“What I’m doing is giving mature adults something to do,” says Clinton “MC C Scott” Hampton, founder and owner of Grown Folks Music, LLC. “The way things have been going in Madison, there has been a lot of drama associated with parties. I’m just trying to make everybody see that you can have a good time without all of the nonsense that goes along with it.”
Hampton has been holding Stepping events in the Madison area for the past year and they have been becoming more and more popular.
“Older people often don’t have anything to do,” Hampton tells The Madison Times in an interview at the Genesis Enterprise Center. “You want to hang with your peers. I don’t want to party with my daughter. These events give the older people an outlet where they can have fun because it’s gotten to the place where they don’t want to go out somewhere where they will be afraid of the drama that goes along with it. But now, they have an outlet where they can come out and have a good time and feel secure that it’s going to be people who are on their level who won’t be causing a lot of trouble.”
On top of the fun, drama-free events, Hampton has helped to bring popular Chicago-style dance stepping to Madison. In Chicago, they call it Stepping, or Chicago Style Stepping. In other parts of the country they call it Jazz dance, The Cakewalk, The Ringshout, The Jitterbug, and The Swing. “The Stepping sensation is going on all over the country, and a lot of them come from Chicago,” he says. “That’s where it started.”
Stepping is an urban dance that continues to evolve defining its unique style and culture within the context of mainstream Swing dance. Stepping has gained popularity throughout the United States and is no longer limited to the urban neighborhoods of America. Stepping makes reference to other urban styles of dance found throughout the United States larger enclaves in cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Washington DC.
“I’ve had people who have come up to me and said, ‘Man, we’re so glad you started this because we had no place to go until you started this,’” Hampton says. “They won’t go to the other events because they aren’t as comfortable as they are with me and what I do. They know me. And they know if I’m going to put something together, that it will be good. I won’t be involved in anything that’s not on the level.”
The events are clear about catering to an older crowd — if you can really call 30-and-older “older.” Is that age limit set in stone?
“If you are over 30 and you have a date — and say she’s a little under 30 — then we will make exceptions. But we need to know the people,” Hampton says. “By selling tickets in advance, we eliminate a lot of trouble of say someone who’s just hanging around drunk and wants to come in and crash the party. We pretty much know who’s coming to our events. We don’t discriminate, but we have an idea.”
You can get tickets to the Stepping events at Papa Bear’s BBQ, Shalon’s Travel, and other places around town as well as by contacting Hampton through e-mail or Facebook. Right now, he’s gearing up for “Another Grown Folks Party Steppers’ Contest” which will take place Saturday, July 7 at the Wildcat Bowl Banquet Hall in Verona. This will be his third event. He gives away $200 to each winner at every dance competition event.
Hampton likes the fact that the Stepping aspect caters to the couples. “It’s basically like Chicago-style ballroom dancing; that’s what I would consider it,” Hampton says.
They have audience participation in the earlier rounds were eventgoers can give their approval (or disapproval) and then they have judges to make decisions in later rounds to ensure it’s not just a popularity contest.
But it’s much more than Stepping that goes on. It’s socializing, food, drink, and other kinds of dancing. The Stepping contest lasts about an hour and then there is all kinds of music including linedancing, rhythm & blues, and jazz.
Hampton has been deejaying since the ‘70s and some things have changed in the industry over the years, he says. On top of his big Stepping events, he also emcees weddings and family reunions where diversity is key. “My music goes from the ‘50s to today. Because if you do weddings, you might have grandma and grandpa there, but then you might have little Justin Bieber people there,” he smiles. “You have to be able to play something for everybody. I can go old school on you with The Platters and Ray Charles to whatever new school you like. I have a little bit of everything.”
He has an 18,000-song library that he chooses from. “And I add to it every day,” he says.
Hampton’s Grown Folks Music, L.L.C. officially started earlier this year and it is helped along by Hampton’s girlfriend, Betty Love, who is by his side selling tickets, promoting the events, and working the door. She’s his right-hand woman.
“It’s very enjoyable to be involved with something like this. You get to meet a lot of people from different cities and different communities,” Love says. “We have people come by from Beloit, Milwaukee, Chicago, Green Bay. It’s good to meet different people and know that there are so many people out there who want to do something fun without all of the drama.
“People have all of these nice clothes in their closet and nowhere to go,” she adds. “So now they have a chance to get dressed up and go somewhere and enjoy themselves, dance, eat, have fun, and socialize.”
So far, Hampton and Love have been seeing good turnouts at the Stepping events which will culminate in a big event on November 17 at the Wildcat Bowling Banquet Hall in Verona.
“In November, I will be celebrating my 55th birthday and I will be having a huge Step-Off. The five couples that win each event up until then, will step off for a chance to win $500,” Hampton says.
In the meantime, as his Grown Folks Music grows, Hampton says he wants to be more involved doing good things in the community.
“I’ve already been talking to Pastor [Alex] Gee at Fountain of Life that I would be glad to do a fund-raiser for the church,” he says. “I want to do something that benefits the building fund of the new church. I would like to become more involved in the community.”
In the meantime, Hampton will be preparing for the big July 7 event. Stepping is not just a dance; it encompasses a style of dress as well as music. It’s something new and exciting for a lot of Madisonians, especially for those who are no longer youngsters.
“This is a college town and they really zoom in on the kids. We want to give the more mature people an outlet and basically show Madison that you can party without having all of this violence and drama,” Hampton says. “You can do it right. We can lead by example. There’s plenty of people who want this so as we don’t have to lower our standards. I’m sticking with what I came with. That’s me. That’s what I do. That’s who I am.”
Grown Folks Music will present “Another Grown Folks Party Steppers Contest” at the Wildcat Bowl Banquet Hall, 415 W. Verona Ave., Verona. The event will take place Saturday, July 7, 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Dress to impress. Tickets are $10. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org