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Rain Country Dance Association holds third annual hoedown
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Rain Country Dance Association holds third annual hoedown

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

The Third Annual
Emerald City Hoedown
April 23-25
Various Venues


The weekend of April 23-25 marks the 3rd annual Emerald City Hoedown put on by Rain Country Dance Association. The Emerald City Hoedown is a weekend of dance celebrations and classes for LGBT people of all skill levels.

"The Emerald City Hoedown is all about giving people the biggest and best dance experience that we can muster," said Jim Drew, the Emerald City Hoedown chair. According to Drew, another purpose of the Hoedown is to showcase the rich local dance and dance instruction talent we have here in the Pacific Northwest's LGBT community.

"The centerpiece of the weekend is the Emerald City Hoedown Ball, held at the Polish Hall, [1714 18th Ave.]" Drew told SGN. The ball is on the night of April 24 from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Registration for the entire weekend of dance is $75, but you can also register for most of the dance workshops for $10, and you can register for the ball for $20.

"We started the Emerald City Hoedown in 2008. From the start of the Rain Country Dance Association, producing a weekend event like this was one of our organizational goals," said Drew.

"For many years, Seattle had the Timberline and Timberline Spirits as the center of GLBTQ country-western dance life, and a small crew of volunteers provided the dance lessons. When those clubs went away, our group of volunteers partnered with the Cuff Complex to produce the weekly Cuff Country Dance Nights there, with volunteers providing both the lessons and the DJing," said Drew. "At the same time, we had a local country-western dance performing team, the Rain City Rhythm Riders."

"To ensure better stability, more consistency, and to avoid burn-out with just a handful of volunteers, members of the Rhythm Riders plus the Cuff Country instructors and DJs and a few other active dancers came together to create the Rain Country Dance Association," said Drew.

Other than promoting country-western dancing, Rain Country Dance Association and the Hoedown serve another purpose: raising money for charity.

"Our charity this year, like last year, is the Gay City Health Project." Drew told SGN. "They help us with some volunteer tasks during the weekend, and we are able to donate a good chunk of money back to them and have fun in the process."

Other highlights of the weekend include a two-hour spotlight workshop on the two-step, workshops on West Coast swing, the waltz, and the line dance, and a farewell dance at the Cuff.

"While we [Rain Country Dance Association] have regular dance nights and dance lessons, those are once a week and for just a few hours," said Drew. "The hoedown is that times 10: a full weekend of dancing, a whole suite of dance lessons - something for every taste and level of experience - and more!"

Rain Country Dance Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to country-western dance education. The Rain Country Dance Association creates a friendly environment for GLBTQ people and friends to meet and dance in the Pacific Northwest.

To register, to take a look at the schedule of the weekend's events, or for more information, visit www.emeraldcityhoedown.com. For more information on Rain Country Dance Association, visit www.raincountrydance.org.

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