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.
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 website • Greg 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 website • DWS’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 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.