.
Where it comes from:
Lack of connection and awareness of the partner’s body.
How they’re dangerous: Usually, these injuries come because of one little thing gone wrong. For example, not letting the head finish a movement before yanking back, or starting a new movement without quite waiting for the end of the first one. At slow speeds, these tiny pieces don’t cause much damage – but momentum can cause a greater chance of injury.
You may be one of these dancers if:
You feel the need to hit everything in the music – regardless of partner
You do not adjust the level of your dance to the speed of the song
You have a habit of not finishing movements
You dance fast, but sometimes don’t take the time to know where your partner’s body is
You have a problem with anticipating movements (follows)
Your dances are best described as ‘challenging’ – lots of cool stuff, but no breathing room
How you can fix it: Practice your connection skills, and learn how to sense when your partner is not in the movement with you. If you are a lead, try leading slow-motion to find hiccups in your connection. If you are a follower, practice waiting. Chances are, you’re overshooting a movement before your partner is even there.
Type 3: The One who is Totally Oblivious
Who they are: This dancer may have great connection with their partner – but they have no idea what is happening around them. They’re so focused on their partner, they forget floorcraft. This means that accidental bumps and collisions are quite frequent.
This is like the driver who switches lanes without checking their blind spot, or just didn’t see that stopped car up ahead. They may be a great driver when there’s no one else around – but become a hazard as soon as they have to deal with other bodies.
Where it comes from:
Lack of awareness and floorcraft
How they’re dangerous: These are usually indirect injuries. Basically, they will either injure someone else’s partner by running into another couple, or they’ll injure their partner because they threw them into another couple. Sometimes, it can even be obliviousness of another oblivious couple – which leads to two partnerships that both realize too late that there’s a collision coming.
You may be one of these dancers if:
You find yourself frequently hitting other couples
You find yourself frequently being hit by other couples
You’ve never heard of ‘dancing for the floor’
How you can fix it: Learn floorcraft. Try dancing in a confined space. Try keeping an eye on where all the other couples are while you are dancing. It takes practice, but you can become aware. Even if it requires going more slowly or adjusting your dance, place a high priority on making sure that you have room to execute the movement. Learn how to abort movements if someone comes into your line of fire.
Type 4: The Nervous One
Who they are: Nerves can get the best of anyone – but nervous dancers can suffer from jitters that actually make them dangerous! These are the people who are so convinced that they can’t do something right that they second-guess every movement. Rather than follow through, they’ll over-correct or switch suddenly. It’s like the driver who realizes they’re drifting, so over-corrects their car into the other lane.
Where it comes from:
Lack of faith in one’s own abilities
How they’re dangerous: They tend to injure because they spontaneously take the movement in a new direction, or they go too big in an effort to be ‘clear’ in leading or ‘responsive’ to following. Usually, there is a ‘stop-and-go’ feel that leads to roughness at the start and end of moves.
You may be one of these dancers if:
You get really really nervous
You freak out, and change your mind on movements frequently
You have a tendency to hold on too tight or overdo movements.
How you can fix it: Breathe. If you need to go slow, go slow. Follow through on your movements. Get training. You’ll likely outgrow this, but in the meantime you need to calm down to keep control of what you are doing.
Who they are: They’re anyone, but drunk. Much like a drunk driver, it’s just a bad idea.
Where it comes from:
Alcohol, or drugs
How they’re dangerous: Lower inhibitions, higher opinion of one’s dancing, and worse motor control create an easy-injure cocktail. Everything from every other type (except maybe Nerves) plays into this. Plus, they’re probably not as able to understand their partner’s reactions.
You may be one of these dancers if:
You get drunk, or really tipsy
How you can fix it: Drink less, pace yourself better, or refrain from drinking until after you’re done dancing. There’s no excuse for creating a dangerous situation because you wanted to get a buzz.
I’m worried I might be a dangerous dancer. How can I tell?
Ask! Your teacher likely has a pretty good idea – especially if they often follow or lead you. If a teacher is not an option, ask a collection of more advanced social dancers. If they know that you’re open to feedback, they’ll likely provide ‘cushioned’ feedback, like:
“Well, sometimes you’re a bit rough”
“It’s challenging to dance with you sometimes”
“I need to be in top shape to keep up with you”
“You travel a lot”
“I sometimes get a little bit stressed when we are dancing”
Usually, people ‘go easy’ on the feedback to avoid offending you. If you get feedback like this regularly, you may be a dangerous dancer that needs to tweak some things you’re doing. If you are a dangerous dancer, we don’t think you’re a bad person! We just want you to fix those things so that it’s easier to dance with you!
When asking for feedback, keep in mind that beginners are usually a pretty poor indicator of whether or not you are dangerous. While they are the most likely to get injured, they’re also most likely to mistake ‘rough’ for ‘strong’ and ‘fast’ for ‘good’. They know they’re a weaker dancer, so they’re simply trying to ‘dance up’ to the level, and may not realize that there are dangerous behaviors.
If you are dancing with a dangerous dancer and you don’t think you can protect yourself, say something. You can be nice, but let them know! I’ve done this too – and it sometimes works very well. It’s not worth getting injured.
Be safe, lovely dancers!
Did we forget a type, or do you have some comments to add? Leave them below.
The author of this article is Laura Riva at the blog "The Dancing Grapevine"( http://grapevine.dzouk.com/the-types-of-dangerous-dancers/ ) . She is also the photographer of the photo in the article.
For several reasons, we are looking forward to attending the 26th Annual World's Largest Steppers Contest Preliminaries, in Los Angeles, CA. This is the time of year when local Steppin' talent comes together to showcase Steppin’ skills that they will be taking to display and compete at the “World's Largest Steppers Contest” in Chicago – the home of Chicago Style Steppin’. This event also represents the return of one of the earliest promoters of the Preliminaries Contests (here in Los Angeles) - Mr. Rodney Clark.
Many years ago, an organization called "Step On Unlimited" began producing a Steppers Preliminaries Contest that allowed local Steppers to “officially qualify” for participation in the World's Largest Steppers Competition, in Chicago. Rodney Clark was a leader in that organization. Their decisions about the display of the dance and event became an early baseline and example of how to produce Steppin’ events, in Los Angeles. Part of the excitement was that the event was held at an upscale venue, which left the dancers and the audience with the feeling that they were a part of something - upscale. As a spectator, it was enjoyable to see many faces of people who came out to see and support the dancers and the art form. You could feel good about bringing a friend, family member, or co-worker to the event and be proud to say “this is what I do, when I go out Steppin'”.
As performers/competitors, we looked forward to dressing up for our performance in order to accompany the ambiance of the venue we were competing in. No matter how you slice it, there is a time and a season for all things - and we are a versatile society of people. We tend to dress and behave differently for the Grand Ballroom than we do for the Post. No offense, or slight, intended to the Post. It has its time and place. There are times when the Post, VFW, and similar venues are perfect venues for the various kinds of events that happen in the Steppin' world. "I" just happen to prefer the pomp and circumstance of having a showcase event for our Steppin' community in an upscale environment. It sends a certain message to the dancers who prepare to compete and to the audiences that come to see.
Best wishes to promoters Rodney Clark and "Coach" Rick Small as they strive to put more in to this event than they can possibly take out. I call that service to our community. This event-type has the potential to serve as an anchor and foundation for growth in our community. It encourages current Steppers to intensify and explore the experience of competing (even just in the local community) and audiences can view and participate in the cultural experience of Steppin'. When people feel good about that, they tend to invite others! "Others" tend to grow multiply our community. Consequently, I hope many of you will come out and support the 26th Annual World's Largest Steppers Contest Preliminaries, in Los Angeles, CA.
I like words. I like some words because of how they sound. And some, I like for their ability to provoke attention - by adding emphasis to one syllable or another. Habituate is one of those words. Try it. Add strong emphasis to the second syllable, and let it linger before you move on the third syllable (U). Silly, but you may (now) remember the word.
So, before I explain the importance of the word, I want you to understand a standard definition of the actual word.
past tense: habituated; past participle: habituated
make or become accustomed or used to something
Now, here is the reason that I bring it up.
When you attend a Steppin’ class, you will be shown a series of eight steps. In Phamily Steppers’ classes and workshops, we describe “Steps” as weight shifts or the “shifting of your body weight” from one foot to the other. Further, we explain that you actually accomplish these “Steps” with each stride of your walking or running.
Therefore, we are actually working with you to take something that you naturally do every day and converting it to an art form called Steppin’.
There are several pieces that we share with all our students, including
1 Finding The Beat
#2 Applying a Count/# to each Beat and applying the 8 – Counts of the Cadence, to
#3 The placement of the 8 Steps (foot positions)
That’s our “Big” secret. It’s the foundation to all of our Dance Education Programs. And now, you have it – The Basic Pattern - Free of Charge.
Now here is the issue:
Will you practice? Will you make it your habit? If you attend our classes and workshops we will provide you with opportunities and “Challe nges” to your use of that Basic Pattern. But no matter what “we” do, nor how many times we encourage you to practice ….. the smoothness will come when you HABITUATE the pattern.
If you encounter stress, frustration and general malaise in the course of your daily living, you may also have had the desire to have positive methods of releasing that pressure. Well, we've got you covered.
So when Phamily Steppers claims that "Steppin' is good for your health", we understand the likelihood that many or most may not care or take it seriously. Afterall, with all the fun we’re having – why sweat the details.
However, because Phamily Steppers is primarily organized for the purpose of promoting health and wellbeing, we will continue to make new information available about the great benefits of this “Steppin’” thing that we find so natural and enjoyable to do. Also, because we believe that the health information is under-reported and under-appreciated - we are raising awareness of, yet again, another scientific study/report that proves that "Steppin' is good for your health".
This time, researchers at Oxford University (England) published an article entitled: Silent Disco: Dancing in Synchrony Leads to Elevated Pain Thresholds and Social Closeness, in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. Their experiment investigated changes in social bonding and pain thresholds associated with synchronized dance in groups of strangers.
Using a method called “Silent Disco”, wherein the researchers placed headphones over the ears of all of the participants – so that no participant could hear the music being played to other participants; researchers were able to control what all of the participants were hearing, although the participants were physically present and able to see each other in groups.
Earlier, the participants were separately and individually taught “full-body dance movements”. Some of the participants were taught the same dance movements, while others were taught several different dance movements.
When the participants were brought together into groups, the researchers created three (3) different groups that they referred to as “Synchrony”, “Partial Synchrony”, and “Asynchrony”. The Synchrony group were able to hear the same music, and following auditory instructions were performing the same dance moves at the same time. During the course of the experiment, they were able to see other people moving at the same time and in the same way that they were moving.
The “Partial Synchrony” group was taught and performed the same dance moves and heard the same music, but they were given instructions at different times – so that no member of the partial synchrony group was moving at the same time, but was doing the same movements as the synchrony group.
The participants who were in the “Asynchrony” group were all hearing different music, at different times, and were taught and performed different dance movements from all other participants.
Before the experiment, each participant’s “pain threshold” was measured – and immediately after the experiment, it was measured again (by research assistants who did not know the measurements of other participants, nor the theory that was being tested). Likewise, a “Social Closeness Index” was created, using standardized questions and scales.
The results were that “there was a significant change in pain threshold with the synchrony and partial synchrony conditions. Those in the synchrony condition experienced a positive significant increase in pain threshold, whereas those in the partial synchrony condition had a significantly lower pain threshold after compared to before. In the asynchrony condition, the change in pain threshold was in the same direction as in the partial synchrony condition and the difference between these conditions was not statistically significant.”
“There was a significant main effect on the social closeness index, and pairwise comparisons indicated that those who danced in synchrony felt more socially close than those in the partial synchrony condition. There was no significant difference between the closeness of those who had danced in asynchrony.”
As Steppers, we experience these results when we attend Steppin’ Sets and events. Although we hear our music from the same source, and at the same time, we can observe the three (3) “movement conditions” with each dance partner, and with the other dancers as they move around us.
At Phamily Steppers we are trained to identify the “down beat” of the music that we hear and to apply accents to three (3) primary counts/steps within our 8-Step/Count Basic Pattern. As we learn how to do this, we are able to “achieve synchrony” with ourselves, the music, and our dance partners – thru an understanding of the Cadence of the dance. Even when we dance alone and to the music, we are enabled to have and feel a closer relationship to the music. However, when we are dancing with a partner (who has the same understanding), we are able to feel understood and able to understand the musical movements of that partner. Even more importantly, we are able to believe that we can effectively move around the dance floor and create graceful, sensible, and deeply enjoyable movements with another person. This belief produces “prosocial” feelings that are at the foundation of social-bonding.
As we learn the dance and can “achieve partial synchrony”, there is a level of enjoyment that may equate to the results found by the researchers. However, the research also identified a questionably problematic area in the social closeness index - with partial synchrony. It may be related to the frustration that can be experienced from not being able to consistently “make sense of” or accomplish compliance with an expected pattern. In the dance, compliance with the pattern allows the Lead and the Follow a level of comfort in being able to predict movement variations. Inconsistency, without consideration of other variables, can offer frustrations and challenges to the social closeness index. We hope that one of those considerations is the remembrance of when we were striving to learn the dance. We are all there, or have been there.
The Asynchronous group is usually encountered at Steppers’ Sets where other dancers are totally unfamiliar with an attention, or an expectation, of moving to or with a beat and the other issues of the dance. Unless there is some other pre-existing social connection, I have rarely observed an increase in social closeness of Steppers toward these dancers. I do however encourage Steppers to remember that there was a time that we did not know this dance – at all. Perhaps thru our accommodation, people in the asynchrony group may find a reason to enjoy being among us – and seek the benefits of coming into synchrony with the Steppers.
The Oxford researchers made several conclusions, including "that dance may have been an important human behavior evolved to encourage social closeness between strangers.
We, at Phamily Steppers, believe that when people feel connected, it tends to release the endorphins that are responsible for the “opiate effect” that protects us from experiencing the sensations of pain. Consequently, we invite you to “git up offa that thing” and come enjoy synchrony with us at Phamily Nytes or any of our other classes or Steppin’ events.
As George Clinton might say (regarding synchrony), “Let the fungus, be among us.”
While preparing a lesson plan for a Steppin' Class, I encountered an article that I hope will help to explain, why I encourage dancers to "RELAX" as they are learning to Step and while learning different combinations and footwork patterns.
The article discusses the phenomena of what happens to our (human) perception of time, when we are stressed or under pressure. It happens in dance classes, when we rush thru movements that we feel unsure of, or when we make mistakes - that we just knew we were gonna make. It turns out that scientists have been studying the issue.
Shanhar Vedantam, National Public Radio social science correspondent, explains that "it works in the way that anxiety generally works". In that, if "you're afraid of making a mistake; you sometimes become more likely to make a mistake."
Many of us encounter this anxiety experience when we are tasked with making new or unfamiliar movements in Steppin' classes. On several occasions people have expressed that a new motion is "weird" or "awkward" - until they develop a competence or discover the fun in that motion (if they persist in overcoming the challenge of new movements). For some, the new movement becomes a favorite movement for their dance.
Vendantam references that Gordon Moskowitz, a psychologist at Lehigh University, "was interested in whether disparities in fields ranging from how doctors interact with patients to how police officers might shoot unarmed people might be driven by this kind of anxiety."
The issue is at the crossroads of anxietyand time perceptionor how anxiety can skew our perception of time - or in the case of Steppers, our perception of timing. For these reasons, we strongly encourage new and developing students to focus on the music that they are dancing to. As the Phamily Steppers logo indicates (See Diagram), the music is the guide for both the Lead and Follow Steppers in this "structured-improvisational partnered dance".
If you are now, or have been, a student of the dance with Phamily Steppers - you know "the first thing we do, when we hear music". When you establish that point of reference, you will have a consistently repeating reminder to both remain calm and regulate your cadence. If you "use"your music in this way, you will also have a "quality control" baseline - by which, you can gauge the impact that the anxiety may be having on you.
You can listen to the full article (See Below) and consider the issues. Remember to Keep Calm and Relax while Steppin'.
West Coast Steppers celebrated the 3rd Annual Steppers' Awards and the West Coast's Largest Steppers' Contest, during the weekend of March 11th-13th, 2016.
The Steppers' Awards & Celebration Weekend occurs near the end of the Awards Season for the entertainment industry (i.e. Oscars, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, etc.) and serves very similar purposes.
The Steppers' events were produced and hosted by Phamily Steppers (Los Angeles); with Keith Hubbard (Chicago) serving as the Master of Ceremonies; and a DJ Roster featuring DJ Myron "The R" Robinson (Chicago), DJ Raven (Las Vegas) and DJ Leon (Los Angeles).
The primary theme of the event is an Awards Ceremony that recognizes several of the people and organizations that make Steppin' a rewarding experience for people who live and attend Steppin' activities on the West Coast. While most awards presentations are only a short segment of a Steppin' event, Phamily Steppers has organized an entire theme around acknowledging and recognizing "the People's Choices" in several Awards Categories.
April 4, 2016 Myron Robinson (Photo credit: ChiStepper.com)
Myron, you’ve become one of the hottest Steppin DJ’s in the city of Chicago, but it didn’t happen overnight. When we interviewed you in the 2011 you said you didn’t feel you got the recognition you deserved. Have your feelings changed?
My entire perception has changed and frankly I don’t DJ for recognition. I DJ for the people. I get great satisfaction from seeing people enjoy themselves. Singing and dancing – there’s nothing like it.
What’s the biggest difference between the Myron spinning today and the Myron that was spinning in Joliet 5 years ago?
The biggest difference today is I’m far more relaxed. Having received much needed tutelage over the years from some of Chicagoland’s phenomenal DJ’s along the way. Secondly, at the behest of my incredible wife VinEllen’s urges to trust my ears and I’ve done that as well.
New Kids on the Block had one of the longest running weekly sets in the city at The Pines. Early on, people would start there and then head over to The Blue Note. Why do you think people started skipping The Pines altogether?
That’s a question for the people that started coming to The Blue Note on Thursday nights. However, DJ Harris, DJ Smooth Ron and all the New Kids on The Block members sustained an unprecedented run of over 20 years. Nyna Hester (Host) and I can only hope we can come close to that massive achievement. That’s if she can put up with me. I’m a little cray cray.
One thing I haven’t seen you do a lot of is take the show on the road. Is DJing at some of the major national weekends an interest of yours?
Man Pratt you were extremely essential in my very first opportunity to play on the road in St. Louis at Stepaganza (May). Iary Isaiah Israel happened to read our first interview and called me. I was on the verge of quitting the Steppin game when I received a call from Patrick and Rose Moore of The Smooth Steppers of Memphis … my FAMILY (July). Steppin In Shades of Blue every year in Indiana with Walter and Seann (April). Detroit for The Shindig with Sherry Gordon, Edward Donaldson and U+Me = We. Also my man Drewry’s birthday party. Mr. Walter Lane in Orlando (Aug), Big Dre of Tri-State Steppers Philadelphia (August). Dazzlyn and Sir Rodney of Houston – The All-Star Retreat (Feb.). Phamily Steppers in L.A. My man Marcel and the beautiful Angela – Colors of Fall in (Sept.). Portland (Oct) with Hernandez and Denise. My partner Mr. Keith Hubbard has been instrumental as well. Love working with Keith. I’ve been on the move T and I love it. So to answer the question, YES I would welcome the chance to play more nationally.
You’ve been busier than I thought Myron. Wow. In Chicago not a lot of DJ’s get an opportunity to spin regularly on both the South and West sides of Chicago. Do the sets attract different groups of people?
I see no real difference and I’d like to believe as a community we’ve grown past that. People come out to see good people, hear good music, dance and have a good time.
Do you have to adjust how you play depending on what side of town you’re on?
The same way I play on the Westside is the same way I play on the Southside.
What is the absolute hottest song out right now?
It’s that Mansfield! Only a few DJ’s have it. I don’t know the name but when you hear Mr. Steve Breeze Brewer play it the Steppers flock to the dance floor.
What do you do when someone requests a song that you know is whack?
Hell, if they paid to get in the party they have a right to hear what they want to hear too. Who am I to tell them I’m not playing that?
You’re also a good Stepper. What do you love more DJing or dancing?
Interesting question, but I have to say DJ’ing by only the slightest of margins.
There was a time in Steppin when DJ’s would discover new music and try to keep it hidden as long as they could. Does this still exist amongst the DJ’s?
Can’t speak for all DJ’s but new music is found all the time and I’ll share occasionally. [Laughing]
So you would keep it hidden for a while?
I may have inadvertently answered this question, but YES I’m holding on to it for a while maybe longer damnit. [Laughing]
What makes a Steppin DJ great in your opinion?
What makes a great DJ in my opinion is dedication, the ability to hear tough criticism – sometimes in the moment, be thick-skinned, and his or her’s ability to listen to the PEOPLE.
Any closing thoughts for the Steppers?
Here’s the perfect opportunity to thank my Family. VinEllen, children Rickia, Maiya’ and Mylen for allowing me to chase my dream. I WON’T forget it. I love you ALL so much. I need to thank my siblings Helen, Gloria, James, Anthony and Eric for playing wonderful memory making music in our house. I learned a lot about music from you all and I’m so THANKFUL. Last but not least my incredible mother and departed father. I busted a lot of speakers and broke a turntable or two, which I blamed on my brother Tony. But you got us another one time and time again. Thanks for showing me we serve a second chance God and He is faithful. To the Steppin Community at large let’s keep the dance going. I’ve met some extraordinary people out here. Were it not for Steppin I wouldn’t be as blessed as I am to know you. Let’s Go!
This writing presents a question to the culture of our community, regarding "R.E.S.P.E.C.T.". I am asking for the perspectives of the legends of the dance, promoters of the dance, and the community in general. The question is, whether legends of the dance should expect to be admitted to Steppin' events - free of charge?
I confess that I don't understand the origin of an expectation of some Steppers who assert that "I don't pay to come to Steppin' events or sets." Perhaps naively, I thought that "Legends of the Dance" would also be the "leading" supporters and advocates of Steppin' activities and events, rather than having a parisitical relationship toward them. Perhaps someone will educate me. I'd really like to understand. So here is what my current understanding is based upon. (You can drop me a line at: PhamilySteppers@gmail.com )
In my cultural and fraternal communities and experiences, there are, and have always been certain people who are entitled to titular respect and considerations as VIPs (Very Important People). Whenever a VIP arrives at your door, the question arises about "how" to properly receive that VIP. In church, fraternal, and political cultures - I would consult the "receiving protocols". In the Steppin' culture, however, what is the proper procedure and reasonable expectation for receiving VIPs (who come thru the front door)?
In my ecclesiastical experience, in the culture of the Bible (John 10:1), Jesus says that "Verily, verily I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." I understand that to mean that, if a man enters a Steppin' Set or event by some other method than thru the doors that the promoter/organizer has established to receive guests (i.e. the front door or registration table)..............that breach hints at a character issue (or an honest mistake/misunderstanding).
From my fraternal and family experiences, I understand that every house has a master. When visitors come, especially by invitation, to an opening of that house, they honor and respect that house (and the master of it) by entering the house (that Jack built) - at the established door.
If the master of that house recognizes a VIP or (grand) master of another house (i.e. Legend of the Steppin' community), "Jack" can then determine "how" to receive that Legend/VIP. Based upon Jack's resources, he can determine "how to accommodate" that VIP. Also, based upon the availability of Jack's resources and the planned arrangement of "his house" he can reciprocate the honor and respect that the VIP has brought to his house. It can be discomforting to discover (at the end of your service/set) that your grandfather, your Bishop/Imam, your Steppin' mentor/idol was among your guests - and you never had an opportunity to say welcome, or share your respect for them.
If a VIP arrives, "un-announced", at a set or event and declares that they "don't pay to come to Steppin' events or sets" - is it disrespectful for Jack to decline their entry? Is it disrespectful for the bishop to walk into your church (during the middle of a sermon/service) and demand or expect a right to be seated at the head-of-the-table and to finish the days sermon?
I have assumed that the traditional "receiving protocols" of my fraternity (and the church that I was raised in) were based on a mutual respect to Jack, and the resources and accommodations of "The House That Jack Built." Further, I understood a wisdom in Proverbs 25:7 (For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.), to allow Jack to keep order in the accounting of the resources in his house.
As a promoter/organizer of a small Steppin’ event, I am honored by many of the men and women who have insisted on purchasing tickets to our events, and have made donations, because they support our mission and enjoy the quality of our productions. I’m also honored to be able to extend admission to several of the legends that I have a relationship with and understand their contributions to the community that makes our events possible. They help build and secure the hill, where Jack’s house is built. We welcome actual legends, who come thru the front door, who respectfully share in our mission and….. Remember the House That Jack Built.