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Seattle dances to victory at OutGames
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Seattle dances to victory at OutGames

by James Whitely - SGN Contributing Writer

Four dancers from the Puget Sound area competed at the Second World OutGames in Copenhagen, Denmark from July 25-August 2.

Seattle local Marcella Benson-Quaziena won two gold medals and one bronze medal in the beginning line dance competition. Another Seattle local, Jim Drew, won two gold medals and a silver medal in the intermediate line dance competition. Both Benson-Quaziena and Drew also won special cup trophies for overall performance in their respective categories.

The country western dance competition was held about midway through the OutGames, and was organized primarily by The International Association of Gay/Lesbian Country Western Dance Clubs (IAGLCWDC), a member organization of Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA), which largely sponsored the OutGames. In addition to the line dance, there was couples country western, and dance team country western. Referring to the dance team competition, "I think of it as synchronized swimming on the dance floor," said Drew.

"I've been doing line dancing competitions for several years now," he said.

Drew has been involved with IAGLCWDC since 1995, through the local member organization Rain Country Dance Association.

Drew also won a silver medal in the Mr. Leather OutGames competition. In addition to appearing in leather, competitors do a "presentation" or fantasy," a leather-themed skit with sexual overtones, which is often funny, but sometimes very serious.

The Second World OutGames, a sporting and cultural event for the LGBT community, included over 5,500 participants from nearly 100 countries. The OutGames is structured in three different major event categories: human rights, cultural activities, and sports. The next OutGames will take place in Antwerp, Belgium in 2013. For more information, visit Copenhagen2009.org

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