This week we caught up with Shirley to find out about her experiences at The LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club. Read her blog to find out why she loves the club.
I really look forward to the Social Dance Club each month!
The Eden Court team makes us feel a million dollars!
These are some of the superlatives describing a new phenomenon for the LGBTI+ community in the Scottish Highlands & Moray – the LGBTI+ Elders’ Social Dance Club meeting monthly on Sunday afternoons in the cosiness of the Maclean Room, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.
When I first heard of the new dance project during Glasgow’s Luminate Festival on May 1st whilst attending the première of the film Return To The Closet, a moving documentary on the fears of older LGBTI+ folk contemplating ostracism and stigma in residential care in the southwest of Scotland, I assumed that most of the LGBTI+ folk in Highland would be too shy, embarrassed or self-conscious to get on to the floor to shake a leg. I still don’t know how she did it but Lou, one of the Eden Court team, got almost everyone up to dance that very first meeting on May 26th in a surge of enthusiasm. In fact, I was so busy dancing that I scarcely had time to enjoy the lovely refreshments laid on for us all – cream teas, cheese and biscuits, wine even, and hot and cold drinks.
No one is compelled to dance. Some of the group just enjoy watching the others’ big smiles on the floor, chatting, making new friends and acquaintances, feeling valued and cherished by the wonderful folk on the team such as Lou and Amy, our Eden Court leaders and Lewis from the Glasgow-based National Theatre of Scotland. We were privileged at the first meeting to meet Bec and Tristan who set up the dance project in Melbourne, Australia and whose youthful vibrancy, energy and kindliness warmed the hearts of us all. The Club is not restricted to the over 65s. Younger partners, friends, family and allies are welcome too. The venue is wheelchair, dementia and autism friendly. We are a real rainbow family!
We celebrate each month with a toast of Prosecco or alcohol-free Nosecco. Lou & Amy give us updates of events at Eden Court in which we might be interested – Sir Ian McKellen’s wonderful one-man show on August 12th, Red Dust Road, the play based upon Scottish Makar, Jackie Kay’s inspirational memoir - and there is always an opportunity for group feed-back and sharing. Those attending come from as far afield as Stornoway and Orkney.
Our next meeting takes place on October 13th in the OneTouch Theatre, from 2-4pm. Please note – if you go to the Maclean Room, you’ll find yourself swept up in the Green Party National Conference instead of The Elders’ Social Dance Club!