When you think about a Midwestern city, you hear about Chicago, St Louis or maybe Detroit, but Kansas City, Missouri’s second largest metro in the state, is a sprawling hotbed of new ideas. It is also the biggest urban city in the state. With a city named like it across the road in Kansas, Kansas City is a town of barbeque, fountains and dazzling entertainment.
There is a lot to do in this palace of a region that is only four plus hours from its big sister, St. Louis. Therefore, do not sleep on this cosmopolitan cow of a town; go and enjoy all that it has to offer.
I had the pleasure of reaching out to the other world of Kansas City, the award winning dance tour social group, The Stepp-Taculars. And when you think of steppers and sliders, you think of Chicago, with the bop and the classical hustle.
However, this dance tour group travels all over the states, including St. Louis, Dallas and Omaha, to perform and recruit new dancers and members. They also host many events in the city to help with their charitable initiatives.
Hello, can you tell the world about the group?
Stepp-Tacular: Hello, and thanks for having us. Stepp-tacular is a stepping organization founded in Kansas City, MO on September, of 2012 by De’Shugg “Mr. Shugg” Fishback and Carmeleta “Mello” Canady. The organization was inspired to begin because of the first dance that the two founders shared in TX. The group colors, which were the colors worn by the couple during their first dance, red & black, serves as a constant reminder of how stepping between the two began.
The mission of the organization is to “Take Care of Home First and Family First.” They take care of home by keeping the KC2Step alive through providing instruction & performances, as well as spearheading and taking part in several community outreach events throughout the year to promote a Healthy KC overall. They are a family-based organization that provides something positive for all age groups. Stepp-Tacular Royalty was formed to provide positive alternatives for the youth.
When was the last time you’ve been on a dance tour?
Stepp-Tacular: The group’s last dance tour was in Milwaukee, WI, where they met up with their dance family, The Command Steppers of MN, to step at a weekend affair given by The Party People Steppers.
Do you have a class where you teach your members and new recruits the latest moves?
Stepp-Tacular: They currently host a Tuesday night line dance class, as well as a Wednesday night stepping class that is open to the public. They schedule private, individual, and group classes for those that prefer this option.
What is it like when you travel across the road to St. Louis and meet dancers there?
Stepp-Tacular: St. Louis, MO, being Kansas City’s sister city, is one of the dance family’s favorite stepping locations. Stepp-Tacular has enjoyed attending The Stepaganza, as well as meeting up with stepping friends who are STL Boppers and linedancers. St. Louis always shows love, along with other places the group has been blessed to travel to for the love of dance.
When is your next event?
Stepp-Tacular: Upcoming events hosted by Stepp-Tacular are in the making, while Mello is currently hosting an old school concert series, brought to you by local promoters, who have now become family.
How many members are in the Stepp-taculars club?
Stepp-Tacular: There are currently 35 members in the organization. Some of them often travel to several different cities and states to share their love for The KC2Step abroad, as well as learn and appreciate other dance styles, like that of the 8 Count Chicago Stepping, Swing Out, etc.
Tell us about you, as the founder and president. Do you have time for your family life?
Stepp-Tacular: Because part of their mission is family first, they always find ways to incorporate their children in what they do; traveling & etc., as well as ensuring that we spend lots of family time with our parents, children, and relatives. Because members are considered family to the founders, they welcome them to their home. They love to cook for their members, whether it’s Shugg on the grill or Mello on the stove, while the adults are kicking it in their area, playing cards, dominoes or just chilling. The youths are in there playing video games or activities of their choice. “It’s just something about sharing meals, drinks, and conversing that strengthens relationships,” Mello says.
From your memories of touring, which location stood out the best for you guys?
Stepp-Tacular: Texas will always be one of The Founders favorite dance tour locations because that’s where they met, first danced, and knew stepping between the two was meant to be.
Have you entered any dance competitions before?
Stepp-Tacular: The couple together, have not competed, yet they have spent hours preparing others to compete.
Thanks for your time, and it was great chatting with you! Any final words?
Stepp-Tacular: You are most definitely welcome. Thanks for thinking of us at The Narrative Matters.
Stepp-Tacular is looking forward to continuing their mission of bringing people together with the love of dance; turning strangers into family and touching people’s lives in a positive way along the way.