About Same Sex Partner Dancing
"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
Kathleen A. Carbone from Somerville,
Same-sex, queer, gay or lesbian partner dancing
has a rich history in Boston dating back about 25 years. However,
although LGBT couples can legally marry, many lesbian,
gay or queer folks in the greater Boston area feel extremely self-conscious
when learning to dance in a class consisting solely of presumably heterosexual
dance students. It's a unique time in history: our social acceptance hasn't caught up with our legal rights!
Whether a would-be dancer identifies as lesbian, gay,
queer, bisexual, transgender or transsexual, gender and sexual orientation
should be a non-issue on the dance floor. Unfortunately, that's not
usually the case, even in progressive Massachusetts. OUT to Dance is a lesbian owned and operated studio, and we have been using the dance terms "leader and follower" forever, (while most dance studios are still referring to dancers as "men and ladies", with the assumption that men always lead, and "ladies" always follow.)
OUT to Dance
carries on the tradition it helped establish in Boston in the 1980s
of providing a safe, welcoming, fun and fabulous atmosphere for all
people who want to learn to dance. We offer Dance
Classes for Everyone, which are open to all, and GLBT
Dance Classes which are geared specifically for dancers who identify
as LGBTQA, lesbian, gay, queer, bisexual, trans, or more. At OUT
to Dance, leading or following is a choice, not a restriction.
OUT to Dance has been a pioneer in offering same sex dance classes as a proud contributing member of the GLBTQ community for over 25 years.
OUT to Dance warmly welcomes adults of any age, race, sexual orientation, body size, or level of dance experience.
Lead or Follow?
One of the joys of same-sex or queer partner dancing is the choice
of whether to lead or follow. (Although heterosexual dancers also
have this choice, a majority who bring their significant other to
dance class are currently choosing to dance in the traditional roles
of men leading and women following. Someday this will probably shift.
We salute the straight renegades who exercise their freedom of choice
at our studio!)
Your choice can vary in each dance you learn; you're
not relegated forever to any one role.
Leading is a bit more intellectual than following.
Although all new dancers will need to engage their brains while learning,
leaders do a little more of that than followers. Followers have no
less interesting tasks; they do more spinning, less anticipating,
and when the dance calls for it, more traveling backwards (though
not necessarily in high heels!) The leader is the choreographer, and
the follower dances the choreography, although all this choreography
in social dance is spontaneous, never memorized. In a nutshell, I
simply suggest that the leader is the Control Queen (or King) and
the follower isn't. ;)
Can You Have It All?
Learning the lead and the follow of a single dance in
a single lesson is often confusing, and progress is slow. If you are
interested in learning both roles in one dance, we strongly suggest
you learn the lead in one class or lesson and the follow in another
lesson. Or learn to follow in salsa and lead in swing, for example,
then eventually learn the opposite role another time. However, no
one is obligated to learn both roles if you prefer one over the other.
Do what feels right for you. We want you to experience maximum joy
in your dance class!
Dance Classes For The Gay, Lesbian and Queer Community
What style of dance lessons do we offer the lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer community? Look for classes in Queer Swing, Queer Ballroom,
Queer Latin Dance, Queer Tango, Queer Salsa, Queer Two Step (isn't all two-steppin' queer in Boston?), Queer
Waltz and Foxtrot, Queer Wedding Dance, and much more! What makes these dances queer? Your
freedom to dance with the gender of your choice, in the dance role
of your choice, with other LGBT folks. Of course, we also offer classes for everybody, not
exclusively gay or lesbian dancers: Swing Dance,
Salsa and Merengue, Ballroom Dance, Wedding Dance, and all of the
above dances for everyone.
A note on our use of the word "Queer"
Wikipedia explains it well: "The word queer in
reference to LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex,
etc.) communities as well as those perceived to be members of those
communities has replaced the traditional definition. Its usage is
considered controversial and underwent substantial changes over the
course of the 20th Century with some LGBT re-claiming the term as
a means of self-empowerment. The term is still considered by some
to be offensive and derisive, and by others as a re-appropriated term
used to describe a sexual orientation and/or gender identity or gender
expression that does not conform to heteronormative society."
Our queer and LGBT dance students drive from far and wide to enjoy our dance classes.
Our two OUT to Dance studio locations, West
Roxbury and Roslindale, MA, are within twenty
minutes of downtown Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park,
Roxbury, 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.