I attended last night’s “Queer Slow Dance” (I haven’t figured out if it’s a Queer Slow Dance or a Queer Slowdance… names are important to me: and I fear I might be getting that one wrong). I will have to get some pictures on a subsequent night; this was my second evening at this event, and it just didn’t seem the kind of atmosphere where I wanted to take pictures. I quite enjoyed it. It was the kind of night that started late (the doors open at 9:30, though the dance begins at 10:00) and went until early next morning. (I believe the scheduled time to end is at 3:00am, though due to travel time and subways I have to be out of there by 1:30. I have found that there are (theoretically) all-night buses that I can use after the subways shut down at 2:00, but I’ve not yet been adventurous enough to try them. Perhaps next time.) I’ve not yet fully experienced the late-night slow-dance afterburn.
But the premise of the evening is rather fun. There are no expectations for being able to dance well; or even at all. Some dance more “official” or learned dances; some of us just sway. (I believe that I got a bit of a reputation last night for being “hugger”.) There are marked “designated dancers” (an LED flower glows above their hearts) who search out those who aren’t dancing and who will not say “no” if asked. The theme of the night is being able to meet members of the community you’ve not met before, and to “ask someone new to dance”. I only wish I had found this kind of event in 2006, when I first moved back to the city.
There is no requirement about orientation. (It’s just a dance, c’mon.) The only requirement is that you be open to other sexualities. I remember the last time I enjoyed dancing with one of the other tall guys in the place; at 180 cm (6’3”) it is hard for me to find someone taller to dance with. (Like most of the world, Tim is shorter than me.) I remember that in the midst of the dance he mentioned his wife: and for an instant I was bummed. I was very glad to be married myself.
The Dance takes place on the first Saturday of the month (the next will be January 4th, 2014: the first dance of the New Year) and is held at Dovercourt House: 805 Dovercourt Road, Toronto. (The neighbourhood is a once-quite-poor area known as “Dovercourt Park”.) The building where the Dance is held an old dance studio/venue that appears to have been part of the community around Bloor and Ossington for quite a while, yet I could find little history about it. There was no entry in Wikipedia, though a short entry in Yelp. Though it seems that everyone is positive about it, there does not seem to be much history discoverable.
But I loved the evening. Had a great time. There’s one thing about dancing at a gay bar; it’s all about the competition, the noise: what I consider to be some of the worst aspects of our culture. This was just more relaxed, and fun. Although there were lots of guys dancing with guys and girls dancing with girls, there were plenty of the more usual pairs as well; it was well mixed and comfortable. I look forward to the next one, in January, though I must admit I’m already anticipating the events during the summer months as well.