Dancing might be considered a progressive form of self-expression for many, but partner dancing can be seen as non-inclusive, particularly for those in the queer community.

Urban Village spoke to Kristy Pinna, owner of Surry Hills’ Connection Studios, who offers queer dance classes at her studio.

Through her relationship with queer friends and co-workers Kristy realised that often, partner dancing can seem inconsistent with modern relationship dynamics and unsuitable to queer relationships.

Kristy says: “In partner dancing leaders are typically a male and followers are typically a female. Queer dance is all about breaking those boundaries down and allowing people to learn whichever role they like and dance with anybody.”

For Kristy, Connection Studios is all about inclusivity and her queer friendly classes are an extension of this.

“We want to be able to welcome everyone in our space and have everybody make it feel like their home. We’re all about inclusivity and don’t want people to feel like they can’t be part of our school” says Kristy.

Connection studios offers three queer friendly classes, consisting of two partner classes and one solo class, which holds and influence of hip hop and back up dancing.

Being one of the only dance studios around offering these types of classes, Connection Studios hope to see their community grow even more.

“We’d like to have the space open and to have it run in different venues as well as make it more accessible for other people,” says Kristy.

“Getting as many people involved and basically spreading the word that its ok to dance with whoever you want and make people feel comfortable in that situation rather than feeling unsure.”

Connection Studios reflects today’s climate and the idea that stereotypes and gender roles need to be broken down, for a more fluid society.

Says Kristy: “For me dance isn’t about making people feel unwelcome. It’s about bringing people together, and I think that’s an important thing our community should be moving towards. Non-judgemental and allowing people to be free on the dance floor and dance with whoever they want.”

Connection Studio’s Queer Friendly Dance Classes for beginner and intermediate dancers level start every four weeks, with the next round of classes starting from the week of the 24th of May from 6pm-9pm. Connection Studios also offers a free trial for your first week of dance.

You can find out more and book here.