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A little two step

Several long-running local dance outfits have anniversaries this fall

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A promo still from Washington Ballet’s upcoming ‘Dracula.’ (Photo courtesy Washington Ballet)

It’s time to start marking off your calendar for some of the upcoming dance offerings this fall, including some gay themes and gay-helmed dance companies. Here’s some of what the region has to offer.

Openly gay dancer and choreographer, Helanius J. Wilkins will be bringing his all male, predominantly African-American dance company, Edgeworks Dance Theater to Dance Place (3225 8th Street N.E.) Sept. 15-16. Wilkins will be presenting “/CLOSE/R,” a piece that tackles the process of “shedding.” For more information visit hjwedgeworks.org.

Another gay choreographer, Dana Tai Soon Burgess Company celebrates its 20th anniversary with a fall performance Sept. 21-23 at 8 p.m. As part of this production the group will be premiering a dark and pensive dance called “Caverns,” which deals with recurring memories. The performance will take place at the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre (800 21st Street N.W.) and tickets cost $15-$25. For more information and to purchase tickets visit dtsbco.com.

On Sept. 23 at 8:30 p.m. The Oasis Dance Company premieres “The Affair … Bow Ties & Pumps,” at THEARC Theater (1901 Mississippi Ave S.E.). This dance and fashion bonanza will showcase new dances alongside fashion designers from Maryland, D.C., Los Angeles and New York.  This benefit show will raise funds for Transgender Health Empowerment’s Wanda Alston House. In addition, seven community leaders and organizations will be recognized for their distinguished service to LGBT youth in the D.C. Metropolitan area. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to thearcdc.org.

On Oct. 6, The D.C. Lambda Squares celebrates its 30th anniversary with a community dance. The Lambda Squares are a square dance club for LGBT members and friends that hosts community dances, club nights and lessons. For additional events and more information on lessons visit dclambdasquares.org.

The VelocityD.C. Dance Festival returns for its fourth year Oct. 18-20 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 21 at 2 p.m.  at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street N.W.). VelocityDC is fast paced celebration of movement, music, hip-hop and spoken word. A variety of performances occur on these days. All tickets are available through the Shakespeare Theatre Company box office shakespearetheatre.org.

Gay choreographer Septime Webre, artistic director of the Washington Ballet is “thrilled to welcome five new dancers to the roster this year.” The Washington Ballet opens its season on Oct. 24 with a preview performance of Michael Pink’s blockbuster “Dracula,” which runs Oct. 25- Nov. 4 at the Kennedy Center (2700 F Street N.W.). They then celebrate the holiday season with Webre’s own interpretation of “The Nutcracker,” Nov. 30-Dec. 23 at the Warner Theatre (513 13th Street N.W.).

From Nov. 7-11, The Kennedy Center’s own Suzanne Farrell Ballet presents two mixed programs, including four company premieres by Balanchine: “Valse-Fantaisie,” “Danses Concertantes,” “Prodigal Son” and “Intermezzo” from the Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. Tickets start at $29. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org.

Gay helmed VT Dance/Vincent Thomas performs at Dance Place (3225 8th Street N.E.) Nov. 17-18. Dance Place also has a wide selection of exciting performances throughout the fall and into the winter months. Dance Place presents performances featuring local, regional and internationally acclaimed dance companies year round.

On Nov. 28, fans of “So You Think You Can Dance” can see their favorite dancers perform in Baltimore at The Lyric Opera House (110 Mt. Royal Ave, Baltimore).

On Nov. 29, The Dance Institute of Washington celebrates its 25th anniversary with “25 Stories.” Visit danceinstitute.org for information.

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Out & About

DC Center to host Alzheimer’s awareness event

‘Seniors & Cognition’ talk to explore warning signs, healthy brain practices

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The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center, the DC Department on Aging and Community Living, and the Alzheimer’s Association are joining forces to host “Seniors & Cognition with the Alzheimer’s Association” on Thursday, July 25 at 2 p.m. on Zoom. 

Guest speakers will walk the audience through understanding Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, their warning signs, healthy brain practices, and more. The lecture series will consist of three 1.5-hour sessions, with the others set to take place in August and September. 

To register, visit the DC Center’s website

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Sports

Brittney Griner and wife celebrate birth of their son

Cherelle Griner gave birth to healthy baby boy earlier this month

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Brittney Griner (Screen capture via Instagram)

It’s a boy for Brittney and Cherelle Griner. The Phoenix Mercury center revealed the news in interviews with CBS Sports and NBC News. 

“Every minute I feel like he’s popping into my head, said Griner. “Literally everything revolves around him. And I love it.”

The couple officially welcomed the baby boy on July 8. He weighs 7 pounds, 8 ounces.

“That’s my man. He is amazing,” Griner told CBS Sports. “They said as soon as you see them, everything that you thought mattered just goes out the window. That’s literally what happened.” 

Griner, 33, corrected the CBS News correspondent who said, “You’re about to be a mom!” She told her Cherelle, 33, had already delivered the baby and that she preferred to be called,“Pops.” 

Griner told NBC News correspondent Liz Kreutz they chose to name their newborn son, “Bash.” 

The WNBA star said she is Bash’s biggest fan and is constantly taking photos of him. “My whole phone has turned into him now,” Griner told CBS Sports.

The baby comes as Griner gets set to play in Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game and then head to Paris with Team USA to compete for their 8th straight gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games. 

“It kind of sucks because I have to leave, but at the same time, he will understand,” said Griner. 

Her time in Paris will mark the first time since the basketball star was released from a Russian gulag, where she was held on drug charges for nearly 10 months in 2022.

“BG is locked in and ready to go,” Griner told NBC News on Friday. “I’m happy, I’m in a great place. I’m representing my country, the country that fought for me to come back. I’m gonna represent it well.”

Griner also spoke with NBC News about her hopes the U.S. can win the freedom of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian maximum security prison on Friday. 

“We have to get him back,” she said. 

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Calendar

Calendar: July 19-25

LGBTQ events in the days to come

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Friday, July 19

“Center Aging Friday Tea Time” will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of choice. For more details, email [email protected].

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Community Happy Hour” at 7 p.m. at Puro Gusto. This event is ideal for making new friends, professional networking, idea-sharing, and community building. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, July 20

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Community Brunch” at 11 a.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. This fun weekly event brings the DMV area LGBTQ+ community, including allies, together for delicious food and conversation. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

“LGBTQ People of Color Support Group” will be at 1 p.m. on Zoom. This peer support group is an outlet for LGBTQ People of Color to come together and talk about anything affecting them in a space that strives to be safe and judgment free. For more details, visit thedccenter.org/poc or facebook.com/centerpoc.

Sunday, July 21

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Dinner” at 6:30 p.m. at Federico Ristorante Italiano Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. Guests are encouraged to come enjoy an evening of Italian-style dining and conversation with other LGBTQ+ folk. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Funday Social and Games” at 3 p.m. at Moxy. This event is ideal for making meaningful new connections and informal community building, or just to unwind and enjoy the group happy hour. There will be Monopoly, chess, checkers, Jenga and many other games. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

AfroCode DC will be at 4 p.m. at Decades DC. This event will be an experience of non-stop music, dancing, and good vibes and a crossover of genres and a fusion of cultures. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Monday, July 22

Center Aging: Monday Coffee & Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of their choice. For more details, email [email protected].

“Queer Book Club” will be at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. The club meets on the fourth Monday of the month to discuss queer books by queer authors. This month’s read is yet to be announced. For more details, email [email protected].

Tuesday, July 23

Pride on the Patio Events will host “LGBTQ Social Mixer” at 5:30 p.m. at Showroom. Dress is casual, fancy, or comfortable. Guests are encouraged to bring their most authentic self to chat, laugh, and get a little crazy. Admission is free and more details are on Eventbrite.

Coming Out Discussion Group will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a peer-facilitated discussion group and a safe space to share experiences about coming out and discuss topics as it relates to doing so. For more details, visit the group’s Facebook page.

“Genderqueer DC” will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a support group for people who identify outside of the gender binary, whether you’re bigender, agender, genderfluid, or just know that you’re not 100% cis. For more details, email [email protected].

Wednesday, July 24

Job Club will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. This is a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking — allowing participants to move away from being merely “applicants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email [email protected] or visit thedccenter.org/careers.

“Asexual and Aromantic Group” will meet at 7 p.m. on Zoom and in person at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. This is a space where people who are questioning this aspect of their identity or those who identify as asexual and/or aromantic can come together, share stories and experiences, and discuss various topics. For more details, email [email protected].

Thursday, July 25

Virtual Yoga with Charles M. will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a free weekly class focusing on yoga, breath work, and meditation. For more details, visit the DC Center for the LGBT Community’s website.

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