The D.C. Cowboys, a local dance troupe for gay men, is closing after 18 years with a farewell tour. Kevin Platte, the group’s founder, said the group was conceived on a whim and having accomplished more than he ever thought possible, it’s time for its members to move on.
“I never thought this would be a group that just went on forever,” Platte said. “I’d been thinking as the leader when would be a good time to go out on top. In showbiz you always want to leave your audience wanting more, so I think 2012 will be a wonderful time to do that and is kind of our way of giving back to everyone who made us who we are, the audience, fans and supporters. This is our way to show our appreciation.”
Platte started the troupe in 1994 and imagined it would be a one-off for a performance at the Atlantic Stampede gay rodeo. But the group, a kind of gay Chippendales with country sensibilities and motifs, was popular enough that it became a regular outfit. The group became famous for its shirtless performances, its charity calendars and was a staple on the Capital Pride parade and festival main stage. Its fame rose in recent years as it toured internationally. Platte says performing on the nationally televised “America’s Got Talent” in 2008 and closing the Gay Games in Chicago in 2006 were two of the highlights for him.
“Those two are really big,” he says. “Just amazing moments.”
Platte, who always kept a day job working as a project manager for a computer company, guesses about 75 guys have been in the group altogether over the years. There are usually between 16 and 20 at a time. Platte is the only dancer to stay with it continuously. He hopes former members will join him for the farewell tour but he’s auditioning new members for the final year as well. Visit dccowboys.org for more information.