Pride Week hosts local band Bueno Avenue Stringband

When you think of square dancing, you might think of older individuals wearing cowboy hats and moving about the room as a band leader calls out instructions over a microphone. And though it’s true that it’s a dance style steeped in tradition, it’s also true that it has evolved for more inclusive audiences. This year for Pride Week, the LGBT Resource Center is holding a Square Dance that’s sure to break stereotypes around this dance form.

The band playing the music for the evening is called Bueno Avenue Stringband. They will be playing traditional Southern Appalachian mountain music, also known as “old-time music.” The band is usually all acoustic, with a fiddle, guitar, banjo and a stand-up bass. The Bueno Avenue Stringband started up about 10 years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah. The original band members all lived on Bueno Avenue — hence the group’s name — and the quirky little street is still their main stomping ground. Live music is certainly a great reason to go to this event, especially when it showcases a local band. Expect a hard drivin’ rhythm to make you want to get up and dance.

Phillip Scott Anuta, band leader of the Bueno Avenue Stringband, said, “With square dancing, you don’t need to know anything ahead of time. The caller will walk you through the steps of the dance, and then you’re ready to go.”

Traditionally the caller will give instructions by referring to the “gent” or “lady” in the couple dancing. Phillip describes his experiences in square dancing by insisting that these formal names are “purely for the sake of the caller, who needs a way to instruct either individual in the couple. Whether they are actually a gent or a lady is irrelevant.”

This event is being co-sponsored by a student group called Students for Queer Arts Resistance and Education. SQARE is a direct action student group that interacts predominantly with local student populations regarding queer issues. They strive to openly resist normalized forms of oppression through various artistic forms, ally-ships and educational opportunities. SQARE was born out of the Queer Identity and Social Justice Think Tank, a 2013-2014 University of Utah Honors College Think Tank course. Those interested in joining this student group should contact Lauryn Hansen via email at [email protected]

All you need to do is either bring a partner, or meet one there. Everyone is welcome to come. The Square Dance will be held in the Union Ballroom on Oct. 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. You might also be interested in the Pride Week Film Festival, which will be on Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Marriott Library Gould Auditorium.

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