Atlanta has a very large population of gays but one sees very little same-sex dancing here, at least in the studios. I've seen only a couple of woman-woman couples and no man-man couples.
I'm not sure how I feel about same-sex couples in ballroom. I have no issues with gays (I work with several) and support same-sex marriage and all other rights for them.
A dance couple is, by definition, a man and a woman (this is not marriage, folks; this is more important). Dance is not sex and I'm not sure that it's legitimate to expect that a dance relationshp must reflect an intimate one.
But what folks do in their free time is really none of my business and if a couple of ladies want to boogie together then they should do so. In reality, we see women dancing together all of the time. Men, not so much.
My boss is gay - and a bit overweight. It wouldn't hurt him to hit the boards a few times a week.
Several gay dance clubs have opened and closed in Atlanta over the past twenty years. Those which feature C&W seem to have done OK. However, I have seen little evidence of widespread gay interest in Ballroom or Latin.
Terence: I didn't notice the article. Which issue/page? I'd be interested to read it, and must have missed it previously.
We were talking only the other day at the studio about whether there might be a small niche market for classes & social dancing for same-sex couples (not necessarily gay/lesbian), and I have been mulling it over in my mind. Argentine Tango could work really well: particularly as the roles of 'leader' and 'follower' need not be gender-based, and a same sex couple could easily (easily?) learn both roles and dance them interchangeably, something that social dancers can't really do (but which teachers take for granted).
I'm on the urban fringe of a major UK city, and it might just be a viable idea. Does anyone else have any thoughts?
Telemark, You should explore it further. You might have to be the one who invites the gays to the studio. I know a few gay men who know I dance, and they have the same human, non-sex related fears I had once: For one, they have the fear of looking uncoordinated, etc. and two, many of them think they need a partner. I have tried to convince a few to come to our studio because I would dance with them (I'm straight.) and many of the women would switch roles if necessary. I think that if you could get a few to come, more would follow or perhaps assist in creating a venue where they would feel more at ease.
Traditionally Argentine Tango is also danced between men, and not gay men either. In Argentina and here I have seen several of the men dance together. It becomes a strong powerful dance, a lot of aggression and movement. I mean you aren't going to see that in the typical homophobic macho man, too afraid to touch. It is such a treat to see two guys dance Tango.
As far as ballroom, I've seen male-male partnerships. I think they are fine except at the highest levels of competition. I would say there might be physical requirements of the male lead and the female follow that are gender specific.
The 'Practica' was an entirely male environment, though. A beginner would dance as follower, with more experienced leaders, for anything up to a year before being considered ready to try leading, and then would lead for anything up to another couple of years before anyone thought them ready to go to the Milonga and dance with a woman.
Of course, there were no teachers of tango, but perhaps that was just as well, given the laughable versions of the dance trotted out by most dance schools.
Anyway, must go, off to take a tango class - really.
A male dancing as a lady will never look as good as a lady, and thats any style of dancing. Lets take the Rumba with its beautiful leg lines in which the correct Latin shoes play an important part. Can we imagine a male wearing a ladies Latin shoe. And in the Standard Style. Can we imagine a male wearing a Court shoe and going into a Throwaway Oversway. It will never look as good. Lets remember that dancing is creating shapes in space and moving to beautiful music. Lets not make a mockery of it.
Can we imagine a male wearing a ladies Latin shoe.
You obviously haven't seen the film 'Kinky Boots' in which Chiwetel Ejiofor was just great.
Lets not make a mockery of it.
Not the idea at all. I don't really know enough about the genre (!) but suspect that most men wanting to dance with men don't particularly want their men to look or dance like women. I dare say there are some (no idea how many) transvestites who might want to dance, and of course, there is no problem with women dancing with women (unless you want to mock them for doing it).
One thing I did read in the IDTA's magazine with interest was the breakdown of the Association's income (as presented by the CEO in his address to the AGM). Many will assume that the activites (and income) are dominated by Ballroom & Latin: far from it. Freestyle, Ballet & Tap come 12&3, accounting for 49.5% of all income. Ballroom only accounts for 4.43% of income (and Classical Sequence just 0.6%). The Latin figure wasn't given this year, but last year's comparatives were Latin 15.89% & Ballroom 9.73%). So for Ballroom income to have halved (as a proportion of income) in just 12 months is a dramatic change, but one that wasn't actually commented on in the speech.
A secondary thought is that perhaps it is time that 'Classical Sequence' was no longer a 'core subject', with its own Associate, Licentiate & Fellowship qualifications, admitting newcomers to 'Full Member' status. Perhaps a single 'Diploma' (like Salsa & Argentive Tango) would be more appropriate? But this is off topic.
Working in law enforcement, with the more interesting offenders in society, I can tell you that there are men out there who look WAY better in women's high heel shoes than the majority of real ladies! Some of them are pretty hot looking. But, when the time comes when you realize that a certain person isn't a lady, you experience various reactions. It can be shocking and disappointing at the same time. :)
A secondary thought is that perhaps it is time that 'Classical Sequence' was no longer a 'core subject', with its own Associate, Licentiate & Fellowship qualifications, admitting newcomers to 'Full Member' status. Perhaps a single 'Diploma' (like Sal
Can I ask you to expand on your thinking behind this ?
Individuals, who gain a professional dance teaching qualification with the IDTA and are accepted into membership of the Association, may enter their pupils for IDTA examinations at amateur, performer and professional levels in the appropriate branches.
Professional teaching examinations are available in eight core subjects - four of which are termed Ballroom Branch subjects and these are: Ballroom, Latin, Classical Sequence and Freestyle.
A qualification in any of the 'core' branches confers full membership, and the right to enter pupils in ANY style.
With Classical Sequence representing very nearly zero % of the Association's income stream, it seems to have disproportionate representation as a 'core' subject. There is only one Salsa or Argentine Tango Diploma qualification, but Associate, Licentiate & Fellowship levels for a commercially moribund style. this just seems a bit over the top, but the issue is really of no interest to anyone outside the teaching profession.
Perhaps you should air your views on this on the Queensland Sequence Forum, as I know you are apt to do - that'll give 'em something to howl about, and it'll give the rest of us some good entertainment.
Well you haven't given any reason yet. That's what I wanted you to expand on. Do you think sequence events are run at a loss at the expense of other branches. Personally, I doubt that that is true, even if the events are fewer in number and less well supported. No-one will run these things at a loss. And, beyond benefiting from sponsored events, I don't really see how the income generated by a branch translates into anything meaningful for its members, in any branch, so, no, I don't think it should be linked to their membership entitlement. Apart from which, most people qualified in sequence (at least to a high level) are qualified in other branches anyway.
I have. I have suggested that for a branch of the Association to have, in its teaching qualification structure, parity with three others (Ballroom / Latin & Freestyle), and yet only generating 0.6% of the Association's revenue (mainly from Medal Tests), is perhaps rather odd.
But, as I suggested, this is not something that really is of concern to anyone outside the memebrship. Certainly, I am not attacking the Modern Sequence world. Perhaps that is a world that could do with its own qualification structure (the IDTA doesn't offer any Modern Sequence qualifications, except for amateur medal tests). The Classical Sequence world is a different world, a very small one, and there is, by and large, NO Classical Sequence presence in the ordinary social dancing scheme.
What does the Associate modular syllabus consist of? Five modules: Waltz Module, The Royal Empress Tango Module, Fylde Waltz Module, Britannia Saunter Module & Premier Two Step Module.
At a guess, only 1-2% of the social dance community could dance ANY of them, and the proportion of sequence dancers who could do better wouldn't be much higher. The small proportion of sequence club leaders and teachers who have any dance qualifications at all are probably qualified in other branches (most typically, Ballroom), and the few that actually hold Classical Sequence qualifications can dance them, but plough a lonely furrow.