Square Dancing in the Gay Community
Although square dancing has been a classic part of American folk culture for many years, it wasn’t until the late 1970s that organized gay and lesbian square dance clubs appeared in gay communities across the United States. These early beginnings have given rise to a network of over 65 clubs worldwide who are members of the IAGSDC (International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs).
“Gay square dancing has given me years of exercise, pleasure, joy and opportunities to develop many lasting and cherished friendships. It is one of the most wholesome, inclusive, supportive activities available within our community.”
Newcomers are always welcome, with clubs offering beginner lessons on a regular basis. Once you have learned the basics, you can literally square dance all over the world, at both gay and straight square dance clubs. The commands are the same, regardless of the nationality or orientation of the club. Club events feature callers from around the world, both gay and straight. If you like to travel, you’ll love “Fly-in” weekends. These are square dance weekends hosted year round by member clubs. You’ll have a weekend of fun, food, sightseeing, and, of course, dancing. To top it all off, the IAGSDC’s annual convention is held each year in a different city and typically draws over 1,000 dancers for a long weekend of forgetting all else except having a good time.
While it is true that gay square dancing has its origins in traditional square dancing, there are some basic differences between dancing in the gay community and the straight community. Gay square dance clubs tend to be more high energy, there is usually a very relaxed dress code, and you most definitely do not need to come as a couple. Dancers can learn either the lead or follow position, whichever is most comfortable, or it is not uncommon to learn both parts, so the dancer can step into any square and dance. Although it is not necessary to come as a couple, couples are certainly welcome. IAGSDC square dance clubs are open to all square dancers regardless of age, race, gender, religion, ethnic background, or sexual orientation.
Click on the IAGSDC logo above to find the member club nearest to you.
Learn more about Gay Square Dancing. International Gay Square Dancing Convention in Washington DC