Going Gay Square Dancing

Something that occurred to me after I wrote the last blog was that I never really described what makes “Gay Square Dancing” different from “Regular Square Dancing”. The answer is simply that anyone can dance either the men’s or women’s parts. One need not be a man to dance the men’s parts, nor a woman to dance the women’s. The dances and steps are exactly the same as in regular square dancing but on any given dance one gets to choose what part  you will dance for that dance. On the next dance you may pick the other part. Or you may be happy to just dance the men’s part or just the women’s part. It is all up to you and everyone else is perfectly okay with your choice (or they leave). It is perfect for TGs!!

Now that that has been cleared up, I can return to my plans. Having decided, in theory, to go to the dance, the next step was to decide what to wear. Unlike regular square dancing, attire at GSD (i.e. Gay Square Dancing), is entirely up to you. One can wear pretty much what you want be it jeans, shorts, skirts, etc.. Since there would be lots of movement I figured it would either be leggings or a skirt along with some kind of top. I had a mid-length blue denim skirt that I thought would be perfect for square dancing. Paired with a brown top and brown flats, it would be perfect. As a backup I brought along some brown leggings and a green sweater (for Christmas!).

The dance was at 7:30 and so I had time after work to eat and changed into the brown top and denim skirt. I drove to the church and found a mostly full parking lot which was sort of odd until I realized the church shared a parking lot with a synagogue. I found a parking space and walked to the door of the church meeting area. It was at that point, things went south. All of a sudden I had a complete loss of confidence about the whole venture, turned around, and headed back to my car. I left the parking lot and drove around the block, trying to figure out what happened. I found my way back to the parking lot, found a different place to park, and tried again. This time I looked into window and saw that almost none of the women were wearing skirts. I don’t know why this bothered me so but it did. I got to the door again, turned around, and headed back to my car. I was ready to give up. I left the parking lot again, drove around the block but this time I stopped and changed into the sweater and leggings. I felt instantly more confident. I drove back to the parking lot, got out my car, and walked in the front door. Somehow changing clothes made it all better.

Once inside I was met by a guy at a table who was collecting the $8 entry fee. I paid him, got a sticker with my name on it, and walked it. I had only wasted 30 minutes and still had 90 minutes of dance time. They were just finishing up a dance when I came in and so folks were moving back to the sides of a space where chairs and a snack table were waiting. I was feeling sort of nervous since I did not know anyone and was apparently the only T person there. Folks were friendly though and I felt okay. Fortunately the next dance was a line dance without partners and so I could start dancing without worrying about partner issues.

It was an easy dance to do and so I felt really comfortable doing it. After it was over, there was a short break and then it was time for a real square dance. I looked around for partners and this friendly guy came up to me and asked me to join him in his square. I said okay and there I was in a square with 3 men, 4 women, and me! Two women were dancing together along with 2 male/female couples. We all smiled, introduced outselves, and waiting for the caller to start. I turned out the guy who asked me was straight and was there with his wife. Both were regulars as were several other straight couples (you don’t have to be gay to enjoy Gay Square Dancing!). There were 3 other squares with all combinations of partners.

The dance was simple and fun. Since it was a beginner session, the caller lead us through all the steps. Most of the people there were class members and so were very familar with the steps and so were able to guide folks like me who last square danced in high school. I quickly got used to responding to instructions directed at the “ladies” and soon was not even thinking about it. After the dance was over we all hugged one another.

After a short pause, we started another dance. This time I was paired up with a young woman who took the man’s part and I continued in woman’s part. While I wanted to dance the woman’s parts for my own obvious reasons, it turned to be alot easier as a beginner to stick to one role. Trying to learn both parts would have been really hard. In this square we had 2 women dancing together, two male/female couples, and a woman and me. Again the other squares had all combinations of dancers. The dance was more complicated than the last one but I caught on quickly and had fun.

For the third dance, I ended partnered with a different guy. The dance was even more complex than the first two but I could follow it without much trouble. By this point I was just having fun!!

There might have been four dances but I don’t recall the fourth.

Between dances I chatted with folks. Everyone was friendly and pleasant. I was the only T person there (I think) but that did not seem to matter to anyone. Being there in my preferred gender felt like the most natural thing in the world!! It was also loads of fun.

I could get used to this.

 

 

 

 

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