“When dancing, you are taught that men lead and women follow, however, not everyone agrees,” said Krystal Kirby, the Gay Lesbian Transgender Straight Bisexual Asexual Pride’s (GLTSBA) Marketing Chair.
GLTSBA (a club that promotes acceptance and understanding with all UT students of all sexualities and gender identities) and The Spartan Swingers (a club put together to educate students about swing dancing), will be partnering up to host a Gender Neutral Dance. The Spartan Swingers will be teaching students the necessary steps they need to know for swing dancing.
The purpose of the Gender Neutral Dance is so that women and men can decide whether they want to lead or follow. It also allows for students to dance with whomever they’d like.
“I feel everyone, whether male or female, is entitled to take whatever role suites them,” said Brittney Watson, junior management and information systems major. “There should be a common ground or some level of fairness between partners.”
The events will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Fletcher Lounge on Feb. 12. The Spartan Swingers will go first, and then the Gender Neutral Dance will follow at 8 p.m.
“I got the idea from a time when I went to The Spartan Swingers’ dance event,” said Taylor Allman, President of GLTSBA. “They didn’t say you’d typically have to lead if you’re a guy and follow if you’re a girl; but it’s something that happened anyways. I hope that everyone will have a fun time no matter what they identified as.”
There is no specific audience targeted for this event. Kirby aims for a variety of students to show and do something they’ve probably never done before. She also wants people to look at dancing in a different light after this event.
“I think the whole concept of the dance is a good idea,” said Hannah Hughes, sophomore digital arts major. “It makes sense that anyone should lead if they wanted to; I often have problems with following, so this is great.”
The Gender Neutral Dance is set the week of Valentine’s Day to accommodate the festivities. There is no dress code for the event; everyone is entitled to wear whatever they feel comfortable wearing.
“Any opportunity we see that can make the University of Tampa more diverse, open and inclusive, we want to explore,” Kirby said.
For more information on the dance, you can visit the UT events page or the GLTSBA Facebook and Instagram.
Ariel Hernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org