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Gay square dancing returns to the Village Ballroom

Gay square dancing at the Village Ballroom

Special one time review from Eleanor Alice, a member of a queer women’s dance group, discusses the return of gay-friendly square dancing to the Village Ballroom. qPDX featured a review back in 2009 but the event has now returned and the Ballroom is under new management. Eleanor’s review is based off Sunday November 6th but it continues every week so check it out this Sunday!

I heard rhythmic live string-band music as I approached the Village Ballroom on NE Dekum Street- and inside I found a roomful of happy people dancing on a very ample, springy wood floor. The dance hall was very cheerful, clean, and well-lit. The caller was an incredibly enthusiastic woman from Seattle and my first square was all-female- eight very happy women dancing in a group.

There were not many men present at all and it was more common for women to be asking each other to dance- and enjoying each other a lot. Women displayed affection publicly and comfortably. I asked other women to dance every dance and we all had a great time. It was a refreshingly positive experience and I intend to be going back every Sunday night. Dancing to live music is very special, and if you can walk you can do this kind of dancing- nothing fancy to learn and everyone was more interested in having a good time than in being perfect. There was lots of laughing. Every dance is taught. There were women of all ages dancing together.

If you had a boring high-school or other experience square-dancing- this is NOT the same- be sure to see the video clip at the bottom of the review!

There is an adjacent room with another band just for sitting and listening, and a bar with microbrew beer and other beverages for those more interested in the music and chatting than dancing.

The organizers are making their own video from the dance tonight, but to get a feel of what the dance is like the video clip below gives a pretty good idea. The caller in the video below is the one we had tonight, and she will be back with her band soon.

The neighborhood feels safe, with good parking, and restaurants and other business are open during the dance.

This is a very good way to get some exercise effortlessly and meet new people- I made three new acquaintances in a short time and look forward to getting to know more people as the community around this dance gels.

Great short YouTube clip explains what this is all about.

Every Sunday Square Dance, 7-9PM,
Village Ballroom, 700 Northeast Dekum Street.
Admission- $7 sliding scale to the dance-
No cover charge to listen to the string band in the bar area

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