Wednesday, March 2, 2011
You are cordially invited to Toronto QUEER Spring SLOWDANCE!
With a lending library of designated dancers for all you wallflowers, and a dancecard-booklet to set up dances in advance (should you choose to), Queer Slowdance Night has all slow songs, all night long! (Except for the occasional intermission when we play the fastest songs we can find!)
It's high school with a happy ending. Come and experience why slow is beautiful, and... why love is not ironic.
PS. Fabulous and inspired attire, while desired, is not required. But would be AWESOME & HAWT. Finally, you do not have to be queer to attend this party, but you must have an open mind, an open heart, and have open arms.
805 Dovercourt Rd. (1 block North of Bloor, 3 blks. west of Ossington)
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Doors at 9:00, Dance from 9:30 PM - 2 AM.
$10 admission includes your Dancecard-booklet!
Regretfully, the Dovercourt House is not wheelchair-accessible.
For more info, please go to our
online presence at
or join our facebook group,
"Slowdancers of the World Unite & Dance Slow"
"Relive the prom without the angst." - the Canadian Press
"In an age where physical contact is a scarce commodity, an event that brings strangers safely together is long overdue." - The Montreal Gazette
"I really like hugging people, and this is like, a five-minute hug." - Telyn Kusalik, one of our guests
A NOTE ABOUT THE DANCE CARDS: The dancecards are these little booklets that contain a setlist of every song that will be played that evening. The idea is that during the course of the evening, you can "book" certain songs with certain people, and vice versa. So when your charming hosts announce a particular song, you can look on your dancecard and see who it is you're going to dance with next. There is a little space after every song where people can write their names. How filled your dancecard gets depends on you, of course. Ask someone to dance! Or give someone meaningful looks! Look for the Dancecard-Signing Station located somewhere on the premises, usually near a light, where small pencils are available. The dancecards also - thoughtfully - have lots of empty places where you can write down the names and numbers of charming people whom you may have danced with that night. Use of the dancecards, is, of course, optional, and completely up to you. Proceed at your comfort level.
A NOTE ABOUT THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: The Rules essentially state that as someone coming to Slow Dance Night, you have the right to ask anyone you want to dance. But whoever it is you asked has the right to refuse your request, and not have to give any reason why. But wonderfully, you have this right as well. This is done because slowdancing with someone is rather an intimate sort of enterprise, and a minor commitment, and you should have the right to back out anytime you wish. Slow Dance Night is about consensual respect and enjoyment. Just because you may have danced with someone for most of the song, if at any point you are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, you can simply walk away. If whoever it is persists in their attention, locate one of the organizers, and they will be ejected from the premises. And fucked-up. Anyone who refuses to comply by the rules will be fucked-up.
A NOTE ABOUT THE DESIGNATED DANCERS: On any particular night there will be a handful of our Designated Dancers available to dance with you for the first half of the evening - so arrive early! They will be wearing shiny powder blue sashes, and these Designated Dancers are warm, charming, and safe people to ask to dance. Of course, the same Rules of Engagement apply, and they, as free agents, can decide for themselves who they want to dance with, and for how long, but in all likelihood, they would be very open to dancing with you. Please think of them as a warm taxi light in the middle of a blizzard; the cast of a lighthouse, when you are too far from shore and shrouded in fog; a glimmer of hope after a lifetime of desolation. Well, actually, that might be pushing it. Please think of them as a temporary safe harbour. They will also be looking for you, and asking you to dance, trying in their way to turn wallflowers into perennials.
A NOTE ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY: We have received a number of emails and wall-posts about accessibility - or rather, the lack of it - at our current venue, the Dovercourt House. Someone stated that it was inappropriate and inaccurate for us to even call our event “inclusive” if it was non-accessible for wheelchairs. We used that word in the context of queers and straights, but we get your meaning, we understand, and it is an ongoing concern. We are not opposed to moving venues to an accessible one, but please understand that it took us a long time to find the one we’re at now. Various places, for various reasons, didn’t work out when we finally came upon the Dovercourt House, which superficially resembles a school gym, has a working mirrorball, a sound system, lovely lighting, and a bar. We have, however, been following up on your suggestions for accessible venues, but there have been difficulties. Every venue is very particular, and finding a good match is hard. Additionally, we are based in Montreal. We come into Toronto every time to put the event on, and that doesn’t leave much time to tour various venues, or to make face-to-face contact with the venue bookers. If you have a personal contact at Wrongbar, the Revival, or the Garrison, we would appreciate an introduction. Thus far, they have not responded to our (in some cases, repeated) inquiries. In June, however, we are doing a special Epic Pride Slowdance at Buddies in Bad Times Theater in their antechamber for Toronto Pride, and that venue is accessible.
A NOTE ABOUT INCLUSIVENESS: When we first started putting on Slowdance Nights we had this vision of everyone we knew slowdancing together under the discoball in harmony. We wanted to be as inclusive as possible, so touted our event as "queer-friendly", and "senior-friendly", and "kid-friendly". Very soon we had to abandon the kid-friendliness because we discovered people really needed to drink if they were going to ask strangers to dance. This is nothing to lament, this is just the way it is. Also, very few children showed up, and in all honesty, this was probably for the best. But despite our best efforts, it is very difficult to create social situations that are as inclusive and welcoming as we would like for everyone. I remember one particular night where one gentleman came up to me and was very disappointed, as a gay man, by the responses he got when he asked other men to dance. That very same night, this young woman came up to me and told me that she was tired of fending off all these dudes asking her to dance, when really she was just interested in dancing with the cute queer girls. This set off a kind of small crisis. As event organizers, our job is to create social situations that delight, entertain, and compel, but also to accomodate the diverse demands of the varying communities that attend. In an ideal world, homo and hetero shouldn't matter, but Slowdance Night happens in this very real world. And when you have someone else in your arms, the feeling of realness is palpable. So we are going to have two kinds of Slowdance events - one for Queers, and one for everyone else. We're cognizant of the dangers of ghettoizing certain communities, and for most events, this sort of thing doesn't matter. But when you are pressing your body up against someone else, it really matters who that person is. Orientation matters. Gender matters. The last thing we want to be, however, is Gender or Orientation Police. So, as a general rule, all events will be open to everyone, but when we have a specifically "QUEER Slowdance" Event, the stipulation is that you don't have to be queer to attend, (though most of the people there will be) but you MUST have an open mind, an open heart, and open arms. We know that this is not an ideal solution, but it's the best one we can come up with. If you think you can contribute another solution that will improve the event, please email the organizers at email@example.com! Thank you so much! And also, we can't believe you read all this. And we hope you understand.
A NOTE ABOUT HOMOPHOBIC ARTISTS: It was recently brought to our attention that certain artists, like Bon Jovi, Guns ‘n Roses, Sting, Eminem, Ween, Public Enemy, The Pogues, The Kinks, Sex Pistols, Frank Zappa, Korn, Violent Femmes, or Chris Brown, are alleged to have made homophobic slurs or statements in the past, and/or have homophobic lyrics in their songs. In certain cases it’s hard to be sure if the homophobia was deliberate, like in The Kink’s “Lola” which leaves things kinda mysterious. In other cases, like The Spice Girls’ “2 Become 1”, heteronormativity is espoused, like in their lyric “Any deal that we endeavour/boys and girls go good together”. Though, to their credit, in recent years, a new version of that song has emerged, which has changed the lyrics to: “Once again when we endeavour, love will bring us back together” which is more inclusive. This puts us in a bit of a quandry, as you can imagine, because it’s hard to keep track of every homophobic artist and every homophobic song, and even more difficult to parse out the meaning behind every lyric. Additionally, this brings into question whether we necessarily need to attach the views of an individual artist or band to a particular song. What if the artist is homophobic, but the band is not, and the song has nothing to do with queerness? Should we enjoy the song? Here, at Queer Slowdance, after much agonizing, we’ve decided to take on the possibly controversial policy of “Fuck It – it’s a great song.” We are going to play whatever song we like because it’s a wonderful song and succeeds in bringing people closer together. We know that some of you might disagree with this, and we look forward to your angry emails, but we are also big believers in Ani DiFranco’s truism: “Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.” And we believe that any song can be beautiful if you’re holding the right person in your arms.
A NOTE ABOUT THE NOTES: Holy shit! Did you really read down this far? That's awesome. We always read all the minutiae & marginalia too.
We are always looking for designated dancers for our evenings. If you are outgoing, warm, and willing to undertake the very serious duty and responsibility of inviting wallflowers out onto the dancefloor - if in fact, such a prospect gives you great joy - then please contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked this event, you might be interested in our other equally charming & compelling upcoming events!
STRIP SPELLING BEE *Hint of Spring* Edition!in Montreal. Wednesday, March 9th, 2011: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=130570460345695 or www.stripspellingbee.blogspot.com
QUEER SPEED-SPOONING in Montreal. Wednesday, March 23, 2011: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=175230229190315
CROWD KARAOKE in Montreal. Thursday, March 24, 2011: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=107144192699080 or www.crowdkaraoke.blogspot.com
MONTREAL SPRING SLOWDANCE. Saturday, March 26th, 2011: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=100542893361255 or www.slowdancenight.blogspot.com
TORONTO QUEER SPRING SLOWDANCE. Saturday, April 2nd, 2011: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=196280927063277 or www.queerslowdancenight.blogspot.com
MONTREAL QUEER PROM 2011. Satuday, April 9th, 2011: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=171652419537322 or www.queerprom.blogspot.com