At last year’s Winter Party, DJ Dan Slater launched his first-ever line of merchandise and a new website, all branded Dance Now Dan Slater. “It was an ongoing joke for ten years,” says the Australian native. “My friends used to say [it] as in, ‘dance, now, dance, later.'” What became a tagline grew out of the fact that, while spinning, Slater dances as much and probably more than any DJ you’ve ever seen before. There’s a reason why.
“Before I was a DJ, I used to be a dancer and used to perform in musical theater in Australia,” says the 38-year-old, who counts Mamma Mia, Fiddler on the Roof, Priscilla and Chicago among his stage credits. “My senior year I was asked to dance in the movie Moulin Rouge, which was filming in Sydney. A couple of weeks later, I got asked to dance for Kylie Minogue at the [2000 Summer] Olympics.”
Slater eventually migrated into DJing. He’s been a regular presence at the Task Force’s Winter Party since 2015. He returns for the party’s first-ever virtual edition, which kicks off with a Welcome Reception on Thursday, March 4, at 8 p.m.
“Obviously, this year is completely different,” says Task Force spokesperson Cathy Renna. Organizers of the “party with a purpose” have been working, she says, to “create as much of a community experience as you possibly can online.”
This year’s three-evening Winter Party Festival features a stellar entertainment lineup, with many of the biggest DJs on the circuit, including Slater, Abel, Calagna, Joe Gauthreaux, and Alex Acosta, along with drag comedian Tina Burner from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The event comes with a sense of hope about a better year ahead, in terms of the pandemic and politics, including the potential passage of the Equality Act to secure nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, a chief priority of the Task Force in 2021.
Says Renna, “I feel like people are in a place where they will want to come together in celebration in some way.”
Dan Slater will spin Saturday, March 6, as part of the DJ lineup for the Winter Party Main Event starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. See the full schedule and register for events at www.winterparty.com.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!