“A lot of people have the misconception that square dancing is to set to country Western or fiddle music,” says Joe Branch, president of DC Lambda Squares. “But what we do is much more modern. We dance to all kinds of music — from top 40 to country to rap.”
Every Thursday, D.C.’s LGBTQ square dance club holds a club night at National City Christian Church, where even city slickers can learn how to master the ins and outs of modern Western square dancing.
The dancing officially kicks off at 7:30 p.m., but at 6:30, the club offers a workshop where participants can practice certain dance moves or skills that they can use on the dancefloor later that night. “We always try to make sure there’s an educational aspect to it,” says Branch.
The basics of square dancing are simple: participants separate into pairs, and are part of a “square” with three other couples. A caller at the front of the room gives direction, and each couple does their choreographed part of the dance, moving their bodies around the square. Later, the caller tells the dancers to “resolve the square,” or return to their original positions.
DC Lambda Squares membership costs $50 annually, with the option of prepaying door fees for all club nights. Door fees are $8 per club night for members, and $10 for non-members, who are welcome to attend.
“The best way to explain the club is we’re just a fun group of people who enjoy square dancing,” says Branch. “We socialize, we bring food. It’s just a chance to get away from everyday life and have a good time.”
DC Lambda Squares holds its weekly club nights from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW. Call 301-257-0517 or visit dclambdasquares.org.
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