Out & About Today Nashville Channel 5
Happening in Nashville
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Let’s be real here: gay bars are not for everyone. And while it’s wonderful that Nashville has great spaces for queer folks to get their groove on, sometimes one just wants to grab some friends, cut a rug, and not have to find parking on Church Street.
Enter QDP: a Queer Dance Party of Nashville’s very own. QDP is a regular monthly dance party at The 5 Spot in East Nashville. QDP features a dance floor and great DJ’s who “always strive to play your jam and get you on your feet,” says the QDP committee, made up of Alex Caress, Jordan Caress, Ashley Cole, Jason Harris, Keith Johnson, Tiffany Minton, Rachel Rogers, and Laura Taylor.
In fact, the committee says, "We intentionally leave the stage clear as part of the dance floor during QDP, because we feel it makes the party seem more about the people that are dancing than it does about the DJs. "
Dancing is in QDP’s DNA, but there are also spaces to sit and talk, as well as a photo booth. At every QDP, the photo booth has excellent photographers, different handmade backdrops, and fresh new props.
“We’ve been lucky to have amazing talented photographers at our photo booth,” says the committee. “We usually have Steve Cross working his magic behind the camera, but we also love Diana Lee Zadlo and Jonny Kingsbury (from Generation Domination). We have the most fun after every QDP looking through the photos and seeing new faces, seeing the regulars up their photo booth game… it’s very exciting.”
After each QDP, photos spread like wildfire over social media. “Photos are our best form of advertising,” the committee explains. “Browsing through the pictures on Facebook shows how much fun people are having and social media makes it easy to share those photos, thus the word spreads naturally.”
Besides the monthly dance parties, QDP also throws parties on special occasions like Halloween and Pride. Last year, QDP hosted the Nissan Local Stage at Pride, which featured bands like Tipper Whore, Catfight, Heidi Burson, Mr. Trout, and Carol Plunk. They also threw kick-off and after-parties.
“Our first year at Pride we just walked around in a small group with a boom box dancing to Robyn and passing out flyers, so we’ve come a long way,” the committee says with a laugh. “We were so stoked to be included in Pride last year and are already talking about how we can be involved this year, though we don’t have any specific details we can share just yet.”
Last year, QDP hosted the first-ever QDProm: a huge event with live bands, DJs, and a terrific Robyn flash mob. “Throwing a big queer prom was a dream for us early on,” the committee says. “We can’t believe we did it after only a year and we can’t wait to do it again!”
This year’s QDProm is February 15 at Mercy Lounge. The committee is tight-lipped about what’s in store this year, but they promise another party band and more time for QDP DJs. Like the 2013 QDProm, this year’s event is 18+.
“We love to have 18+ events,” the committee says. “Any time we can have an event that allows younger people to be there, we do. We definitely think it’s important for queer youth to have a similar safe space like the one we’ve created with QDP.”
To that end, QDP keeps the admission to their monthly party just $1 and are committed to local organizations supporting the queer community. In December, QDP donated their profits to Just Us, a program at Nashville’s Oasis Center that provides support and advocacy for LGBTQI high school students. Says the committee, “We really appreciate the work they do.” They’ve donated to Rock Camp, IDA’s Work Hard/Stay Hard organization, and had a fundraiser for one of their loyal party-goers who was hospitalized after a hit-and-run bike accident.
“We are grateful that our party has put us in this position to be able to contribute to causes we care about,” explains the committee. “We hope to provide more donations to deserving groups in the coming year; we really look forward to that part of our organization growing.”
QDP’s growth is partly due to its ability to adapt and improve. “Through alterations like gender-neutral bathrooms and posting our “QDProtocol” - a short FAQ we created last year - we keep tweaking the party to make it the best it can be,” the committee says. “There are always opportunities for improvement and we hope to continue to foster an environment of inclusion and care for our QDPeople in a traditionally straight environment.”
Indeed, most of QDP’s events do not take place in gay or lesbian bars. “Although we all love Blue Gene’s karaoke, catching a drag show at Play, or a wild night at Lipstick, we feel like we shouldn’t have to go to a gay bar to feel comfortable dancing with whomever we want,” says the committee. “Our mission is to take over a typically straight venue and make it a queer space for the night - a place where anyone can feel safe, respected, and free to bust a move.”
“It’s great to see the confused looks on the faces of regular 5 Spot patrons when they try to figure out why there are men in the women’s bathroom,” continues the committee. “Having our party at a bar that isn’t a gay bar shows that we are a part of the fabric of Nashville and we can be accepted and welcomed without being separated from everyone else.”
What started off as a small monthly dance party has expanded into an important force for good in Nashville’s queer community. “QDP grew more quickly than we ever could have anticipated,” the committee says. “Our heads are always spinning with new ideas and possibilities. We really want to ramp up our online presence. We would love to throw different kinds of parties, bring queer dance acts and artists to Nashville, raise money for local organizations… any excuse to throw more parties, because we like to party.”
It all comes back to having a great party for QDP. “We just concentrate on throwing the kind of parties that we would like to attend,” says the committee. “We consider ourselves incredibly lucky that other people enjoy the same things we do.”
QDProm will be held February 15 at Mercy Lounge. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Buy tickets at bit.ly/QDProm14
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.