Squaring Off

GLBT Square Dancers descend on the city

When square-dance devotees talk about this all-American (well, sort of) art form, they’re bound to get to the patterns eventually. And why not? From above, a few dozen square dancers doing their thing would surely give any Busby Berkeley aqua-escapade a run for its money. Come see for yourself this weekend when about a thousand GLBT square dancers arrive in Washington for the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs’ D.C. Diamond Circulate.

”If people want to stop by and watch, stop by anytime,” offers Kent Forrester of the local host club, the DC Lambda Squares. ”The main ballroom has balconies, and you can watch from above.”

So hospitable is the square-dancing set that they’re even opening up all their parties at no charge. It’s hard to turn down an offer like that, particularly when the host hotel, the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is an easy walk from Dupont and about as Metro-accessible as a venue could be (Woodley Park Metro).

While the convention offers an open-house Thursday, April 9, from 7 to 10 p.m., the parties just keep on coming, with D.C.’s Different Drummers swing band, DC Swing!, entertaining Friday night, April 10, from 10 p.m. to midnight, and the sexy DC Cowboys dance company strutting their stuff on Saturday night, April 11, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

”For five years, we’ve been working on how to arrange it,” says Forrester, who hasn’t missed an IAGSDC convention since 2001. With it last in D.C. in 1994, he’s particularly thrilled to finally play host. ”I think it’s fantastic,” he says. ”I wasn’t here in ’94, so seeing it in the hometown is very exciting.”

For the official D.C. Diamond Circulate schedule and information, visit www.dcdc2009.org. The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is at 2660 Woodley Road NW.

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.

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