So every now and again I feel like I'm a little ahead of my time... at least for my corner of the world. In October of 2009 I wrote about Same Sex Ballroom Dancing (SSBR) mostly because I had seen a couple audition for So You Think You Can Dance and I was slightly offended that the judges weren't more open to it. Quite honestly I can see how it may take a minute for the average audience member to take in the idea of two people of the same gender dancing ballroom, but for dance professionals it shouldn't be any big surprise that Rumba was dang good.
The first time I saw to men dancing Waltz together was back when I started ballroom. Two of the male pros from the studio I attended were practicing their following skills, because every professional should be good at both. I hope to one day be good at both as well, because it is a true mark or an accomplished Ballroom dancer in my opinion. Shortly after that I had a gay couple who wanted to take a guest lesson for me at that same studio, they told me to ask the owners if it was okay. (I thought it was silly to have to ask, who wouldn't want to have a shot at new students?) I asked and was informed that my friends would only be allowed to come in on Saturday when next to no one would be around, because a gay couple dancing may offend some of the more conservative clientele. Had I been older, or wiser, or bolder, or the person I am now... I would have held my ground against this level of discrimination. I was also informed that the pros would not be allowed to dance in same gender practices during open hours any longer for the same reason. I personally find this completely ridiculous.
Now in 2014 I am pleased to say that Get On The Floor Dance Company is one of the first, if not THE first Ballroom Dance company in Chicago to openly and proudly welcome couples of the LGBTQ community! I LOVE this about them! (I love this organization for more reasons than I can count, but this is one of the biggies!) I don't think it's at all right to deny any individual the joy of dancing, much less because they happen to love someone of the same gender.
There are lots of reasons why I actually really like to watch SSBR, the choreography is really interesting because the partnership can change leading and following roles and often do so very seamlessly. There have been many times I have gone down a You Tube rabbit hole of SSBR to study the lead/follow transitions. (Yep... I'm a total geek like that) If you go back to the original post on SSBR I'm also in love with some of the costume designs... yes, that is a man in an orange tail suit with floats. ;-)
Video 1 this week is from the World Championship Latin A Final Round of the worldOutgames that took place in Antwerp this past year. This couple is from the Czech Republic and took 2nd place. There was a couple from the US and they took 3rd. :-)
Not to be outdone, the ladies got their chance to dance as well! This is the International (formerly known as Standard) C Final (the letters refer to the age of the dancers competing) No lead/follow switching here, but still fun to watch.
So, if you're in Chicago, coming to visit, and want to dance... Get On The Floor Dance Company is the place to do it! Also.. I should mention that there is a SALE going on lesson packages RIGHT NOW through Jan 5th... The already affordable private lessons are now EVEN MORE AFFORDABLE! How can you NOT want to try Ballroom Dancing in Chicago now?? Click above, call Steve, 773-540-5901 tell him Kat made you do it. ;-)