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Happy Hour Body Liberation Party
Having a live audience watch your webcam dancing may seem like a work-from-home nightmare. Alternatively, learning to embrace your body as it is in front of strangers may be just what you need while stuck at home. That’s why Diva Darling, in partnership with Joe’s Movement Emporium, is hosting another installment of her Body Liberation Dance Party. You don’t need a studio or any dance experience, and the D.C.-based burlesque dancer is quick to guarantee the event is open to people of all genders, body types, and ages. All you need is a way to join the virtual dance party over Zoom. Diva Darling describes herself as a “velvet-voiced vamp with dangerous curves who’s hell on heels.” On May 15, the vamp will be focusing on body positivity and helping participants feel the music. For anyone still on the fence, know that Diva Darling knows her stuff. She’s been teaching introductory burlesque and striptease classes in the area for years, and she’s performed at the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Capital Fringe, Capital Pride, and Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit. You’re guaranteed to walk away from the event rejuvenated and feeling more confident, and maybe even a little less self-conscious about videoconferencing mishaps. The Body Liberation Dance Party begins at 4 p.m. on May 15. Registration is available at eventbrite.com. $5–$15. —Sarah Smith
If Cities Could Dance’s beat ya feet episode
KQED, a San Francisco-based PBS television station and NPR radio station, has created a series of online videos called If Cities Could Dance, and season three starts with Washington, D.C. The episode covers exhilarating local beat ya feet dancing, which was inspired by D.C. go-go. This 7-minute effort was dynamically shot by director/producer Charlotte Khadra and cinematographer Devin Johnson, with assistance from local producer Randy Gill of GW Entertainment, who helped choose the locations. While designed as a basic history lesson on DC’s funky homegrown music and its leg-wiggling, foot-stomping dance, the video’s vivid footwork in front of both cultural and tourist landmarks should entertain those familiar with the sonics and movements. The video includes enthralling footage of dancer and dance teacher John ‘Crazy Legz’ Pearson and others moving their knees left and right and slapping their sneakers down in front of iconic locations including the Lincoln Memorial, the Metro PCS store of Don’t Mute D.C. fame, and Barry Farm’s basketball court. While this episode doesn’t get into the dance history minutia of beat ya feet’s late ‘90s origins, it does include clips of the godfather of go-go, Chuck Brown, and the legendary Howard Theatre, and it gestures at the history of majority black Washington with pre-1968 black and white photos by Robert H. McNeill. While Crazy Legz is the lead, the video also includes scenes with Kevin ‘Noodlez’ Davis doing the dance’s fast left-foot-over-right-foot stepping and sliding moves in front of the Anacostia “Many Voices, Many Beats, One City” go-go mural designed by Cory Stowers. Women, including Tierra Parham and Gabrielle Kornegay, also strut at multiple locations. When you hear that bounce beat go-go adaptation of The Jackson 5, you might even want to get up and try it yourself. The video is available on YouTube. Free. —Steve Kiviat