By Shirley Floyd Chicago Steppin In Memphis
Written by Shirley Floyd on July 16, 2017.
July 2017 Annual Steppin "N" Paradise, hosted by the Smooth Steppers of Memphis, was "once again" a successful event, due to its reputation that spreads across the community and nation. Year after year, it strives to be one of the BEST in maintaining a great track record.
I feel that the event is such that it merits a few words about its previous years since inception, and particular about those who are responsible for establishing the principles and policies under which we have, and continue to operate. I don�t think the team had any idea as to where the road would eventually lead, but with great expectations and considerable passion, each year has been an unforgettable event.
I must say that this year was the absolute BEST. It was one of the most successful events you can have attended all because of the exceptional customer service skills and professionalism of the AWESOME committee who works so diligently. They specialize in achieving positive, long-lasting results. All components of the event were expertly coordinated. This year was truly breath-taking. Everything you needed was at your fingertips.
Friday Night was "Rep Yo City" in T-Shirts. Beautiful Tees were worn by guests from various cities. There were many styles and colors, wonderfully designed, and visible all over the building.
Saturday Workshops were well attended. The students were divided into groups and each group was shown and explained different techniques. Everything you needed to enhance your dance skill level was offered during the workshops; Beginners, Advanced, Walking, and Combination/Turns and Spins.
How many times have you seen very knowledgeable instructors teach in the most boring style? Should learning the dance be boring at all? I think not, Steppin should be fun. The instructors were far from boring. They were innovative and creative. They did a fantastic job making sure the students were given what they needed in order to perform at their level or take their dance to the next level on the dance floor. Thumbs-Up to the instructors; Keith "The Navigator" Hubbard, Kevin "Doc" Dockery, and Memphis very own, Patrick Moore.
Saturday�s Main Event was the highlight of the weekend. Upon arrival there stood this GORGEOUS young lady who presented the guest with beautiful Leis. As we entered the main ballroom, it was definitely the center of attention. The lighting and decorations were beyond beautiful and custom-made. It looked exquisite and extremely beautiful, romantic, elegant, stunning, and incredible. One thing that caught your attention was the centerpieces. They added elegance and personality to the table setting.
Fun was at an all-time high. The food was absolutely delicious, tasty and visually appealing, and plentiful. Every bite made you say, WOW. Let�s face it, the food is, and should be one of the stars of the event. Entertaining and delicious food go hand in hand in Paradise.
The hospitality was remarkable and amazing. The guest deeply appreciated the quality of service that was demonstrated toward them, specifically the southern hospitality. The golden rule in the South is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, without expecting reciprocation. Anytime you attend Paradise, be assured that (we) southerners don�t give or dole out favors as an obligation, but we do it out of courtesy, respect, and mere habit, in hopes that you�ll return again and again. We treat our guests like they�re family in the South. "Y'all come back now, ya hear!
The music was provided by Myron Robinson/The R, who knows music like the back of his hand, and came prepared to put the time in. His skill level and understanding of the art of DJing is second to none. His selection of music is always on point. When you observe a packed dance floor and sweaty faces, it is evident that you have a great DJ on hand.
The emcee, (Keith Hubbard/the Navigator), mastered the challenging craft, upbeat and positive, the best kind of humor, and kept the party jumping all weekend. He is the emcee everyone remembers, and the one who gets hired again and again by the Smooth Steppers Committee. He is defiantly an All-Star Emcee, who leads the crowd in cheers. There is never a null moment with him. He keeps the crowd excited, and he is positive and energetic. One of my memorable moments was when he called each city to take their group picture he stated "if you have alligators in your back yard it�s your time to take pictures". Can you guess the city? Of course, Florida. Keith is a very funny and respectful emcee. He cracked jokes throughout the weekend, and kept the laughter going.
The Farewell Brunch was nothing but "Outrageous Fun". A large number of steppers didn�t pack to leave. Instead, they stayed a bit longer for a little more fun and some food and drinks before they were on their way. The musical host was Pony "The Express" Mack. He came prepared and he delivered. He jammed the entire evening, and he kept it moving and flowing until the very last song. Everyone had a great time. Pony Mack is very professional, experienced, knowledgeable, and is very passionate about his music.
It was pretty hard to leave Paradise, where the music was jamming and everything was on point, beautiful hotel, everywhere decorated to a high standard, great food, and excellent service. It was an unforgettable fun weekend. We had "a fabulously good time". You know what they say, first impressions are everything.
Shout out to everyone who contributed to making this one of the greatest events of the year.
No matter what you are doing, there comes a time when you want to take things up a notch. The Smooth Steppers of Memphis committee is shaking things up a bit, y�all. They aim to top their success every year.
To the captains of the ship, Patrick and Rose Moore, and the entire committee of Smooth Steppers of Memphis, we say thank you and "take a bow". You deserve a Standing Ovation for a job well done. We realize that a lot of work goes into preparation, planning and hosting this event, and it�s amazing that things run so smooth year after year. You are definitely on your A game.
Warning! Steppin N Paradise 2018: You don�t want to miss this event!!!! This will be the most awesome event of the year. Don�t wait until all the tickets are gone. Go to www.memphissteppin.com , click on the PayPal link to purchase your Early Bird tickets.
See You In Paradise!