What a great opening night for our Queer Country Social dance. We had roughly 20 people show up for the beginner lesson. Most were a meetup group event and a few from a south shore group.
It was amazing to see these people come out and do something they never done before. Most had not danced anything like social dancing since they were in grade school.
I was the basic two step teacher and I’m amazed they all picked up the basic two step pattern and go through a line dance lesson that was not easy. They rocked.
I’m sure they didn’t feel that way, I know I didn’t when I first came to a dance back in 2003. It took me many months to work up the nerve to step through that door. The only dance experience I had was on the club scene. I was looking for something a bit better than a bar to find someone. I didn’t expect to find a community. That first dance, Bucky came up to say hello and asked me to dance. How daunting! I sucked — toes were stepped on, I think I hit Ruth with my elbow, and my turns were all over the place (sorry Jim). There were so many people infinitely better than I was — I felt so clumsy and awkward. But Bucky reminded me that I never did this before and encouraged me to keep at it. I did. So much so that I’m president of the club and help DJ, teach, organize, and am part of the performance group. While I didn’t find a partner, I found a bunch of friends and my life is richer for it.
Social dancing is challenging but fun. A 2003 New England Medical Journal article “Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly“, showed that out of 18 activities, social dancing was significantly more effective at keeping your faculties as you grow older. I believe it’s the combination of being hyper aware of your surroundings while socializing and moving to the rythm of music.
You just don’t get that in a gym.
I love this group for their mix of ages, genders, and ability levels — the most refreshing is that we mix it up. We don’t care what role you dance, who you love, what color your skin. We just like to dance and hope you do too.
Gays for Patsy hosts three events:
weekly dances (Dirty Water Saloon) at Bella Luna Restaurant in JP on Tuesdays from 7-10 pm
monthly dances (Queer Country Social) at the church (3rd Saturdays from Sept-May and a Friday June 1 pride dance)
I also love going to Americana Sundays in Somerville on Sundays from 8-10 at Thunder Road on Somerville Ave. that features a live band lead by Greg Klyma – a queer friendly guy who took his date to one of our dances and loved it. Though not a queer venue, we end up taking over the dance floor more than not. It is a small venue and quite not intimidating at all.
I hope to find you on the dance floor. Ask me to dance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Here at Gays for Patsy, we’ve come up with a bunch of fun opportunities for you to learn country western dance styles in April.
As soon as Tuesday, you can learn a two-step move, the mechanics of country waltzing, west coast swing, tango, and more from professional dance instructors. Come to our weekly (Dirty Water Saloon), monthly (Queer Country Social), or our yearly (Spring Stomp!) and you’ll be dancing and having fun before you know it.
No experience or partner required, just a willingness to have fun.
We offer a safe welcoming environment to LGBTAQ+S* folk to learn country western dancing and have fun while doing it.
*LGBTQA+S = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Questioning, Asexual and Straight (or just queer). We don’t care who you are, just come with a willingness to have fun and not worry about gender roles.
If you love line dancing, we’ll be teaching Counting Stars and Burlesque and a bunch more (still gathering our line up). Check out our list of line dances to see what we’ve taught in the past few years and of course we’re always willing to learn or play your requests.
Here’s some of the queer dances that are coming up:
7 pm: Alan Gaskell teaches a new two step move (March 28). In April we’ll most likely be focusing on west coast swing but stay tooned. Last week Alan lead us through a fun catch and release move. Come see what he’s devised for this week.
7:45 pm: Kendra will teach “Counting Stars” Line Dance! (March 28) April line dances slate yet to be figured out.
Kendra will teach the second week we focus on Counting Stars. It’s a tough one but very satisfying to learn.
8:15-10 pm: Social dancing with DJ Bucky (or possibly Sam).
We’ll be playing music to two step, west coast swing, east coast swing, line dance galore, and more.
3-4 pm: Country Waltz Workshop with Julie Kauffman
Learn what makes country waltz different from ballroom and what the following moves are about: rise and fall, drive/flight/compress, twinkles, and weaves. Julie will start off with technique, then add in twinkles, weaves, and as many combinations as time allows. This will be a great class for anyone who desires to learn and better their waltz.
4-7 pm: Social dancing with DJ (tbd)
Along with our usual two step, west coast, line dances, and east coast, we’ll be playing more waltzes for you to practice what you learn. The music will be a selection of country, pop, and r&b that will get ya on the dance floor.
6:30 pm: Beth will teach basic two step
learn the basic two step the basic pattern, a hesitation move, and an inside turn that will get you around the dance floor.
7 pm. Patrick will be Intro to Tango
He’ll be taking you through the basics of tango. This will be new for a lot of us. The perfect opportunity to try something new.
7:30 pm. Beth will be teaching the tango-inspired “Burlesque” Line Dance
She’ll get us through this fun dance step-by-step.
8-11 pm: Social dancing with our DJ (tbd).
We’ll add a number of tangos to the regular mix of two step, west coast swing, east coast swing, line dance, and waltz for you to experiment with throughout the night.
Spring Stomp! A Hoedown in P-town gaysforpatsy.org/stomp Our 25th anniversary weekend! Join us for a weekend of three and a half dances, 5 workshops (two step, 2 line dances, west coast, and either a hustle or a nightclub), and socializing galore. Our dances will feature music to two step, west coast, east coast, line dance, hustle, nightclub, waltz, cha cha (you can see we have a bunch of styles to keep ya moving) and it is proving to be a hoot!. See the website for full details but it’ should be a blast. We will also have a performance from our own Boston RenedGAYdes during Saturday night dance. See the routine they’re taking to the Out Games in Miami this memorial day!
Half-Hour Private lessons for only $50! First come first served. Take this opportunity to have a private lesson with Simone or Alan on Saturday or with Simone before the Sunday dance. These will fill up fast, so act now to reserve your spot!
Book your Sunday Brunch now!
If you want to take part of the Sunday brunch from 8-10 am at Sage Inn and Lounge! Buy your ticket now! I need to get numbers to them soon!