Gay / Lesbian / Queer/ Same Sex (LGBT) Wedding Dance Lessons
Review from Julie and Laura, Somerville, MA:
"What can we say – Liz made all of our wedding dance dreams come true! We took salsa lessons with Liz several years ago and had a blast, so when it came time to think about our wedding dance, we knew just where to turn. We couldn't have been more right. As always, Liz was helpful, supportive, and so fun to work with!
We were nervous about our dance, and wanted to show off our skills to our friends. From the first lesson, Liz helped us dance with ease, and encouraged us to just enjoy the dancing – not plan it or choreograph it, but to be sure the dance felt like us. Those few weeks leading up to the wedding were stressful with other planning details, but going to dance lessons with Liz was truly the joy of those weeks, getting to spend time together, laughing, dancing and enjoying it all.
When it came time for our wedding dance it was a piece of cake! We were able to incorporate all of the steps she had taught us, had the confidence to keep our heads up and enjoy the moments, and really tune-in to one another. It's now one of our favorite parts of both the planning and of our actual wedding day.
We continue to get comments about how great our dance was – what a self-esteem booster! People even sent us videos of our dance, which we were so grateful to have (we didn't hire a videographer). We watch them over and over, it brings us right back there. We looked pretty good! :) Thanks Liz for making our first dance truly the best, and for helping us have the most fun and loving preparation. We can't thank you enough!" ~Julie & Laura, Somerville, MA
Your First Dance: A Moment Of Fabulousness!
Liz Nania, Director, OUT to Dance
At Last! I can't possibly overestimate the value of legal same-sex marriage in every state. This will do more to eradicate homophobia in every corner of the country than any or us ever imagined. As a queerly married dance instructor, I get it. And more good news: we queer folk get to create our own wedding traditions. So what will you and
your spouse-to-be do with that?
Envisioning your dance: When you're planning
your wedding, the fantastic part about being lesbian, gay, trans or queer is
the freedom to choose which traditions you'll keep, and how you'll
keep them. If you choose to have a first dance, the possibilities
are truly endless. Who will lead, who will follow, or will both?
Will your song be a romantic old torch song, an indie alternative,
or a little bit of opera? Couples often ask me if they'll be able
to dance to some unique particular song they love. My answer is
always an enthusiastic yes.
All you need is help finding the rhythm
and tempo, and tailoring your footwork to fit.
After many years teaching ballroom, salsa and swing dancing to
same-sex and opposite-sex couples, I know without a doubt you
can mold your dancing to fit absolutely any kind of music imaginable,
and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Find a dance teacher
who will respect your song choice.
Who should lead? Another bonus for queer people:
the best person for the job gets it! If you can't decide, I have some insight. The short answer to who should
lead is, the Control Queen should lead. (When I say this in class, couples often look at each other knowingly.) The leader
will be the person who feels more comfortable choosing and initiating
each step during your dance. It has nothing to do with height
or gender, it's about dance confidence. Sometimes it's also about
who would prefer to relax and forgo that responsibility (follow),
while trying not to anticipate each step, vs. needing to be in the driver's seat. The leader has the
more intellectual job and the follower has the more intuitive
job, and it takes two to tango!
Also, the follower will probably be spinning a bit more than
the leader. Can you trade off lead and follow? Of course, but
you're going to be spending twice as much time learning two roles,
hours which could be spent learning more fun moves; it's your
choice. (Also, most people
actually have a hard time identifying leader and follower in same-sex
dance couples, often making vague assumptions based on which dancer
may appear more butch in the moment.)
Choreography: How choreographed (read: memorized)
will you want your dance to be? Not very. The biggest mistake
couples make is expecting to have a completely choreographed performance,
and unless you dance for a living, this will do nothing but create
enough stress to eclipse all other wedding day stress. If you
forget one tiny move in your memorized routine, the rest of your
dance may collapse in a heap like Dorothy's house onto the Wicked
Witch of the West. When a couple works with me, I help them create
a beginning and an ending, and I teach them a repertoire of fun,
spontaneous steps to use naturally whenever they choose. Don't
let dance studios talk you into sinking lots of hours and cash
into choreographed routines; most of my students successfully
complete their wedding dance prep in about three hours of private
lessons, if their song is simple.
The most important thing to do in your first dance? Enjoy your
magical, romantic, intimate and joyful experience!
Dance Classes for LGBT Folks (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer)
On Sunday evenings we offer incredibly fun same-sex
dance classes primarily for lesbian, gay and queer dancers, and also
dance classes that are open to all,
(welcoming but not exclusively same-sex oriented) on Monday evenings
as well as other nights. We also teach beginner's dance lessons
at the Swingtime dances for LGBTQ folks in Brookline (see
right sidebar for details.) Not sure if you're ready? Scroll to
the bottom of the page to see what other lesbian, gay and transgender
folks have said about our dance classes.
Gay-Friendly Dance Classes:
(Open to all, not specifically LGBT folks): Monday evening Belly
Dance, Hip Hop, Ballroom, Salsa and Merengue, Swing, and more!
See our "Classes for Everybody"
Upcoming Classes and News
Sign up for our once-a-month email
news and specify GLBT classes, or both LGBT classes and Classes
We Are Award-Winning!
Liz Nania, director of OUT to Dance, was the recipient of the
Lesbian and Gay Achievement Award at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical
Center for outstanding contributions to the health and well-being
of the LGBT community outside the medical center. She received
this award to honor her many years of groundbreaking work teaching
and organizing dance for GLBT individuals.
Gay and Lesbian Dance Class Students Say:
"I recall my well-meaning sisters scoffing
when I said I was too embarrassed to take conventional dance classes.
They didn't understand how it feels to be the only gay/ transgendered
person in a room, especially in the traditionally gendered atmosphere
of dance class. You were Fred or Ginger according to your birth
certificate--period. OUT To Dance classes changed all of that
for many people for the first time."
Kathleen A. Carbone from
“John and I have become totally addicted
to these classes. It's a really fun date night out for us, and
as a bonus, we've made some new friends. Who knew?"
John and William from the North Shore, MA
"I drive from Worcester to West Roxbury for
these awesome classes, and my friend drives from New Hampshire.
That says a lot about what a great time we have!"
Sherry P. from Worcester, MA
“We felt totally comfortable dancing as partners
in a dance class full of other same-sex dancers; what a relief.
Plus, we made several new friends. What a blast!”
Denise and Pat from Cambridge, MA
Check out more of our current reviews.
When booking your wedding private dance lesson or class at our OUT to Dance studios in West Roxbury and Roslindale, MA, note that our studio locations are within twenty minutes of downtown Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Brighton, Allston, Brookline, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Norwood, Needham, Westwood, Milton and Quincy; and within 25 to 35 minutes of Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Wellesley, Natick, Waltham, Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton, Canton, Foxboro, Weymouth and surrounding towns. We are also less than an hour from Providence, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.