By Megan Wadding, May 2017 Issue.

Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party in Palm Springs, California draws tens of thousands of gay men from all over the world for a weekend-long dance and pool party extravaganza.

The 28th annual festivities, which will include guest appearances by the hottest DJs from around the world, pool parties and celebrity sightings, will take place May 5-8 at the Renaissance Hotel and other locations throughout Palm Springs.

Originally, the White Party weekend was a large gathering of Sanker’s friends. This year, he said he expects more than 30,000 attendees to descend upon the desert throughout the weekend.

“I am thrilled,” Sanker said. “The response has been amazing.”

According to Sanker, the White Party weekend, which had always been held in April has now been moved to May for the first time, which he believes is the reason more people are able to attend. 

“[Attendees come from] all over the world,” Sanker said. “We see a lot from Canada, Australia and Europe, as well as many from all over the USA.”

Many of the attendees come from Arizona each year, Sanker said.

“We see a large contingency of Phoenix and Tucson boys every year,” he said. “Arizona boys are very representative of their state: HOT!”

As always, the parties that fill the weekend will be feature music by DJs from all around the globe.

“[There will be DJs] that are getting a lot of press in the LGBT[Q] community, as well as those that have worked with major labels and stars,” Sanker said.

DJs throughout the weekend include DJ Dan Slater, DJ Abel Aguilera, DJ Danny Verde, as well as, Tom Stephan and Bret Law, both of whom will be making their White Party debuts this year, and more.

Sanker said he draws his inspiration for the wild parties by staying current and by paying attention to what is relevant in pop culture.

“I try to always keep my finger on the pulse of what’s hot, and what is up and coming, and travel the world for more ideas every year,” he said.

This year, there will be a total of eight parties in a 72 hour-period.

The weekend kicks off May 5 with the Friday Splash 1 “Dive In” pool party at the Renaissance pool, featuring the music of DJ Phil B. Followed by the new PAPA Dark “Leather, Sweat and Sex” party, which is being described as a “decadent, bacchanal exploration of music, leather and fantasy” according to Sanker. The party will feature DJ Tomo Woodland and DJ Isaac Escalante.

The Splash 2 “Addicted to Boys” pool party, featuring DJ Bret Law and DJ/Producer Duo, Grind and Toy Armada will take pace May 6 and feature live DJs and a swimwear fashion show beside the largest pool in Palm Springs. That evening the infamous White Party, which will take place May 6 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, will feature a military theme, an internationally known surprise performer.

White Party: Held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, the party will feature the music of DJ Suri, DJ Dan Slater and DJ Aron.

The all-night after-party, Climax, will take place at the Renaissance Event Center and will feature DJ Tom Stephan of London.

The Splash 3 “One Day in Heaven” pool party, featuring the beats of DJ Wayne G, kicks off May 7. And the Sunset T-Dance is held Sunday night on the outdoor dance floor, under the large Ferris wheel, at White Party Park. The party will feature DJ Abel Aguilera and SJ Ralphi Rosario.

While Carlisle will headline as the Queen of the the weekend, she will perform her greatest hits as dusk hits May 7 at the White Party T-Dance, followed by a choreographed fireworks display, set to an exclusive remix, a White Party weekend tradition.

This marks Carlisle’s White Party debut, and said she is very excited to be headlining this year.

“I’ve been wanting to perform at this event for years, since it looks like too much fun and I’ve seen all the legendary artists who have come before me,” Carlisle said. “Plus, as a mom of a gay son who had a blast at the White Party last year and who will be attending with me this year, I’m so proud to be part of such a great iconic event.”

This year, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star, Kyle Richards, will be reigning over the White Party and the T-Dance this year, according to Sanker.

“She was chosen as our Queen because she exemplifies everything that White Party stands for: creativity, acceptance, beauty, laughter and glamour,” said Sanker. “She is the epitome of confidence, and a champion of supporting those who are proud of who they are.”

As night falls on Sunday, the WE Party begins. DJ Binomio and DJ Danny Verde, both from Madrid, will be filling the evening with music.

“Our closing party is one that is gonna knock your socks off,” said Sanker. “You will literally leave your inhibitions at the door.”

The weekend also will include early morning yoga sessions for attendees.

“There is something for everyone,” Sanker said. “See you on the dance floor! Pace yourselves[sic], boys!”

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Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

Michael Feinstein

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Gilles Toucas

Michael Feinstein will commemorate Judy Garland’s life on March 20 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

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I think it’s fair to say we all want that #fitlife, especially with Spring around the corner — as well as Gaypril on the way. Whether it’s pool season yet or not, everyone would choose to look fit over not looking fit, if they could have it with a snap of their fingers. OK, the vast majority of us would.

If you’ve met me, or have been reading my articles, you know that I live, sleep, eat and breathe fitness; it’s my heart and soul. That being said, I’m here to tell you that the concept of “fitness” is oftentimes tragically misunderstood.

Before you get too aggressive with your goal for pool season, let’s dive a bit deeper into what fitness means on the inside versus what it looks like on the outside, and common misconceptions around this concept.

1. Beware of the cultural pitfalls and misleading information around fitness.

Most of the bodies you see in the media are probably not real, they just look very convincing. As a trainer who also moonlights as a photographer and Photoshop wizard, I’m telling you that it is incredibly easy to alter pictures in materially misleading ways. Once you know the tricks of the trade, the imposters are easily spotted. But that’s not what this is about.

The point is: to the untrained eye, it can be devastatingly defeating to see such impossible standards. It seems as though the cultural pressure to look a certain way, to look perfect, has spread all the way from runway models to fitness novices with the help of smartphone apps.

The truth is that we fitness models look that cut, and that lean for only a couple days at a time. That’s it! In many cases, months or even close to a year of training, dieting and programming all go into looking like that for ONE day. Let that sink in for a second. Day to day, I am less cut, less tan and much flatter muscularly than what you see in some of my pictures. That’s just the nature of the beast. So, when you have a bad day on the scale, in the mirror or in any other scenario, remember that we’re all human and that the most legitimate photos you’re comparing yourself against were from someone’s very best day. That should help to keep things in perspective.

2. Most people want the results, without actually doing the work.

Fitness is not six pack abs, it’s not superficial, it is not temporary and it’s not an isolated phase in your life. Further, fitness is not something you do for someone else, do to spite someone else or even to impress someone else.

Fitness is confidence, toughness, dedication, coordination, power, balance, speed, strength (both literally and figuratively) and persistence in the face of all obstacles. This includes control over your attitude, your mood, your sleep, your schedule, your diet and other aspects of your life. This means getting that workout in when you least feel like it.

It’s not easy, and it’s definitely a grind that has good and bad days. You must show up and keep working on the days you’re tired, stressed, rushed, defeated, doubtful, afraid and so on. The days you actually have to overcome something instead of just checking your workout off your to-do list are the days you have the greatest opportunity to really make progress, push your body and see the most improvement.

3. Fitness is really an internal mindset. The external physique is the fringe benefit.

I’ve said this time and time again, and it might sound strange coming from such an aesthetic-focused trainer, but you are not your body. Your body is a tool, it’s a means to an end, to express your internal mindset, belief system, discipline and dedication to your workout program. Your physique will come and go. Your strength will come and go. Your abilities will wax and wane depending on what you’re training for at the time.

The outside will, and should, be always changing, but the inside is what we’re really after here. Good trainers want to train you to believe in yourself when sh*t gets hard. We want to train you to be resilient in the face of injury, obstacles and other setbacks. We want you to set ambitious goals and shoot for the moon because you can get there with smart programming and relentless will (do yourself a favor and ditch the crash diets and the photo editing software).

So, as you make your spring preparations for swimsuit season, try focusing on developing a sterling, unshakeable internal character and the muscles will come along the way, this I promise you.

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