Dallas Gay Basketball Association revs up with two events this week

With all the sports leagues in the LGBT community here, we’ve long been without a basketball one — until now. As one of the organizers of the new Dallas Gay Basketball Association, Steven Coleman has been helping to get the word out on the new league. The interest is there. Coleman guesstimated about 40 people showed up to DGBA’s open gym session last week at Reverchon Rec Center.

“This is something we need here,” he said.

DBGA’s mission as posted on their Facebook page reads:

The Dallas Gay Basketball Association was founded in 2012. This league was created for LGBTAQ men and women to create an atmosphere for athletes. In hopes of strengthening a community and providing alternative option for socializing within the gay community. The league invites all skill levels, and encourages new members.

According to Coleman, they’ve been in talks with DIVA citing their structure as a direction DGBA may borrow from. That makes total sense seeing how successful the volleyball association is in expanding its membership practically each new season. DGBA will serve as a co-ed league for teams. Whether Reverchon will be the only location for play was not mentioned.

DGBA gets social tonight (Wednesday) by hosting a meet and greet at Woody’s at 6 p.m. Organizers will be there to answer questions and encourage enrollment. They follow up with another open gym session on Thursday at Reverchon where interested persons can sign up with the league. The only requirement at this point is to have a card issued by the rec center (city of Dallas) to play.

Coleman provided pics from last week’s open gym. See those after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

DIVA invites players to its New Member Clinic tonight

Make your play

Everything you ever wanted to know about volleyball can be learned tonight at DIVA’s (Dallas Independent Volleyball Association) new member clinics. New members of all skill levels are invited to come out and check what the next season has in store. All members are rated for team division as well as basics of the game are covered. Never played? No worries. That’s what these clinics help with. DIVA is all about sportsmanship and nobody gets left behind.

DEETS: K.B. Polk Recreation Center, 6801 Roper St. 7 p.m. DivaDallas.org.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Volleyball-et: From en pointe to point scorer, dancer Jonah Villegas enjoys being a DIVA diva

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  |  Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

For Jonah Villegas, the most frustrating thing about being a dancer is convincing people that his talent has nothing to do with a pole.

“When I tell people I’m a dancer they always say, ‘Where? BJ’s? The Tin Room?’” says the classically trained terpsichorean, who has worked with the Texas Ballet Theater. Last year, when he put his dancing career on hold, he decided to look for something else athletic he could do to stay limber and active.

“That’s why I joined DIVA,” says Villegas, 22.

Other than summers spent hitting a ball over a net in the sand, Villegas has no experience at volleyball. But when he complained to the man he was dating that life in suburban McKinney, was stifling for a young gay man, his boyfriend recommended he join the Dallas Independent Volleyball Association.

“I’ve been out since my senior year in high school, but it’s hard to be proud and loud when you’re surrounded by nothing but restaurants and straight people,” Villegas jokes. “I think that DIVA and the gay sports of Dallas are overlooked — I have made some really great friends and feel more part of the gay community. After I heard about DIVA, I still didn’t join for more than a year — I regret that I didn’t join sooner. It’s a good way to meet quality gay people.”

Villegas’ first season with DIVA started last summer; right now, he’s gearing up for the spring season, which kicks off with new member orientation and clinics this week.

“There is a wide range of skill levels. When you do to the new member clinic, they figure what division you’re in: recreational, intermediate, competitive, advanced, power or open,” he says; intermediate is the largest, and the division he’s in. From then, captains conduct a draft to put you on teams.

So does his ballet training transfer to the volleyball court? Yes and no.

“They are very similar in the fact you need to be focused and there’s a specific way to do things. Your body tells you what come natural to you and you have to train yourself how to do it the right way. But there are differences in the way you move.”

There’s another way they’re alike, too.

“The dance world is very cutthroat — if you’re not practicing you’re already behind. I joined for friends but these people are competitive! There’s lots of slapping butts and laughing, but they don’t like to lose. Well, neither do I.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 11, 2001.

—  John Wright