This year, for the first time, the Seattle Red Dress Party is being held on Capitol Hill. Seattle PrideFest is putting on the event in the Century Ballroom at 10th Ave and E Pine on March 31st.
“Especially with the massive development on Capitol Hill, I think queer people are feeling at times a little without a home,” Egan Orion, festival director for PrideFest told CHS. “Anything that we can do … to help them reassert their traditional home … that is part of our mission.”
Attendees of the Red Dress Party have worn red dresses, of course, but this year organizers have loosened the, um, dress code a bit. Orion said attendees are still encouraged to keep the tradition, especially cisgender men, but other fancy red attire (e.g. a suit) is allowed and welcomed. It is not meant to be a costume party Orion said, and red is the color of choice as it’s the international symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness. Continue reading
- Kuperman at work (Image: Century Ballroom)
- (Image: Century Ballroom)
- The ballroom hosted caucus participants in 2016 (Image: CHS)
- (Image: CHS)
Many things have changed around the Century Ballroom since it first opened in 1997 in Capitol Hill’s Odd Fellows Building, but the vision Hallie Kuperman had 20 years ago remains.
“I wanted to mix the worlds of people who partner dance,” she said, adding that she aimed to create a LGBTQ safe environment where people could dine, dance, and drink.
When Century first opened, Kuperman was very focused on queer only classes. She has broadened Century’s community in the decades since but said, “It’s still important to me to have the gay community find this place.”
“What I hear over and over is the asset that Century is to the community,” she said. “I believe dance as being healing for people — in the bigger picture I feel we’re creating a safe place.” Continue reading