Gimme a P! Gimme an R! Gimme an I! D! E! What does it spell? Cheer Pride Dallas wants you to know
RICKY BRADLEY | Contributing Sports Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Considering that Dallas is home to the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, the National Cheerleading Association headquarters and several all-star and high school national championships meets, it’s no wonder the gays have their own sense of rah-rah-sis-boom-bah. In fact, cheering is nowhere more effervescent than at Dallas Pride Cheer, Dallas’ open — but mostly gay — cheer squad.
Under the leadership of Bobby Bridgwater, DPC is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. (Gimme an R!)
Over the past few years, DPC has re-organized and now is a non-profit cheerleading organization raising money for several causes. During the past year alone, DPC has cheered and raised money for charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and organizations benefiting individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Its philanthropic diversity better reflects DPC initiatives to open up to those outside the gay community — which, according to Bridgwater, is more indicative of the diversity on the squad itself.
When it started as Cheer Dallas, the members were all gay Now, about a third of the 25 core members are straight. DPC even cheered at the hetero-filled, alcohol-fueled Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Parade earlier in March — a significantly different crowd than DPC has encountered in Oak Lawn.
“At the Dallas Pride parade, people are throwing money at us, putting money in our bucket,” Bridgwater says. “Along Greenville Avenue, people are throwing tortillas, Jell-O shots and beads. And they reach into your buckets to see what you are giving them!”
Differences aside, the squad managed to raise nearly the same amount of money on Greenville as they do annually during in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Pride (which, when considering the size of the two crowds, is a testament to the giving nature of the gay community).
With their spirit aimed squarely at helping others through tumbling, twisting and dismounting, DPC’s fundraising efforts for Make-A-Wish helped them secure a corporate sponsorship from Maggiano’s Little Italy. But with its roots securely anchored in Dallas’ gay community, DPC is feverishly preparing for their next big appearance: They will be teaming up with cheer squads from San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Sacramento and New York at San Francisco Pride later this month, to raise money for the Positive Resource Center in San Francisco.
Bridgwater, who’s been cheering since 1992 and was a member of the University of North Texas’ 2000 collegiate cheerleading national championship squad, says the DPC is actively seeking both new and experienced talent. And while they welcome new members joining in time for this month’s event in San Francisco, the team really wants long-term members to lead the cheers at Dallas Pride in September.
“Of course, we’re always looking for experienced tumblers and fliers,” Bridgwater says, “but if someone doesn’t know how to do certain things we can use them as a base or spotter until we bring them along.”
Getting up to speed with the all-volunteer DPC squad can take months but considering they have several cheerleading company staff members on board and one can routinely spot a 50-year-old woman at the top of their high-split pyramid, they’ve got the experience to bring new people along.
Practice is at the Pride All-Stars Gym, 16837 Addison Road, Addison, Sundays from 6–9 p.m. For more information on joining, visit DallasPrideCheer.org.
The sound of the Turtle Creek Chorale against a pumping club music BPM is perhaps only for the imagination. We may never see Jonathan Palant lead his gents through a concert of classics by the likes of Black Eyed Peas or Technotronic. Maybe we don’t want to. But that doesn’t mean the Chorale can’t throw down.
The unlikely pair of the Chorale and a circuit party happens Saturday night with One Night in Bangkok, a club event benefiting the TCC at the Brick — and promoter Dannee Phann is putting it all out there. One Night is really an entire weekend.
The event starts Friday with a VIP and host party, but the main celebration happens Saturday with Los Angeles DJ Roland Belmares taking over the Brick turntables. After that, you won’t want to put away your dancing shoes just yet.
While Saturday is the centerpiece, Sunday has an impressive lineup, too. And what’s a circuit party without the ever popular tea-dance?
Hottie Austin DJ Timmy G, pictured, throws down Sunday at 5 p.m. That gives you enough time for a major disco nap. Paul Kraft Productions hosts the after-party at The Club with DJ Brandon Moses from 1 a.m. to after sunrise — just in time for breakfast taquitos.
Now in its fourth year, One Night in Bangkok has successfully donated significant numbers to the Chorale. In 2009, the event raised $17,500 for the organization. This year, with hopes of surpassing that number, proceeds from sold tickets will also benefit the Resource Center Dallas.
Obviously this won’t be the time the Turtle Creek Chorale mixes up their traditional work with club music, but One Night in Bangkok has put it in our minds. Just sayin’.
— Rich Lopez
The Brick, 2525 Wycliffe Ave., Suite 120. $12–$15. BrickDallas.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 18, 2010.