I feel like dancin’

Posted on 26 Feb 2010 at 12:28am
By RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

Despite one toe-tappin’ fool’s attempts at gate crashing, the Once in a Blue Moon dance is still strictly for women

DANCIN’ FOOL! | Despite oozing all this charm, it’s looking like this author will have to sit out this dance. (Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones)

I’ve spent many a year revving it up on the dance floor. I’m not a bad dancer if I may say so (and I do). How could I not have some skills, growing up in the age of Michael Jackson and graduating to hip-hop with just the right amount of Broadway choreography? Trust, people can’t help but look when I’m on the floor. Ask my mom.

So when I heard about the Once in a Blue Moon dance every month, my ears pricked up and my foot began to tap. Dancing in the club is great but busting a move in a ballroom? That’s too good to pass up.

Then I glanced the card over and saw the fine print: "A social gathering for women only."

Curses.

I was going to get to the bottom of this. I called Cynthia Schepps who hosts the event every month at DanceMasters in Lake Highlands. I was gonna fight for my right to dance.

"Blue Moon is for women only," she says with no hint of caving in. "The crowd is predominantly lesbian and some straight women come out. Mostly women are 35 and up and it’s a laid back crowd."

With a mix of country, disco and salsa, ladies come to the ballroom (really a dance studio in a strip mall) the second Saturday of each month to sashay, chat, drink and just hang out. That’s all Schepps could hope for.

Blue Moon is more about socializing than hooking up, although she says many relationships have started among the attendees. And newcomers shouldn’t be nervous about coming in — I wasn’t, but then again, I was also shot down for showing curiosity. Just give Schepps a call and she’ll take care of you like a teacher handling a new student.

"Some women are just coming out or new to the area. They might be nervous and wonder what to wear or if it’s all couples. I just say wear what you’re comfortable in. We have people in blue jeans to feather boas. I’ll introduce you around. I’ll sit and talk to ‘em a little bit. And it is a lot of couples but I’m planning to meet up with singles groups soon."

Come June, Schepps will celebrate her decade as head of the monthly dance event. And even though I can’t edge my way in, it’s for good reason. She’s strived to provide a night out that’s both an alternative to the lesbian nightlife and a friendly and safe place for any woman just wanting to let it all out on the dance floor.

"In my opinion, being out of the Oak Lawn realm is a good thing because it’s so crowded," she says. "We’re off beaten path and it’s so safe out here away from all the other stuff. And some women don’t have to worry about being outed."

I was digging the BYOB part the most. I have visions of my fave beer in one hand, Cheetos in the other and a mad line dance happening beneath my feet.  Reality set in and Schepps had to go and pull the sentimental card.

"Everyone jumps in on the line dances. It’s great. I like to sit and just watch although I love to dance. There is nothing greater than seeing a huge group of women having fun."

Total defeat. It all sounds so good that I’d just be a tool to try to satisfy these boogie shoes on their dancing oasis. But the good thing is, she’s not entirely opposed to dancing men. Just not on Blue Moon night.

"I would do it for men. I’ve had men ask me to do it, so there is that possibility," she admits.

To which I say, Get on it, sister.  

Once in a Blue Moon Dance at DanceMasters Ballroom, 10675 E. Northwest Highway, #2600 B. Second Saturday of each month. Next event: March 13. 7 p.m.–midnight. $10 Once-In-A-Blue-Moon.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 26, 2010.

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