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

May and June Happenings and Annual Meeting Notice

In this Post:

A quick list of stuff happening in May/June. Tell us what you think (surveys!). Queer Country Social: May 20, and Dirty Water Saloon update.

Spring Stomp: a Hoedown in P-town was amazing!
Thank you all for making it such a great success (success = happy, smiling, sweaty, exhausted people). In the “Tell us what you think” section below, I have a survey to this year’s Stomp attendees and one for previous Stomp attendees too.

End of Year Annual Board Meeting, Saturday, June 17 (before the dance)
5:30-6:30 pm, 1st UU Church of JP.
GFP Members (those that bought a membership for the 2016/17 season) come talk about the year, elect a new board member, and strategize about the new year.

While we think of the end of the 2016-17 year as the June 17th Queer Country Social dance, our Dirty Water Saloon dances continues through July and August on Tuesday nights in air-conditioned loveliness.

Busy May/June!

We’ve got a bunch of stuff going on, here’s a “quick” list:

  • Tuesdays – Dirty Water Saloon. (see full info below)
    7-10 pm, Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge.
  • Saturday, May 20 – Queer Country Social. (see full info below)
    6:30-11 pm. 1st UU Church of JP.
  • Memorial Day Weekend – IAGLCWDC annual convention.
    A bunch of us are going to Miami to partake of the annual convention in conjunction with Out Games. It should be a blast and we’ll post pics when we can. We’ll also be on the lookout for fun line dances and new dance moves to bring back to you.
  • Sunday, June 4 – Boston AIDS Walk.
    Julie Kaufmann is walking again this year (as she has done since almost the beginning of this fundraiser) and she will be collecting at the May 20th dance. Trivia! Did you know it was at this walk in 1988 that Gays for Patsy was coined and formed? Go figure.
  • Sunday, June 4 – Queer Country “Sweet Tea” Social and Workshop: Pride Edition.
    3-7 pm. 1st UU Church of JP.
    Come at 3 for a hour-long workshop on Salsa with Elvi and Beth! Then dance from 4-7 to music by Ruth Ewing. Invite your friends! We’ll have informal two step lessons in the hall for anyone who is new.
  • Saturday, June 10 – Boston Pride Parade.
    Gather 11 pm, March 12 noon,
    We are marching this year! Kendra and I will have more information after this Sunday.
  • Saturday, June 17 – Annual Meeting before the dance.
    5:30-6:30 pm • 1st UU church of JP
    Members come elect a new board member (Bucky is stepping down), and talk about the year ahead. Let me know if you’d like to be our new board member.
  • Saturday, June 17 – Final Queer Country Social of the 2016-17 year.
    Join us for the last dance before we take a break for the summer. Art Sullivan will be teaching, Bob will be DJing. More details to come.
  • 2017-18 Queer Country Social and Stomp Calendar set.
    I’m hoping to get the dates into the calendar on the site this week. We’ll turn 30 in June 2018, so we’ll be having a special dance to celebrate. More details soon.

Tell us what you think!

Our last season of Queer Country Socials didn’t do well for the first time in my presidency. I’d like your opinions. Ever want to tell me off? Now’s your chance. You can be anonymous.

  • General GFP Survey. (about 3 mins.) survey on instructors, format, partner and line dances, and music. If you’ve not attended dances, I want to hear why.
  • Spring Stomp: A Hoedown in P-town surveys. One for those who attended last month’s Stomp and a survey for people who didn’t come this year but have attended one in the past. Your chance to tell me what you think. Don’t miss out!
    • Survey for 2017 Attendees (about 10 mins) A bit more in-depth than the general GFP survey, but I want to get your feedback, thoughts, and gather some quotes that I can use for next year. Fill out what you can. I definitely want to know about the instructors and your thoughts on line dances.
    • Survey for Past Attendees (about 5 mins) Attended previous Stomps, let me know why you didn’t go this year.

May 20 Queer Country Social: Stomp Review and Renegades Performance

7-11 pm • • $12 suggested sliding-scale donation ($8 for GFP members)
First UU Church of JP • 6 Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain (Boston), MA
gaysforpatsy.org/queer-country-social
6:30-8 pm Lessons with Bob • 8-11 pm Social Dancing with DJ Art Sullivan
Lessons: 6:30 pm – Beginner Two Step with Bob Sweeney
7:00-8:00 pm – Stomp Review with Bob Sweeney. We’ll look over our videos from Stomp and try to recreate moves and line dances taught during Stomp. Think of it as a peer review.
Social Dancing: 8-11 pm with DJ Art Sullivan
Come dance the night away with DJ Art Sullivan while he plays a selection of music that you can two step, west coast swing, east coast swing, line dance galore, waltz and more.
Bring Extra $$ or a check to give to Julie for the Boston

Dirty Water Saloon: Two Step and Line Dance Review

Tuesdays, 7-10 pm • $10 suggested sliding-scale donation.
Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain, MA
gaysforpatsy.org/dirty-water-saloon
We are working on Two Step this month and reviews of line dances.
Tonight:
7:00-7:45 pm: Alan Gaskell is teaching a two step move (he may be a few minutes late)
7:45: pm-8:15 pm: Kendra is teaching a line dance of some sort that will be fun
8:15-10:00 pm Bob is DJing the social dance portion

That’s it for now,
Bob “da prez” Sweeney
Gays for Patsy.

Dancing galore in August and September

Learn West Coast Swing with Alan Gaskell
Learn West Coast Swing with Alan Gaskell at Dirty Water Saloon August 23 and 30, 2017

I realized I wrote a novella. So for those like me who hate to read:

In this email (just the facts mam):

  • IAGLCWDC Annual Convention in Miami Memorial Day Weekend – Early bird deadline Aug 30 – register now and book hotel if you’re going!
  • Opening GFP Queer Country Social dance SUNDAY September 11 from 3-7 pm. Featuring new line dance “So just Dance! Dance! Dance! and a performance by our award winning dance troupe, The Boston ReneGAYdes.
  • Alan Gaskell to teach West Coast workshop at Dirty Water Saloon, Tuesday, August 23 and 30! Also a special 90s theme night 8/30.
  • Gays for Patsy is Growing — a primer on what is GFP and what we offer
  • Out and About: American Sundays; Waltz with Merinda’s Hearth; Smokies; and Shopping!

IAGLCWDC 2017 Convention Early Bird Registration Ending August 30

Save $100 by registering now
Scheduled to be Memorial Day Weekend, May 25–29, 2017, the next IAGLCWDC convention is in conjunction with World Outgames and, as such, the price, registration, and hotels are going to be going fast and furious. Early Bird Registration ($150) ends August 30, after which it will start to go up to $250.

Registration is through the Out Games but please read through the registration information on the IAGLCWDC site (https://outhoedown.com/2017/miami/) especially the section on directions. If you plan to compete the price will be charged separately. The competitions for this are medal events. Consider competing. You may come home with a gold bronze or silver. 🙂

Hotels Out Games has booked all the hotel rooms in Miami so if you haven’t already done so, do it through their site (link on the registration page). A number of us booked into the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport & Convention Center after the Columbus hoedown to secure a room in advance. We will be sharing the hotel with Dancesport Ballroom and it will fill up quickly.

Opening GFP Queer Country Social Dance, SUNDAY, September 11

We decided to have our opening dance on Sunday this year as our usual Saturday slot is taken up by Open Studios. I’m excited that we are bringing back Sunday dances. It is a great time frame to both dance your butt off and still be ready for work and for those traveling from outside Boston, it also allows people to be home at reasonable time. We are keeping it simple the first time out, with just a basic two step at 3 pm with Beth followed by the line dance “So Just Dance! Dance! Dance! at 3:30 pm (teacher tbd — probably Kendra or myself). Then the DJ (tbd) will play from 4-7. Followed by ice cream at JP licks. If you loved Sundaydances, then here’s your opportunity to make sure they get reinstated next year. Ask your friends, talk it up on face book, etc. We have slated four spring Sundays that we hope to offer workshops for the lesson part.

Alan Gaskell to teach West Coast at Dirty Water Saloon Tuesday, August 23 and 30

Join us as Alan Gaskell teaches West Coast Swing lessons from 7-7:45. Followed by a line dance lesson from 7:45-8:15 (8/23: So Just Dance! Dance! Dance! with Kendra; 8:30 “Back Street Attitude” with Alia). From 8:15-10 Bucky will be DJing 8/23 and Sam will DJing 8/30. Sam’s playlist on 8/30 is a special “Back to the 90’s” playlist that should be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there.

Gays for Patsy is Growing

Earlier this year we took over Dirty Water Saloon. I started to think about our dances and how they differ and how we should look at them. I think of Gays for Patsy as a parent with four children: Dirty Water Saloon, Queer Country Socials, Spring Stomp: a Hoedown in P-town!, and the ReneGAYdes. In all our dance venues, we offer country western dance instruction mostly focusing on two step, line dancing, west coast swing, and waltz. I hope to bring more styles into play like east coast, and more polka (at the IAGLCWDC convention in July, I learned a smoother less energetic way than the King and I version i learned growing up). The music we play will be contemporary country, pop, and r&b and be flavored by the DJ interests. The dance venues have their own personality though.

  • Queer Country Socials (QCS) I started calling the Saturday/Sunday dances “Queer Country Socials” a few years back (rather than the obscure official name “Lambda Ranch.”) I think QCS self describes the dance and is more likely to be picked up on search engines and social media than Lambda Ranch or even Gays for Patsy. Because it’s only run once (or twice) a month, the learning rate bit slower and it is a bit more country flavored than the other venues. We hope to reintroduce workshops in the spring adding it to the Sunday dances (tentatively a two step, a west coast swing (or two), and a line dance boot camp). These will replace the usual lessons on those days and require pre registration for them to run. We are working out the details for these still and should have more by the end of the fall to announce in the spring.
  • Dirty Water Saloon (DWS) is a weekly Tuesday night dance at Bella Luna Restaurant in JP. It features a little more funky music, a lot of line dances, and has a restaurant at hand to have food and adult beverages if one should so choose. They are more likely to play with the music choices and experiment with line dances than the Queer Country Social. Mostly this is do to the weekly nature. If you really want to up your two stepping and learn some line dance, this is where you should go.
  • Spring Stomp: A Hoedown in P-town! will be hosting our 25th year in 2017! We are planning stage right (targeting April 28-30) now but we are looking at the format and may expand it’s offerings a bit. We are exploring the additional costs of having two dance tracks for Saturday (beginners and intermediate), an additional Sundaymorning/early afternoon dance, and private lesson opportunities. If you would like to help explore these with me, please let me know. I hope to get numbers soon and set prices/deadlines by end of September.
  • The Boston ReneGAYdes have always been a part of Gays for Patsy and are starting to do more performances outside of our own dances. Beth’s last choreography was very well received in Columbus. We will be performing for the opening dance on September 11, please come and watch. Upcoming we’re planning performing in P-town this October, at the Big Apple Ranch in November. We are also looking for gigs too. A bit thank you to Beth for keeping us organized and for polishing our routines. If you think you’d like to join the Renegaydes, this would be a great time as we’re just discussing the next routine. A sign-up sheet will be at the Sept 11 dance and Dirty Water Saloon.

Out and About

  • Americana Sundays at Thunder Road in Somerville. 7-10 pm, $5 cover. Just a shout out to those of you who loved Americana Mondays with Greg Klyma. Greg has a new night and venue! Thunder Road is a new restaurant/bar that rose from the ashes of Radio. The place is very clean, with a modest dance floor that we can expand as needed, the bar food is “okay” (definitely eatable but not gourmet), and the bar is well stocked. The crowd is mixed (ie, straight and queer) and no one blinks an eye at same sex couples dancing. I’m going to miss the next few due to renegaydes practice but you’ll see familiar faces there. Greg is a showman that I thoroughly enjoy.
  • Waltzing Night with Miranda’s Hearth at the Democracy Center in Harvard Square on the 4th Sunday of the Month (August 28) from 6:30-11 pm. Jay and Ted have been going to this the past few months. It’s pretty cool from what they say.
  • Julie and Art go to Smokey’s (a dance at the Moose Lodge in North Reading. It’s mostly line dances. I’ll get more info out soon or on the website. It’s a straight suburban venue that I’ve gone to a couple times, nice people.

Whew! That was a novella fer sure.

Hope to see you on the dance floor!

Bob “da prez” Sweeney