Twinkle Toes? Same-Sex Ballroom Dancing Hits Boston With a Fury
Same-Sex Ballroom Dancing, A Last Bastion of Intolerance?
Fox notes also that there tends to be less ostracism in the realm of swing dance and line dance than in the traditional ballroom dance setting. He and others have experienced this kind of isolation.
"People get upset when they see a same-sex couple dancing the Salsa or the Argentine Tango," Fox said.
Perhaps it is because of the traditional nature of the style of dance and the people who partake. Or perhaps it goes beyond that.
"Right now Americans are still not ready to see same-sex couples, whether it’s competing in dance or simply holding hands," Fox said.
Many gay dance instructors maintain their place in mainstream ballroom dance as a financial decision. Rather than making the switch to same-sex dance, they train and compete with female partners.
"That’s where the money is made," Fox said. "Taking students to competitions."
And where most mainstream competitive pairs consist of a professional instructor and an amateur student (pro-am), more often in same-sex ballroom dancing the pairs are on the same skill level, dancing not for pay but for love of the sport.
"It’s a small circuit," Mitov conceded. But he is hoping that can change.
This September, Boston will host its first same-sex ballroom dance competition, The Boston Open DanceSport. Mitov, one of the organizers, hoped that this event will raise awareness and get people excited about same-sex ballroom dance enough to bolster and energize the scene in Boston.
"I really want to see Boston do well," Fox said. "Because it’s the first year, it will probably start off small. But if they keep it consistent it can grow and be another great place for people to go to dance."
The Boston Open DanceSport will be held on Sept. 21 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. For more info or to register, visit bostonopendancesport.com And those in the Boston area can visit gaysforpatsy.org to find out local same-sex dance events, including the upcoming Feb. 16 Valentine’s dance.