Foot movin’, hair swingin’ and powerful women taking on the world of dance. I am the Queen is a short film that highlights women in the Chicago footwork movement.
Footworking, a form of street dance that originated in Chicago in the 1990s, distinguishes itself from other forms of dance with its emphasis on quick but coordinated foot movement.
"I am the Queen is meant to shine the light on the many women that have long been a part of Chicago footwork's history and future," Wills Glasspiegel, an artist who helped create the documentary, told The Fader. "Footwork is male-dominated and oriented around brotherhood, but we wanted to show how women have made a place for themselves in this dance history and how they are key to its longevity as a dance and music genre.”
The short film was created by Glasspiegel and dancer Kenesha “Murdamommy” Sheridan. Its soundtrack pulls from Jlin’s 2015 song “I am the Queen” and featured the dancers moving in time in underground battles, studios, in front of trophies and among young girls who look on at the dancers in utter admiration.
"What I think is important about the project is that it's giving back to the culture and empowering women to dance,” Sheridan told The Fader. "I wanted the people to know how the women are feeling, coming up within the footwork and juke culture. I wanted to give a first person point of view in the mind of what a woman footworker might be feeling or how they might be feeling as their first time seeing, experiencing and loving this dance."
Interviews in the film speak to the importance of foot working among women with many saying they built a family from their girl groups and immediately take their new moves back to their base. Footwork is support, footwork is feminine, footwork is Chicago.
Footwork is for queens.