Every Tuesday evening, at 7:30pm sharp, 30 Square Dancing buffs assemble at PS 3, on the Lower West Side, to listen and abide by over 420 calls they have all memorized by heart. But what makes this very traditional dance class so unique, is that it is taught in the most nontraditional way.
“The Times Squares is the only Gay Square Dancing Club here and we have just in a natural kind of organic way that we have developed our own flourishes, our own sounds and sound effects,” said Shep Wahnom a 25 year old veteran of the traditional dance. “We do the same calls as straight people we just do it with a different flare.”
Calls, the basis of Square Dancing according to SquareDancing101.com, is “the heart a sequence of figures which have unambiguous definitions as to the pattern of moves to be performed.”
Square Dancing is usually performed by four teams of men and woman, station at each corner of the square. The dance is conducted by the Caller, or person at the microphone who gives instruction on what step comes next, and the music is typically played by a live band.
However, at the Times Squares Gay Square Dancing Class, the caller instructs same sex partners to dosi doe and to don’t stop don’t slow down, all set to the music of The Village People and Donna Summers.