Along with the hyper-catchy music is the dance. Compared to Chicago’s other regional dance, footwork, bopping is much more accessible. Seeing someone footworking makes you think, “I could never do that in a million years,” but seeing someone bop makes you think, “shit, I could at least do some of that.” Bop is an expressional dance, not so much a technical one. Though it does get quite complicated at higher levels, at its core lies a fun leg swooshing motion that anyone can pull off at first attempt.
The current kings of the bopping dance are DLow and Lil Kemo. They take bop’s rudimentary motions, add on the technical precision of footwork, and lace that with their own personal sense of style to create an instantly distinctive take on the dance. DLow in particular has brought bop more national attention than anyone with his infectious “DLow Shuffle” creating an accessible entry point to bopping. Over militant snares and triumphant horns DLow barks out a series of commands that aren’t too difficult to pull off but feel great to hit along with the song. The dance looks as fun as it is and has an appeal that’s put it in the playlists of nightclub DJs and family cookouts all across Chicago.