An interview with dancer and choreographer Patrik Gallineaux
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
Only in San Francisco — the world’s most unusually glamorous spinoff of Dancing with the Stars is here and likely to dig-in its heels and stay. Time for Dancing with the Drag Queen Stars!!! Featuring Cheryl Burke herself as celebrity judge alongside Hollywood legend Bruce Vilanch and local drag celebrity Bebe Sweetbriar, Donna Sachet emcees this must-attend ballroom meets dance club event at the beautiful Cheryl Burke Dance flagship ballroom studio at 1830 17th Street in SF. The first semifinal is June 6th, during which five of San Francisco’s most fabulous & outrageous stars of the drag and club community (Suppositori Spelling, Virginia Suicide, Suzan Revah, HystErica, & Paju) compete with five of the hottest ballroom/latin dancers in the world to survive elimination on the dance floor. Two couples will be chosen to move on to the finals on August 8th, where they will compete against the winners of the second semifinal event on July 11th. The VIP reception is from 6-7:00 with a chance to mingle with Cheryl, Bruce, VIP hostess Sister Roma, & all the stars with hors d’ouerves, a Ciroc Vodka sponsored open bar, photo ops. The doors open at 7:00 for general admission, with an optional but strongly encouraged salsa lesson with headmistress Emily Coles. The competition kicks off at 8:30 with dance music supplied by Superstar DJ Thonsey. Recording artist Caroline Lund makes a sensational appearance as featured guest performer for the evening. All tickets include two free beverage coupons, as well as FREE admission to the afterparty at Wunderland, San Francisco’s hottest new late night dance club experience. Click here for more information: Dancing with the Drag Queen Stars
Handsome San Francisco resident dancer and choreographer Patrik Gallineaux (seated, lower center) is clearly in love. The man is at the feet of his dream come true. Dancing With The Drag Queen Stars begins with Patrik – and his attraction to the radiant side. I couldn’t wait to hear it from him about this one-of-a-kind Only In San Francisco happening.
Seán: How did this all start for you?
Patrik: About three years ago, I stood in the middle of what was then the Metronome Ballroom, now Cheryl Burke Dance. I imagined the world’s most fabulous event happening in that room. I was combining the very best of the conservative ballroom world with the very best of San Francisco’s unparalleled, outrageous, cutting edge nightclub celebrities and personalities. I wasn’t quite sure how it would come together. I approached Donna Sachet and told her there was an idea germinating in my head. It would be a nightclub inspired ballroom event at 1830 Seventeenth Street and I would love for her to play a major role in it. Another two years would pass before I knew the time was right. With the success of Dancing With The Stars and Cheryl Burke, and with the climate of unparalleled talent in the Castro and alternative lifestyle nightclub entertainment scenes, I realized the time was exactly right to pursue my vision. At the beginning of 2009, Michael Reeve – who is co-producer of the event and co-owner of Cheryl Burke Dance – mentioned to me he would like to have a stronger presence of the Gay community at Cheryl Burke Dance by developing a same-sex dance program with a same-sex dance party. He said, “Don’t you think we should get a drag queen?” I turned and said, “One drag queen?! Why stop there?” That was the moment Dancing With The Drag Queen Stars was born. We immediately contacted Donna Sachet, as well as BeBe Sweetbriar – star of the Gay nightlife world – and began formulating our plan. It has now grown into the most fabulous spin-off of Dancing With The Stars in the world. It will feature Cheryl Burke as a member of the judging panel alongside Hollywood legend Bruce Vilanch and BeBe Sweetbriar. The event will be hosted/MCd by Donna Sachet and me. We have an exciting roster of five – possibly six! – of the most prolific of the up-and-coming stars of the drag and, possibly, faux drag world in San Francisco who will be partnered with five to six of California’s most talented and well known professional ballroom dancers.
Seán: The whole idea of this event is hitting me as I believe it will hit most folks who are not actively involved in this particular circle. It sounds absolutely fantastic. It is bound to be a hit simply because it is extremely well organized.
Patrik: I’m at an interesting vantage point. It’s hard for me to be objective, but I have a good intuitive sense when something exceptional is about to happen. I am all about being inclusive and up-lifting good people in the performance world. I can see how much talent there is in San Francisco that exists outside of the mainstream. I also know how much talent exists in the mainstream conservative ballroom world and how much interest there is in something more fabulous. I hear so often how much they would love to go and check out what happens after midnight in the Gay club world, but they’re a little afraid to do it. People in the club world tell me how much they would like to learn ballroom dance, but it’s a little too conservative for them. So, being in the middle, I see these two worlds really coming together hand-in-hand and face-to-face. I think this event will be the most wonderful combustion of energy that will be so perfect and so exciting for anyone who has the opportunity to attend any of these events.
Seán: What happens at Cheryl Burke Dance after it’s all over and the winner is declared?
Patrik: The Finals happen on August 8th. Once that has come and gone, I expect a number of fantastic results. First, I’m hoping for a higher visibility of talent in our Alternative community within the mainstream of ballroom dancing. I expect the stars we’re bringing in from the Gay and Drag communities will have a new audience and vice versa for these amazingly talented dancers from the conservative world. I hope and plan for a higher level of comfort and acceptance toward ballroom dancing by the Gay and Alternative communities. Cheryl Burke Dance is committed to welcoming all people to the dance studio – in fact, already designing dance programs specifically for same sex and alternative life styles. I will likely be involved with that process along with Emily Coles who is the class teacher for all three events. We plan on putting together a series of classes and parties on a regular basis to give people a comfortable and exciting surrounding in which to dance. For as much joy as there is in dancing with someone you really want to be with, there are tragically few outlets for that in North America. Europe has a bigger and more well-developed same-sex social and competitive dance circuit. San Francisco is and always has been a leader in opening up doors for the Gay and Alternative lifestyle communities. Cheryl Burke Dance and the team involved with Dancing With The Drag Queen Stars will become the leaders in this area.
Click here to get to the most fabulous glamorous night ever, ever: Dancing with the Drag Queen Stars
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Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
VZUME JOB SEEKER SEAN McMAHAN INTEREST: A position as a paralegal in the SF Bay Area.Sean is a recent graduate from the University of Oregon and is looking for a position as a paralegal. He has worked for Charles Schwab and The SF District Attorney’s Office.
INVITE SEAN McMAHAN FOR AN INTERVIEW AT CONTACT@VZUME.COM
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