It doesn’t really look anything like a typical dance club. For starters, the lights are on, blazing. They serve zero, zip, when it comes to beverages. And it only happens on Sunday nights.
But Battle Groundz, on 87th just east of Stony Island in Chatham, isn’t a very typical place. This is where a good bunch of Chicago’s hardcore footwoorkers -- from the South Side, the West Side, the suburbs, even a few stragglers from the North Side -- come to practice, compete, and hang out.
“I think of footworking as hyper tap dancing,” explains Maurice Fulson, 31, who started Battle Groundz two years ago in the empty front room of an insurance office, in a space donated by a sympathetic friend. Since he first opened, the floor tiles have been nearly worn through from all the sliding, jumping, skimming, popping, tapping and slamming involved.
“There are different types of spins, combos and crossovers,” says Fulson, a father of five who makes a full-time living from coaching and teaching footworking.