The Pride Gay-la dance, hosted by the Umbrella Club, was held in the dining commons on March 5.
The idea for the dance was from Umbrella Club President Ash Clairé, who wanted to have a dance that supported and promoted the LGBTQ community as well as one that would be safe and enjoyable.
“When I became President of Umbrella Club, that was the first thing I did; I wanted to do a dance,” Claire’ said. “ Being the president was the first time I had the authority to be able to move everything along for it.”
Clairé and the Umbrella Club began planning for the dance since the beginning of winter quarter and the work put into the planning was approximately eight weeks. The Umbrella Club received approximately $2,015 all together for the cost. The money came from the club funds pool from student tuition fees that one must pay when coming to Pierce College.
“It’s a lot of work and a lot of paperwork to get everything aligned,” Clairé said.
Prior to the dance, the Umbrella Club started preparing for the dance at 2 p.m. and all the way until the dance started, so about a totla of seven or eight weeks.
Office of Student Life Coordinator Sonja Morgan helped throughout the whole process of the dance. During Umbrella Club meetings, held in room C210, Morgan came in and gave suggestions for the dance.
“They’ve (the Umbrella Club) been doing great programming and contributing in a lot to our campus climate and making Pierce College a welcome and supporting community, so I think that this event will continue to contribute to our college,” Morgan said.
One of the features at this dance was that there were trans-friendly dressing room where LGBTQ students could get ready while feeling safe, which was held in Multipurpose room A. The room also provided the option for students to get their makeup done. One of the makeup artists was Lyndsey Nirschl, who Clairé knew from church. Nirschl brought an array of makeup supplies.
“Trans(gender) people who are uncomfortable dressing at home can put on dresses or suits and get their hair done and feel beautiful for the night out,” Clairé said.
Margi Hamilton, a student at Pierce College, even donated a couple of dresses to the event once Equity and Diversity Coordinator Roxanne Simon had talked to Hamilton and mentioned that the dance was coming up. Hamilton volunteered to bring them in.
“To say the group was overwhelmed with the generosity of one student is an understatement,” Simon said.
Multipurpose room B housed a photo booth against a black curtain and rainbow curtains for a background.
The theme for the whole dance was rainbows, the universal symbol for the LGBTQ community. About 1,000 balloons were blown up, and some were scattered across the floor of the dining commons and there was also a long balloon wreath attached together that was hooked onto the staircase leading to the dining commons. There were also streamers, banners and table cloths that lit up the dining commons.
The music selection at the dance was provided by a local DJ and friend of Clairé’s named Luke Reneau. Reneau played upbeat and popular hits such as the Cha-cha Slide by DJ Casper, Firework by Katy Perry and the Macarena by Los DelRio.
“The best part about the dance was how willing people were to start dancing and not worry about what other people were thinking,” Vice President of Umbrella Club Jacky Lee Gregory said.
About 55 people attended the event, which lasted until about 10 p.m. According to Clairé, the dance was a success, and there are hopes for another one.
“(What I liked the most would be) I’d say the freedom to be yourself,” student Connor De Gooyer said.
The next Umbrella Club event will be a drag show on May 6.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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