Friday, November 12, 2010

"Dance Buddies"

In case you didn't read down to the very end of the most recent DanceATL email, a recent thought spurred by conversations with a couple of other art-interested folks who said "I would love to come, but I have a hard time finding someone to go with me" is to make a DanceATL program called something like "dance buddies" (suggestions for the name?) Folks who're flying solo to a show can meet up at the dance table in the lobby of the performance before the show, during intermission and even afterward. Nothing formal, just a way to go alone without being alone. I know I've had friends with whom I regularly go see shows (pre-baby!), but there are always times when you can't find anybody or end up going too last minute etc.
Should we have a meet up ahead of time? Or after? Should we wear buttons that let each other know who we are? Eventually try to get tickets together? (much more complicated, that.) There's potential for a whole group of dance enthusiasts to form that gets together for shows all around town. But no expectations of that at this point. Right now, we'll just if anybody likes the idea? The concept is still in formation and we'd be happy to hear your thoughts on making it work!

Of course, we'd love it if the reality were that people who have a problem finding folks to come with them manage to strong-arm their significant other or friends into going and then the friends find that they actually kinda like that dance stuff and turn into huge fans as a result. But, in the absence of that happening (I certainly seem to have the luck that the things I take my husband to are guaranteed to be, um, challenging? in a variety of ways) this is a way to at least let the people who ARE interested be able to make it.
And by the way, if you're not on the DanceATL elist but you'd like to be, please contact me to be added at And please send submissions for the enews to the same address. I can't promise exactly when the next one will go out, unfortunately, but maybe in mid-December? The next meeting will be December 5 in the afternoon. I'll do another post soon with details!


  1. Hey-

    I think the meet-up sounds like a great idea. Maybe meeting in a nearby bar or coffee shop 45 minutes before showtime?

    Wearing buttons or standing by a loner's table at the theater could be sort of intimidating. But waiting/meeting up at a coffee shop wouldn't be. People do it all the time--and it would allow people to grab a cup of coffee and chat before/after the show, too. There could be an email list that lets people know the next performance and the coffee house where the meet-up will be beforehand...

    I know so many couples where one member appreciates dance and the other doesn't, or people who can't persuade friends to come to a particular performance or people who are curious about a show, but don't have someone to go with. Also there are lots of single people in the Atl who are looking to meet other single people who share their interests in art, theater and dance (it's not always easy!), so it could be great for that, too: a total, low-pressure way to meet other single folk who care about the arts. I could totally see this being a big hit. I definitely know a lot of gay guys looking for better ways to meet nice guys (I imagine the straight scene is similar!) and this would be such a nice, low-key, no-pressure way. If you took out little announcements in Creative Loafing and Southern Voice, I bet it could really take off.

  2. Hi Ada,

    I think you bring up a great point about meeting ahead of time at a nearby spot to grab a drink and start a conversation.

    I'll meet up with anyone who wants to go see
    Refuge Dance Company's production of "Rest: A Journey Home..." this Saturday night (Nov 13). The show starts at 7:30pm at 7 Stages so I'll organize a meet up at 7pm next door at Java Lords. I'll wear a red bandana.

    Next Saturday (Nov 20) I'll organize a 7pm meet-up for CORE Performance Company's "Corazon Abriendo" (Heart Opening). That show begins at 8pm. I'll do the meet up at the Landmark Diner on the corner across the street from the Rialto Theater, right next door to the Balzer Theater (Theatrical Outfit) where CORE will perform. The diner has a full menu of meals, so we can grab dinner there. Again, look for the red bandana.


  3. Thanks for letting us know your ideas about the "dance buddies" idea, Ada! And thanks for being proactive about it, keif. I had offered the dance table as a place to meet because we already set it up at most of the shows that happen (not 100% but you know, we're trying). So it wouldn't be a loners' table, so much as meeting where the info and sometimes a staff/volunteer already is.
    My other thought was to use to organize, but apparently it costs like $12 a month, so maybe or maybe not worth spending money on. At this point, I'm going to say we can maybe find another way to do it electronically. Does anyone know another free option like that?
    Until we find the magic bullet online, we'll just start this way for these upcoming shows. I'll be at the dance table for Corazon too, so either the diner or the table works for that one! (And BTW, there's a preshow starting at 7:30 where the cast is in the space welcoming the audience, so you may want to arrive before the 8:00 curtain time.)
    Yay dance!

  4. And in a follow up, I think finding a good balance between the singles idea and just folks to hang out with will be key. I'm not sure there are enough interested folks to make 2 groups, but I do think the expectations are quite different. That's why I wasn't calling it "Dance Dates". My husband wouldn't be comfortable with that! So I'm not sure how to negotiate that difference.

  5. Hey, Claire,

    I didn't really mean to suggest that it would be like a dating singles group or anything... I was just sayin' one of its many functions and appeals could be that single people who love dance could meet other single people who love dance in a low-key environment.... ie one of the things that would make it low-key was that it wasn't specifically designed for dating singles or as a hook-up whatever etc... It's just a bunch of people of all kinds headed to the show. I don't think splitting into 2 groups is a good idea either. But yeah, I guess negotiating that sort of balance would be key...

  6. "Does anyone know another free option like that?"

    Have you take a look at evite?

    Or maybe a facebook group?

  7. What a great idea. I don't see nearly as much dance as I would like to Faace book Event or like page wouuld be a great way to build an crowd. BTW Thanks for listing The 4 O'Clock Dance Break on your blog. I hope you have found some fun stuff on there.

  8. We'll just have to experiment with the best way to coordinate the preshow meet ups. If we use FB, do you think the event should be separate from the one for the actual show, or should we just say on the wall that it's an option and let people sign up there? Options like evite and doodle require having peoples' emails to invite them, so it's not quite the same as having something for everyone who runs across it to sign up.