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02 October 2014


Joan Price

“You know, don’t you” I whisper, “that the only organ I use when leading is my hand.” -- what a great retort!

Such a crappy experience, Sue. I think you should keep dancing with this group (a block from your house? wow). As they get to know you, I bet that their reactions will mellow. I know it's crazy that you should need to be a pioneer in 2014 for breaking the partner dance gender stereotypes, but you want to dance and you want to lead.

I live in northern California, and women leading/ men following/ any gender taking any role are part of the dance scene. In fact, instructors recommend learning to lead AND follow to learn the intricacies of a dance like WC Swing better.

Let us know what happens if you decide to keep attending this dance class.

sue katz

I'll try a few more times - but really I'm into dancing and not heavy lifting of the Neanderthals. Thanks Joan.


fly me out to be your partner. advertise in craig's list. put a sign up at a dyke bar or whatever is closest. or the lgbt center.
you knew this would happen, but you respect the teacher, so make it happen for yourself.

sue katz

But that's the point about WCS, Trace, you switch partners every time. And I have dance partners - just peoples' schedules and health don't always mesh. The whole point of being in a school/club, is always having an abundance of partners. We'll see. Sigh. If only we were living in the same town...!

Heather gladding

The battle never stops I am afraid Sue. As you are well aware I have been on this crusade for nearly all my adult life and it feels like everyday there is still someone to educate. Not only in life do I feel that I 'come out' at least once a day but the dancing world will take more than a life time to change. However it is people like you that keep the cause going and only by standing up to these studios and their students and continuing to go will we ever progress. Yes, we have come a long way in the Ballroom dancing world but there is always another association/dance council to convince.
Hold onto your memories of London. Xxxx

sue katz

You are, of course, one of the ultimately exquisite West Coast dancers Heather - not to mention your rumba (be still my beating heart). To my American friends, Heather was my teacher for many years in London and moves like an angel. Stay well. Kisses.

Mike Evans

In complete contrast, here in out-of-london Kent I went to my local dance school and asked for lessons - admittedly private lessons and as a leader. However I mentioned that I could follow and my teacher has used that to show me the correct lead on a number of occasions. Next lesson I'm planning to ask her to lead me in everything we have practised. I've no idea how it would go down if I turned up for one of their dance events following, or dancing with a man - first I have to find a partner willing to push that particular boat out ;)

sue katz

Yes, I think private lessons are a completely different situation. It is the thought that people find it repulsive when a leader asks them to dance while wearing breasts. Sigh. Wish we together challenging the bullshit as we've done so many times in the past, Mike.

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