Queer+Gender Inclusive dance lessons+field trips in Lekwungen Territories (aka victoria, b.c.)

acknowledgments

All Genders Queer Social Dance classes and events are a way for community to come together not only to enjoy beautiful forms of dance, but to also learn respectful ways of being with ourselves, each other, and with this beautiful land. Thank-you for visiting this website!

We would like to express deep gratitude to the Peoples who have been dancing here since time immemorial. Specifically the All Genders Queer Social Dance Collective has been dancing & website-creating in buildings in unceded Lekwungen (Songhees) Territories – in downtown Victoria, the “bowker” creek watershed and within the Kwetlal (camas/oak) Food System.

 

Image of two shoe soles in front of a rainbow flag.Some folks have mentioned being excited about getting back into Tango.

Are you interested in learning some Queer Tango? (We forget a lot of what we learned in 2012, so no worries if you haven’t learned any tango yet – beginners are very welcome).

One option, if we have at least a dozen people interested, is to set up our own Queer Tango lessons (possibly Fridays at 6pm, or another time), which takes some more time for finding a teacher, venue and fundraising. Another option is to do Rainbow Flocking (field trips) if we find Tango classes with gender-inclusive language and an accessible venue that are already happening in town (e.g. possibly checking out classes Fridays 8pm).

If interested, be in touch. (-:

Favourite dance moves skills-share & planning mtg

Thursday July 24th

7:30pm – 9pm

at Heart & Hands Health Collective (851 Cormorant Street)

Free / donations encouraged to help cover costs

New people welcome. No prior dance experience needed.

 

Tentative plan for the 24th:

45 minutes for teaching each other our favourite dance moves (no pressure to share a move) + some basics of leading & following.
and 45 minutes to plan what we’d like to do next
(Possible topics: What type(s) of dance would we like to focus on learning? And in what setting… do we want to organize our own dance tutorials? do rainbow flocking (go on field trips to local dance events)? collaborate with existing dance events on gender deconstruction and/or having a queer night once a month?)

 

Links to some videos of people partner dancing in a few styles:
*feel free to send links to more examples!


Lindy Hop
 and Swing

Max Pitruzzella & Alain Wong – Showcase

Yale Swing & Blues Birthday Jam

Slow Club – Two Cousins

Happy Frankie 100 from Swingin’ Out

Max and Thomas – Wedding Dance

 

Fusion and Blues 

Awesome / Fusion (video link doesn’t identify the dancers)

Urban Blues Recess Strictly Competition Finals (brief performances by 6 couples)

Urban Blues Recess – Gender Bender Competition

Electro-Fusion – Shantala Davis, Connor English, Wren LaFeet, Stealin’

Queer Blues Fusion facebook page

 

p.s. if you want even more dance videos, see the links to a bunch of videos of people dancing tango (a whole bunch of intriguing procrastination linked from there!), and bachata (click here or here).

Dance poster for our all ages, sober, dance party falling on the anniversary of the Stonewall rebellionThere will be a free-form partner dance lesson this Saturday June 28th at 8:15pm, as part of Homospun Collective’s all ages LGBTQ dance.

A couple of people from the Rhythm Room (Keisha and Aubrey) will be teaching a beginner blues dance lesson at 8:15pm. Blues dancing  ‘is a partner dance that doesn’t have set steps so it is easy to learn and improvise. It can often be danced very close (but not grinding/sexual!). There are options to dance in a more open embrace.’

We will each choose which role we would like to learn (follow or lead). No need to come with a partner – for the lesson we’ll all be rotating around the circle and get to dance with many people.

Check out these links for more info about the event: the Homospun event details, and if you are on Facebook.

 

p.s. Some samples of social dance are in the next post.

p.p.s. Anyone who will also be at pride festivals the following weekend – you are welcome to be part of a simple flashmob! We’ll check in after the lesson this Saturday about if there are enough people for a brief flashmob in the park either at the Alt Pride Community Festival or the Pride Festival.

p.p.p.s. As in the one-hour lesson we will not be able to go into it, there are some of us who will be meeting in the summer to learn about blues dancing’s contexts and origins with African-American communities’ music and dance, and in recent decades the contexts of blues dancing in swing dance communities. (Apologies that the links in this paragraph don’t have the best language; if anyone has a better link, please feel free to share it. Thank-you!)

The flock is heading out to blues dance Friday!

Venue: Sabor Asi Dance Studio, 1303 Broad St.from 8:45pm pm to 12am.

I will be hanging out at the Wild Coffee Shop downstairs from 8:30-8:50 if anyone wants to meet up before the dance and head up together. Note that there are stairs up to the dance venue.

*** Indoor shoes or socks only! No heels.

A free drop-in lesson will be taught from 9pm-9:45pm. Katie and Keisha will be teaching this week. The lesson will be gender inclusive. They also sometimes have lead, follow and switch stickers at the dance if you want to advertise your preferred dance role(s).

DJ’d music from 9:45pm-12am!

Costs:

$0 for first time at this dance*

$5 for Students/Out of town

$6 for SDAV Members

$7 for Adults

*I will have admit one passes for first time blues dancers or people needing financial assistance. Just ask!

Blues dancing is a partner dance that doesn’t have set steps so it is easy to learn and improvise. It can often be danced very close (but not grinding/sexual!). There are options to dance in a more open embrace and sometimes there are people doing solo dancing as well.

-R

Rainbow Flocking – Saturday, March 8th – Live Swing Band!

Photo of a flock of birds flying in front of a rainbow above mountains

Venue: St. John’s Hall.
Address: 925 Balmoral Rd.

Time: 8:30pm – 12:30am*
 
Cost (to be confirmed)*:
$13 – Adults
$12 – Members
$10 –  Students
 

*I have discount cards for anyone who can’t afford the full rate. I think they take $5 off the cost (to be confirmed). We may also have group funds to help folks out. 

 
Band: Doug Rhodes Quintet
 
There is a beginner lesson from 8:30-9:15. The content is similar to the beginner lessons we have had recently (basic step, tuck turn, changing places). Historically, this lesson has used gendered language. There are usually people of all genders doing both roles (lead or follow), but there can be some awkward moments where new people try to assume your role by how you look. If you are uncomfortable with the lesson and still need to learn the basics, there will be a few of us available to show you the steps after the lesson.
 
I will try to take over a table near the door. I will wear my unicorn jumping out of a rainbow t-shirt for the occasion! If anyone has a rainbow something for the table, bring it along.
 
-R

Beginner Swing lesson Feb. 22

Hi all!

Matt and Katie have volunteered to teach a swing lesson next Saturday, February 22nd at 7pm at Heart & Hands Studio (851 Cormorant St.). [Click here to RSVP and for details. There is limited space.]

It will be a beginner lesson like last Saturday so no experience necessary. They will probably teach a different move or two. It would be a good opportunity to try out a different role (lead/follow) if you were at the last lesson.

After the lesson we can put on some swing music and have an open practice (this seemed to work well after the lesson at Homospun).

Cheers,

R

Swing Dance Lesson Feb. 15

Heart Beats 3000, Queers in Space poster

8:30 pm this Saturday, is the swing practice before the homospun dance! I hope that many of you can make it…

If you are on facebook and so inclined, please help promote the event, and remind interested folks about the lesson!

🙂

-D

Location:

Odd Fellows Hall, 1315 Douglas St
Lkwungen Territories

More details about the Homospun dance party.

Plotting dance for 2014

Photo of a wide rainbow and flock of birds flying towards itRainbow Flocking / All Genders Queer Social Dance hang-out: Plotting dance for 2014

Saturday January 18th at 1:00pm

at Solstice Cafe (529 Pandora Ave.) in Lkwungen Homelands

We’ll be at a table with a small orange bird sitting on a rainbow scarf


Things we could chat about (:

1) setting up more All Genders Queer Social Dance classes (what types? where?),

2) doing Rainbow Flocking field trips (Queers crashing heteronormative dance parties / possible collaborating e.g. on gender deconstruction or a queer night once a month).

3) stewarding the collective: capacity & sharing roles

4) picking some dates & next steps!
____

Below is more background/ ideas/ notes from last year

compiled so everyone has the same info

– it’s for reading IF/when you have time.

____

SETTING UP CLASSES:

What types of dance would we like to learn?

In 2012-13 we set up a series of Queer Tango classes and events, as well as some all genders queer salsa, bachata and swing, but the group could try additional styles, or focus in on one or two to improve on.

When we meet we could figure out which styles of dance we’re most interested in this year.

Brainstorming re: venues for setting up classes (:

Setting up series of classes and one-time events takes some more planning & energy – it’s more time-consuming for finding a venue, donations, logistics, and spreading the word. It would be great to brainstorm creative ways to find accessible venues that can be donated space!

_______________

RAINBOW FLOCKING NOTES COMPILED:

Brainstorming about Rainbow Flocking:

At a dance collective meeting fall 2012, people brainstormed a few ideas:

‘-dance space takeover / ‘bring your own bubble’
-could have potluck & connect as a group before dance events & go together
-could even bring in idea for masks & coordinating outfits to this… kinda like flashmob!
-if we go somewhere and doesn’t feel like a good space, can leave & make our own thing somewhere that feels safer – e.g. could choreograph for group leaving venue together with coordinated jazz hands ;), perhaps go do a flash mob’

Notes from All Genders Queer Tango Learning Collective meeting (Sept. 20, 2012 with 15 people):

“Idea for Queer social dance network?: figure out an online private way to connect
-e.g. google calendar (shared group email log-in to the calendar)? Add dates of classes/ events that those interested could go to as a group (e.g. “queer invasion” of het-normative space), and people could add name to private calendar if they’re planning on going.
-there are people in the group who this would not be accessible to or feel safe-enough; it can take a lot just to make it to Queer Tango.”

Which format would we like for flocking planning & being in touch? (e.g. shared group gmail account that people log into and add to a google-calendar about who’s going to what event? A shared google-doc that people add to? google-group email listserv? a Facebook grp if everyone is on FB? a Facebook page with a few admin ppl, who post an update with field trip details after it`s decided on google-doc? Drop-box shared doc? …?)

For future Rainbow Flocking:

Ideas from last year for future field trips: Bachata; Dancehall Night; Sat. Swing; Tango Fusion; Club Salsa (twice a month on Fridays. we tried this one last year; would be better with a bigger flock…).

Reflections from N. after the Queering Salsa field trip in March 2013: I think definitely connecting before hand, whether a potluck or just somewhere to gather first to make sure we are all comfortable, can go with the group, have an obvious symbol for others trying to find us, and also to make a gameplan (i.e. what to do if…).  Or we could see if the existing dance events would be up for some gender deconstruction to shift the environment for everyone and/or having a queer night once a month?

Art/ creative responding hang-out?

Alongside the Rainbow Flocking ideas mentioned above, perhaps we could have an arts/crafts hang-out sometime and create:

-response trading cards with art/ comics/ cartoons (e.g. about teaching dance with gender-inclusive language and activities, etc.) to gift to people when they use unhelpful language/ behaviour?

-educational zine for social dance teachers

-rainbow flocking flashmob outfits 😉

________________

STEWARDING THIS COLLECTIVE!

Capacity & Shared Roles (:

Perhaps we could have 2 co-contact people for each wing/aspect: so 2 people bottom-lining for setting up classes, and 2 people bottom-lining field trip logistics? And aiming to rotate the roles to new people around every 6 months / bringing in new co-contact people whenever someone needs to step back?

This doesn’t mean the co-contact people (or whatever we’d like to call the role) are taking on all the work; it just means there are always at least a couple people staying on top of keeping things going; and the process for rotating the roles and stepping back when needed is normalized.

Skills-sharing re: event-organizing & computer stuff (:

Maybe we could have a skills-share hang-out with everyone, perhaps in February, so people who have experience with events-organizing, group logistics, computer & internet programs, etc. can share what they know with people who might not be as familiar with these?

Thanks everyone! No worries if you don’t have time to read through this message before the hang-out!

-J

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