This morning, Irreverent Dance founder Amanda Leon-Joyce announced the closure of the dance community’s home, IDHQ, as the spectre of redevelopment rears its ugly head. This sad news was a shock to this close knit community of people who, before discovering ID, mostly thought they would never identify as a dancer. But the support that Amanda and her team have received online since the announcement is a testament to what amazing people IDers are.
I’ve seen Irreverent Dance grow from a single 8-week course of grade 1 ballet classes for adult beginners, to a body-positive LGBTQ-friendly community where people learn to reconnect with their bodies and make new friends. As a community ID has: performed at festivals; taken over a theatre (three years in a row); taken part in Pride in London, twice; helped to change lives for the better; and opened a gender-neutral dance studio. Sadly, this is where its story comes to an end.
As with so many of the Queer spaces we are losing to big business, we may not be able to fight meaningfully on their terms, but we can fight loudly and brilliantly on ours; dance, smile, take up space, tear up the floor and turn up the speakers. Show up in your boldest outfits, and do the courses you were most afraid to try.
We’re being forced out, but let us go out dancing…
So, if you always wanted to learn to dance in a supportive non-judgemental environment, sign up to the newsletter to receive updates on ID’s final term and help us say goodbye to a wonderful home. I guarantee you’ll make some awesome new friends too.