The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu
Section Menu

Werk Related - Chicago Footwork Music & Dance Event

Werk Related flyer

Masterclasses, Panel Discussions, Community Party, Lectures, Performances, and a Footwork Frenzy Battle (Sunday, 3-6pm)

Featuring:  King Charles, Pause Eddie, DJ T-Rell, Kelli Forman, Prince JRon, ShaDawn Battle, Miki Ishizaka, and Anthony & Talia Sugarman

All events are open to the public; some events require pre-registration. See below for full schedule and event information, or email with questions.

**Please note: All patrons and visitors to on-campus events must wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status. In addition, attendees at all in-person Werk Related events who are not Five College students or staff will be asked to show either a proof of vaccination card or a recent negative COVID test prior to entry.**

Werk Related is a four-day conference and workshop series about Chicago Footwork music and dance culture. The UMass Department of Music and Dance is partnering with Five College Dance, Chicago Footworkology, and other community organizations to host eight guest master artists from Chicago and throughout the Chicago Footwork diaspora to share their expertise and personal history with Chicago Footwork. Through a series of dance and music workshops, panel discussions, and performances, students and community members will better understand the roots and artistic practices of Chicago Footwork. Werk Related aims to highlight the rich history and people of Chicago Footwork culture, and works to create bridges and conversations in University and other community spaces around race and culture, honoring African-American art forms, and building a diverse artistic community, both locally and globally.


Schedule of events:

* Available to view on Chicago Footworkology Facebook Live for free
** Available for purchase here through Chicago Footworkology (these events are free for Five College students & Amherst community; pre-registration still required). 

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

  • MHO: 10AM-11:15AM (Diewald- Ad Modern) with Pause Eddie
  • **UMass Dance: 10AM-11:15AM (Cox- Jazz III) with King Charles 
  • **UMass Dance: 11:30-12:45PM (Cox- Jazz I) with Ant & Tal
  • UMass Music Grad Seminar: 2:30PM-4PM (Piilonen) with DJ T-Rell & King Charles
  • UMass Dance (Lynch- Modern 1) 1-2:15pm with Miki Ishizaka
  • Hampshire: 3-5PM (Weidman-Improv) with Prince Jron
  • **UMass Dance (Lynch- Modern 3) 4-5:15pm with Pause Eddie
  • Amherst: 4PM-5:20PM (Riegel- Modern) with Kelli
  • Smith: 5PM-6:30PM (Jean Philippe) with Miki Ishizaka 
  • *All Colleges at UMass Amherst, Bezanson Hall: 7PM-9PM Panel Discussion moderated by Shakia Barron, Dr. ShaDawn Battle, & Dr. Miriam Piilonen (description below)


Friday, September 24th, 2021

  • **UMass Music: 9AM-10AM (Piilonen) Making Trax with DJ T-Rell 
  • UMass Dance: 1:25-3:45PM (Gonzalez- Dance Ed) with Creation Global
  • *All Colleges at UMass Amherst, Bezanson Hall: 4:30PM-6PM, Lecture by Dr. ShaDawn (description below)


Saturday, September 25th, 2021

  • PULSE Workshops in the Berkshires:
  • Class #1: Pause at 11:30AM-12:45PM
  • Class #2: Prince Jron at 1:00PM- 2:15PM
  • All Colleges at UMass Amherst, Totman Gym: 1PM-3PM, Musicality Workshop for Music & Dance Students with King Charles and DJ T-Rell
  • Community Party: 6-9PM at the Northampton Center for the Arts


Sunday, September 26th, 2021

  • *Footwork Frenzy Battle: 3PM until 6PM at UMass Amherst, Totman Gym (description below)



Join "Werk Related" guest artists on Thursday, September 23rd from 7-9PM at Bezanson Hall at UMass Amherst for a panel discussion about the socio-cultural and political dimensions of Chicago Footwork, emphasizing the local origins of Footwork on the South and West sides of Chicago and the ramifications of its national and international spread. Shakia Johnson, Dr. Miriam Piilonen, and Dr. ShaDawn Battle will be the moderators for the panel discussion. This event is free and will also be live-streamed on CFology's Facebook Live.


“Back Up Off Me”: The Liberatory Potential of Chicago Footwork

Join "Werk Related" on Friday, September 24th from 4:30-6PM at Bezanson Hall at UMass Amherst for a Lecture by Dr. ShaDawn Battle. Dr. Battle uses Chicago Footwork to examine the known phenomenon of a cultural formation birthed from oppressive forces, assuming a resistive, liberating posture. The popular epithet, “footwork saved my life,” is not empty rhetoric for many Black youth in Chicago, and Dr. Battle will illuminate the veracity of this claim, in several different socio-economic contexts. This event is free and will also be live-streamed on CFology's Facebook Live.


Join "Werk Related" for an evening of dance, music, performances, and community building at the Northampton Center for the Arts from 6-9PM on Saturday, September 25th. Everyone is welcome and bring a friend! Music will be provided by DJ Jake, there will be plenty of dancers present & moving their feet, and the Caravan Kitchen Food Truck will be joining us to sell their yummy food. The event is outside, with an inside space available in case of rain. No registration is needed. Please wear your masks.


Footwork Frenzy is an All Styles battle Event produced by King Charles to see who can bring the dopest Footwork Style (either standing up or on the floor) of the event. Join "Werk Related" on Sunday, September 26th from 3-6PM at the Totman Gym at UMass Amherst. The event is free to attend and to enter. DJ T-Rell will be providing the music, and King Charles will MC the event. The three judges are Miki Ishizaka (Chicago Footwork), Shakia Johnson (House & Hip Hop), and Kelli Forman (Contemporary). The event is truly an all styles event, with previous competitors representing many dance forms: Ballet, Memphis Jookin, Chicago Footwork, Detroit Jit, NYC House, Tap, Contemporary, Breakin, Popping, and more!! All ages and dance styles are welcome. Footwork Frenzy Amherst will also be livestreamed on CFology's Facebook Live.