Happy Fourth, July 1 deadlines, and HELP!

Happy Fourth

Gays for Pasty wishes you a safe and fun Fourth of July.

As a reminder, Dirty Water Saloon will not be having a dance on Tuesday, July 4 as Bella Luna will be closed.

Be sure to join us at Dirty Water Saloon on Tuesday, July 11, when we resume with Sam DJing, I’ll be teaching a new line dance by Micheal Metzger, “Feelin’ Good” and we’re figuring out what the couples lesson and will have that on the website/facebook soon.

Also Americana Sundays happens at Thunder Road in Somerville on Sundays

The Queer Country Social calendar is online.

Today’s deadlines

Today is the last day to sign up for a discounted price for:

  • DC OUT over Labor Day. If it is anything like last year, it’s going to be a blast. Great teachers, fun line dances, and the Renegaydes, Prairie Dogs, and other groups will be performing.
  • Provincetown Dance Trophy event. Competing in the single dance portion of the September 30, 2017 event. The Renegaydes will be competing/exhibiting. This is part of the ballroom event and is a hoot to watch and participate in.

I’ll be posting about discounted Stomp tickets (April 27-29, 2017) in the next month or so once I check with Sage and Provincetown Town Hall to make sure we have the venues. Both Alan and Simone are on board.

Gays for Patsy’s Lackluster Season

2016-17 season was a depressed year for Gays for Patsy. Dance attendance was low and we ended in the red. While I hear that other organizations are going through similar problems as I can assume it Drumpf-effect malaise that pushed our usual winter doldrums into high gear. We made a slight profit for Stomp (thanks to a sponsorship from Cape Air) and Dirty Water Saloon is pretty much holding it’s own with a modest deficit. We are not in danger of going away but this is a good wake up call for us to be more active in our dance. 

Ramifications:

  • Queer Country Social
    • No Sunday dances. We decided that Sunday dances were not worth it — in spite of people requesting them, they were poorly attended and largely contributed to the deficit we have.
    • No mid June Saturday dance. We also decided to not have a third Saturday dance in June to allow us to participant in RI pride.
    • Peer taught lessons. We will no longer be doing a beyond the basic lesson, and will revert to the 7 pm couples dance lesson and 7:30 line dance lesson. These will mostly likely be peer taught as a cost-saving measure.
  • Dirty Water Saloon
    • There will be little change of Dirty Water Saloon as it is mostly volunteer run. We may use this dance to feed the line dances/couples dance lessons for Queer Country Social.
  • Stomp
    • I’m going to apply for a few sponsorships and pray we get some. One sponsorship would go to marketing if we get it. I’ll keep you posted.
    • I also hope to have an early bird registration that will seed money to pay for the event earlier and have cash on hand to pay the instructors (live and learn… online registration is great but waiting for two weeks after the event for the check was not ideal)

I need your help

One of the reasons I come to GFP dances and am president is the community. I never met a better bunch of people in a queer setting. We dance, socialize, and have fun together. This winter/spring, I just wanted to hibernate but being president of this organization and being so involved got me out of the freakin’ house. It was a lifesaver for me, really. So i want the same for you.

I need you to be more involved.

We have been around for almost 30 years but we may not always be here. I have seen our Randolf dance go away from lack of active involvement in both running and promoting it — it was the driving force of my doing social media, website, and ultimately the presidency. Granted that was a bit more on mismanagement of that club vs. us but still, we assumed it would always be there and were blindsided when it was taken away from us. We can’t sit on our butts and expect the dance to be there.

Don’t take your dance for granted.

This may mean simply going out of your comfort zone and asking new people to dance or taking a shift at the door. But I also need to relieve some of our regular volunteers before they burn out. I also need people to go one step further and help with the running of the dances. Here’s some places you can help that I can think of off the top of my head.

Easy ways to help

  • Say hello and dance with newcomers.
    We do a good job of this but it is good to be reminded.
  • Capture names and emails of people to make sure they are connected.
    I’ll be better about having a clipboard with a sign-up sheet.
  • Become a GFP member or donate to GFP if you can.
    I’ll make this very easy by doing an online purchase in the next month, it allows us to have money up front at the beginning of the season to help pay the church. I am working with the board to see what we can do to make this more inviting and now that we have Dirty Water Saloon, how does being a member work for them and stomp.
  • Take a 15-minute shift at the door. At all our dances, we need people help out for 15 minute sifts to give our regular volunteers a chance to dance and get away from check-in. This involves greeting people, answering questions about the dance, and taking money.
  • Join our social media groups and indicate you’re going to our events, share with friends or in groups you might be in, post about your experiences, insights, and photos. I created a bunch of facebook pages for our dances to get word out. Please join/like them and feel free to post, comment, stalk. I especially want to talk up the opening queer country social dance in September.

Moderately easy (i.e., not quite easy but not hard).

  • Help with updates to website and social media.
    I’ve got a few generic events for queer country social, dirty water saloon, and others in the wings but it would be nice to have help with the newsletter. I’m horrible about getting it out.
  • Help Beth (or take over) Opening and Closing dances.
    Opening and closing a dance is not hard, usually there are lots of people to help. It involves setting up the dance (sweeping, organizing, moving chairs, etc. Some heavy lifting but we can pair people so if that’s an issue we can figure it out). Setting up the check-in. Closing involves the reverse of closing along with tallying the numbers and counting money to give to Beth or the DJ.
  • Helping with scheduling.
    This involves getting on people’s asses about organizing DWS and Queer Country Social line dances and couples dance lessons. This will help both Beth and Kendra immensely. I’m hoping that we can roughly plan out the year and figure out specifics on a quarterly basis.
  • Help with outreach, advertising, and visibility.
    I would like to reach out to LGBT organizations, especially trans as I see them as a particular vulnerable part of our queer community. Could you recommend (and if possible find out contact info) of an likely organization and be willing to act as an ambassador of our organization?
  • Reach out to past members for our 30th year.
    If you know someone who used to dance with GFP, ask them to come to a dance next year. Especially ask them to partake in the AIDs Walk with us in June. It’s where we started.
  • Help plan/promote our 30th anniversary dance.
    Help pick a date and spread the word. I may approach Greg Klyma to do a live music night and see if the Prairie Dogs can come up for the dance. Both of these have drawn a good crowd.

Finally, don’t let little (or big) issues stew. Let me know!
This is your dance as much as mine or the board’s — that said, we can only adjust or deal with issues or problems that we know about. I say this as I recently had someone tell me they were not returning to a the Saturday Queer Country Social dances. They had a complaint (too many line dances in a row) that would have been easily addressed (and ironically was addressed at that dance) but that individual sat upon their grip for a whole year before mentioning it to me. By that time, nothing I could say or do would change their mind. It was an unfortunate situation that could have been avoided by a quick comment to me early on. My mom always said little things can grow to be big far too easy.

I love this community — and it is that: a community. It is more than just one person, it’s everyone contributing to make it special. We do that well, but there is room for improvement.

Thanks in advance for YOUR help and see you on the dance floor.

Happy Summer!

Bob ‘da prez’ Sweeney,
Gays for Patsy

Dancing Galore in April

Dancin’ Learnin’ and Socializin’

In the next three weeks you have the opportunity to go to 5 dances, 14 lessons/workshops, and an insane amount of socializing with our Queer Country Social, Dirty Water Saloon, and P-town Spring Stomp. I hope to see you on the dance floor
— Bob ”da prez” Sweeney

Queer Country Social

PDF of April's dance flyer
PDF of April’s dance flyer

gfp.org • Saturday, April 16 • 6:30-11 pm • $12 cover (includes lessons)/$8 for GFP members
1st Church of JP • 6 Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
Music: contemporary country, r&b, and pop music to two step, line dance, west (and east) coast swing, waltz, cha cha and more.
Julie Kinnett will be doing the teaching starting with a beginner two step at 6:30 pm, an intermediate pattern at 7 pm, and the line dance “Country Slide” at 7:30 pm
Art Sullivan will be twirling the digital music from 8-11 pm.

Dirty Water Saloon

gfp.org/dirty-water-saloon • Tuesdays • 7-10 pm • $10 cover (includes lessons)
Bella Luna Restaurant (Milky Way Lounge) at the Brewery Complex • 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain, MA
featuring music by contemporary country, r&b, and pop music to two step, west (and east) coast swing, line dance galore, waltz, and more. Food, drinks, and fun.

Tuesday, April 19
Two step lesson 7 pm (instructor tbd) • “Walk the Line” line dance 7:45 pm • Bucky DJing

Tuesday, April 26
Two step lesson from 7-7:45 (instructor tbd). Kendra or Bob will teach “Walk the Line” at 7:45 pm, and Bob DJing.

P-town Spring Stomp

pdf flyer for Stomp
pdf flyer for Stomp

gfp.org/stomp • Friday-Sunday, April 22-23 • Provincetown, MA
Pay individually or get a Weekend Pass for $60 and save mulah!
Sage Inn & Lounge and Town Hall, Provincetown, MA
Friday Night Opening Dance at Sage Inn & Lounge
Music: contemporary country, r&b, and pop music to two step, line dance, west (and east) coast swing, waltz, cha cha and more.
8:30-11 pm • $10 cover (includes lesson)
Beginner two step lesson with Beth at 8:30 pm • Bob DJing from 9-11 pm

Saturday workshops at Sage Inn & Lounge
10 am–4 pm •  $15 per workshop
Six workshops taught by Simone Assboeck and Art Sullivan featuring Beginner and Intermediate Two Step, Cha Cha, West Coast Swing and Line dances (Counting Stars, Bittersweet Memories, and 50 Ways). See website for full details and line up and step sheets/demos.

Saturday Night Fundraising Dance at Town Hall
Music: contemporary country, r&b, and pop music to two step, line dance, west (and east) coast swing, waltz, cha cha and more.
7-11 pm • $20 cover (includes lesson)
2 Line dance (tbd) lesson with Bob, 7-8 pm, Ruth DJing 8-11 pm, performance by the “fabulous” Boston ReneGaydes around 9 pm.

Happy New Year! Now get out and dance!

Happy New Year!

Now get out and dance!

If you’re like me, your resolution is to work off the holiday calories and what better way to do it is dance? If you’re savvy enough you can get out and dance every night of the week — country, blues, contra, salsa, or just plain old disco — you can find something of interest and take lessons all over the place. I listed below in Opportunities to Dance some that I know that are either lgbts specific or friendly (thanks to Dana for helping compiling the list). Hope to see you on the dance floor.

It’s Polka Time
Speaking of dancing: I love polka, it’s something that was taught to me as a small child for weddings. When I first started going to GFP (blah, blah, blah years ago) they had a polka or two during the night and I would leave the dance floor dripping with a big old smile on my face. Polka popularity has wained but I think it’s time for a comeback. At the IAGLCWDC conference in July, Meredith taught us a basic form. She also looks for people to compete in this category (calling it the Dance of LOOOOVE). At AmericanaMonday’s, Greg Klyma plays a polka and a few fast country songs that reminded me how much I love it. So rather than lament it’s passing, I’m going to do somethin’ about it! I’ll be teaching the basic polka form at both Americana Monday and GFP (see below). I guarantee you’ll love it. — how can you not? It’s POLKA. The form we use is a country western polka that progresses around the dance floor. It gives us the chance to play some fast songs that you “could” two step to (if you take fast wee steps) but polka makes it a hoot. Please join me hoppin’ and a grinnin’ around the floor.

Volunteers needed

We have a busy season ahead and the board will be meeting soon to to talk over some things and get organized. We need some help with with outreach, plastering posters, keeping projects running, etc. You don’t need to be spending much time, it could be as little as a 15 minute shift at the door. Or more involved such as helping open/close dance. To more technical (such as figuring out a best way to get online registrations for STOMP). Anything helps. Just shoot me an email and I’ll add you to the list of volunteers.

Thank you from Julie!

Julie Kauffman, our charity fundraising queen extraordinaire, broke her personal AIDS Walk Boston fundraising record and she also raised over $600 for toys for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless this December! She wanted to thank all who donated personally:

As I reflect back on 2015, one of the highlights was being on stage, and being recognized by the founders, as an important person in the AIDS Walk Boston history. It was the 30th anniversary, and my 29th year involved with the AIDS Walk. The only way I have been able to do this, year after year, is with your support and encouragement. Every spring, I ask you to help me reach my goal, and you come through: with money, with words of encouragement, with cheers, and with thanks. Last year, I raised $3,331, my personal best! I just squeaked into the top 20 fundraisers, which has been my goal for the past few years. I am thrilled to be among the elite, but surprised at how few people join the Extra Mile Club by raising $1,000. For now, I just want to say THANK YOU! May this be your best year ever. — Julie

Opportunities to Dance

  • Mondays: Americana Mondays
    8-11:30 pm (lessons at 7:30 first Mondays) • No cover (but tips gratefully accepted)
    PA’s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA
    PA’s Lounge’s websiteGreg Klyma’s website
    On Mondays, attend the FREE live music night, Americana Mondays, in Somerville — Greg Klyma and his band play country and blues. Tonight (January 4) at 7:30I’ll be teaching basic POLKA!. We have about a dozen GFP folk stopping in weekly (Jay, Ted, Me, Julie, Harper, Sandra, Phil, and more) and most times we’ve taken over the dance floor (Queue evil laugh, “Mwahahahahahaha!”).
  • Tuesdays: Dirty Water Saloon (DWS)
    7-10 pm • $10 cover (includes lessons)
    Lessons 7-8:15, social dancing 8:15-10 pm.
    Milky Way (Bella Luna Restaurant in the Brewery Complex) Amory Street, Jamaica Plain (Boston), MA
    DWS’s websiteDWS’s Facebook page
    Dirty Water Saloon returns from December hiatus with Bucky DJing; Alia teaching the basics of Lindy Hop at 7; and Nina teaching a fun line dance called Timber. Come early and grab a bite (or you can order at the bar and have it brought to you). This is a LGBTS Country Western night over at the Milky Way two stepping, west coast, cha cha, line dancing and more to contemporary country, r&b, and pop music.
  • Saturday, January 9: Swingtime “Black and White” Dance
    8-11 pm (lesson 8-9 pm) • $15 cover inludes lesson
    136 Westbourne Terrace, Brookline, MA
    Swingtime website
    Swingtime is ringing in the new year with a night wearing black and white. Wear black and white and ring in the new year queerly! DJ Leandra will be spinning your dance faves. Swing, Latin, and ballroom dancing for the LGBTQ community and our allies. Includes an East Coast swing dance lesson with the fabulous Liz Nania.
  • Saturday, January 16: Gays for Patsy (GFP) Queer Country Social Dance
    6:30-11 pm (lessons 6:30-8 included in admission) • $12 cover ($8 for GFP members)
    First Church of Jamaica Plain, 6 Eliot St, Jamaica Plain, MA
    This month the theme will be work those calories. I’ll be DJing and playing fast line dances, two steps, and more. We’ll start slow but if you leave the dance dry, I will not have accomplished my mission. We’ve not set up the teaching schedule but I will be teaching the POLKA. I’ll be playing a few fast songs that you can two step (if you dare, or have fun with the polka (if you have any requests, let me know and i’ll pass it on to Beth). I’ll be sending out another email in a couple days when we have the teaching finalized. Come two step, line dancing (I’ll be playing the turbo midnight waltz), west coast swing, cha cha, POLKA (how many times can I work POLKA into this email?), and more. I’ll be playing some east coast swing music so you can try the lindi hop moves you learned at DWS.
  • Saturday, January 9 and 23: Boston Gender Free Contra (JP)
    7:30 to 10:30 pm (the 23 has an additional 4 pm experienced contra dance) • $10 general $6 students
    A caller guides you through various dance patterns set to live music. No partner necessary or experience needed. I believe it is an earlier form of square dancing. If you like patterns, this is the place for you. They request no strong sents. Their website has a full listing.
  • Sunday, January 24: Night Out in Allston
    5-7 pm (5-5:30 lesson) • 10 Cover (includes lesson)
    Ballroom in Boston • 300 Western Ave, Allston, MA 02134
    Ballroom in Boston’s website
    Gender Role Free Ballroom and Country Mix. Each party starts with a 30 minute beginner class (included in the price) and then we enjoy social dancing and refreshments until 7 pm. First visit is FREE! Free parking on site.
  • Sundays, beginning January 24: OUT to Dance LGBT classes
    Out to Dance’s website
    Add new moves or just learn something new at Liz Nania’s winter series! Classes run in series; each lesson builds on the previous, so you learn a whole set of new moves and techniques. This term, the studio is offering West Coast Swing 5, Foxtrot Immersion I and Salsa Beyond the Basics.