Chicago Footwork: A Lightning-Fast Dance of Resistance

COMMUNITY AREAS #35 & #68: Douglas and Englewood — Chicago Footwork

How a street dance pioneered on the South Side became a mode of resistance.

BRONZEVILLE & ENGLEWOOD—When Diamond Hardiman (a.k.a. Queen Diamond) came up against challenges in her life, it turned out to be her feet that did all the talking.

“I didn’t know how to express it. When I footwork I just show who I am,” Hardiman said in an episode of the KQED Arts documentary series, If Cities Could Dance, that chronicles the story and life of Chicago footwork. “Once your soul connects to the music, I feel energetic. This is my meditation spot.”

Hardiman is just one of a few prominent dancers who have found release—and resistance—in footwork, a style of dance that originated on Chicago’s South and West sides. For these modern footwork legends, their craft gives them a means of expressing what they could otherwise find no language for.

Get the full story in the video below.

This story was produced by KQED Arts and originally published here

The 77 Project is a storytelling and media project presented in partnership with Xfinity with additional support from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help redefine the narrative of our neighborhoods from the inside out. We’ll spend the remainder of 2018 shining a light on organizations and individuals in each of the 77 community areas of Chicago who are making a positive impact. Know someone we should speak with? Recommend them here.

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