YOLO Steppers was founded on the thought, "You Only Live Once", as much as it is an adage, the reality is we only have one life to live, so why not make the best of it and live it to its fullness. After much consideration our founder William Nealous realized it was time for a change. William wanted to make everyone feel they were not just a number in class but was part of a family that cares. Our founder believes that Chicago Style-Stepping isn't just a dance but it is a lifestyle where you spend a big portion of your time learning, dancing and having fun with likeminded people.
In September 2010, William was introduced to Chicago Style Stepping,where he learned Chicago Style Stepping using the 8 count method. He instantly fell in love with the dance and decided to be the best among the best Chicago Style Steppers.
During his growth process, his paths crossed with some of Chicago’s finest dancers where they taught him various things about the dance. Mr. Tyrone from Chicago, where he taught stepping at one of the universities as well as, some of his friends Redd and Sam who came to visit from Chi-town. These guys really gave him a taste of real Chicago stepping and they fine-tuned some of his dance mechanics.
In the middle of 2011, William decided that he wanted to compete in the World’s Largest Stepping Contest held in Chicago. Also, during this time William became the assistant beginner instructors with his former organization.
In January 2012, William competed for the first time at the Step It Up Contest in Atlanta, GA. with his dance partner, Katarina Sawyer. Altough the team did not place in this contest, William was driven to work harder and grow his dance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofFvzprLpUY
In March 2012, William and Katarina competed again in Minnesota this time at the Y’all Can’t Beat Us Steppers Contest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=208GS54IMXk. Once again, they did not place and that encourage him to work that much harder. Coming from his basketball years, he learned that winners don’t lose and losers don’t quit.
After this contest, William started working with one of Chicago’s finest, Ronnie B. who showed no mercy, as William learned years ago, if you want something it comes with hard work, dedication and someone that will not pacify you into believing you have it right when you really don’t. Ronnie B. never gave me false hope nor did he pacify me.
In September 2012, William and Katarina went to the World’s Largest Stepping Contest “as beginners to compete on the big stage”. William and Katarina took second place out of 14 couples. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tus8MHgN96M.
In October 2012, William became the male beginner/intermediate instructor with his former organization.
At the beginning of 2013, William became the head instructor for intermediate and advanced students. Students from other organizations started coming to class, which forced him to not only know how to teach the 8 count system but he had to learn the 6 count system as well. During this year the class grew overwhelmingly, and he was very thankful for being instrumental in the growth of that organization. He averaged 12 to 20 students in each of the 3 classes.
In March 2013, William and Katarina competed again in the Atlanta’s Step It Up Contest, and placed second behind winners who had 5yrs of experience from NC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sm1Rc2Uk1g
In September 2013, William and Katarina returned to Chicago to compete in the World’s Largest Stepping Contest. They competed in the New School Category where they faced well-known Chicago and Detroit champion contestants such as Feo, Cliff, Nikee/Tori, Ann Hunter/Melvin and other competitors.
In March 2014, as much as William wanted to sit down, the students that he worked with refused to let him stop teaching.
So on March 24th, 2014 YOLO Steppers had their first Chicago Style Stepping class at Blue Sea's Restaurant.