It’s official: Air Jordan 1’s are the best shoes to footwork in. 

“Jordan 1s, can’t go wrong with them,” Jemal “P-Top” De La Cruz told Rome J. 

And the worst shoes to footwork in? 

“Gotta be dress shoes!” Jamal “LiteBulb” Oliver said.

“Definitely dress shoes! But hey, Bulb, you know how it go when you at a function, and you get a couple drinks in. Those dress shoes don’t even matter no more,” De La Cruz added.  

De La Cruz and Oliver are both members of the four-person Chicago footwork crew, The Era. The pair, alongside fellow crew members Brandon “Chief Manny” Calhoun and Sterling “Steelo” Lofton, sat down with “We Real Chicago” host Rome J. to talk about the roots of Chicago footwork and its role in Chicago culture. 

“People don’t know how important or how much of a culture footwork is. They think it’s just a dance or what not, but this is really a culture that you can pass down from generations as you see,” Lofton said.

Before talking to The Era, Rome J. chopped it up with TRiiBE general assignment reporter Vee Harrison, who recently covered Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s 25th Anniversary celebration. Deeply Rooted member Joshua L. Ishmon also joined the show to talk about the Black-owned dance company.


In speaking about how the company has been able to adjust during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ishmon told Rome J., “If dancers are nothing else they are extremely malleable and we will always, no matter what, figure out how to be able to do what we do.” 

To find out more about Era Footwork Crew and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, check out “We Real Chicago” on TRiiBE TV.

is a researcher for TRiiBE TV.