Gay Square Dance @ The Village Ballroom!

To be honest, my first reaction when my friend asked me to come to gay square dancing with them was amused disbelief. Square dancing? Isn’t that a country thing? With queermos? In Portland?

Square Dancing @ The Village Ballroom

Square Dancing @ The Village Ballroom

I felt way to British (read: stiff-upper-lip) to be seen howdying around to country music, but, if ever learned anything, getting over myself sometimes is a good thing. Rejecting everything outright isn’t very sexy. It’s also not the foundation for diverse journalistic coverage of this awesome town! So although I skipped the cowboy boots, I did go to the square dancing, and although I didn’t get to dance (I can be shy, and my shoulder is out of order) I did make a promise to try it next time!

Square Dancing @ The Village Ballroom

Square Dancing @ The Village Ballroom

You probably know more about square dancing than I do (me being from somewhere else and all), but for all of those who don’t know, square dancing is a traditional form of folk dance, first described in 17th century England (see?) but commonly associated with the US. Dancers are coupled, and dance in squares, and a caller calls the dance moves that the dancers perform. Even though dancers are coupled, couples mix freely amongst other dancers in the squares, so everybody gets to dance with everybody else! Sounds gaytastic to me, personally.

Square Dancing @ The Village Ballroom

Square Dancing @ The Village Ballroom

Community square dance isn’t a strictly queer event, but typical of Portland, everyone mixes freely and it’s accepting of everyone. I saw a Gay Square forming, but it doesn’t need to be that way. You don’t need to dress the part, but you can if you want, or you could wear a fantastic gingham suit, or a sexy red blouse. It’s up to you. Whether you’re a newbie to square dancing or a seasoned rambler, it’s more about the sheer fun of slamming around than it is of “getting it right”. In fact dancers told me they “created havoc everywhere they went” and “busted out into a fit of giggles if they got it wrong”. Beer ($2 PBR, $3.00 micros), and mixed drinks are for sale on the premises, with food available from Rumpspankers downstairs. A $5 donation at the door is encouraged, and the event gets pretty packed! Square dancing seems to be a new fad, as we spotted a TV crew documenting the square dance night last night. So howdy on down to The Village Ballroom (above Rumpspankers), 7th & Dekum, every last Monday of the month from 7-9pm. Maybe you’ll even spot me wearing a cowboy shirt next time!

Special thanks to Squid for taking pictures!

5 comments to Gay Square Dance @ The Village Ballroom!

  • adinalepp

    gay square dancing sounds like the next hot new thing. The question that I have is: is it gender blind? Queer Contra Dance, which is like square dancing cousin, is gender blind. It makes all of the dizziness even more amazing. Especially because I will never, under any circumstances be expected to lead.

  • Kel Nam

    There’s a quaint little gay cowboy bar in Phoenix called Charlies (and not just in Phoenix) where every Tuesday and Thursday is a two-step or line dance lesson, country dancing, then hip hop after midnight or so. Pretty mindblowing to see the burliest, roughest sort of men so exquisitely light on their feet in pairs.

    Here’s a simple offering that I still need to check out one of these days

    Crystal’s Country Jam GLBTQ @ PPAA 1st/3rd Saturdays


  • Jeffory

    The square dance at the Village ballroom is not a "gay" square dance. but at rumpspankers resteraunt friday nights, (the 2nd and 4th friday of each month) is a queer event, called Fruitcake.

  • […] 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 […]