This content is co-presented by PlayThey Studios.

Dance creates a vibration that will shift systems in this world.
Dance is about healing and Harvest.
Dance is about protest.
Dance is about release.

This post from Dani Tirrell, a Seattle artist, dancer, and choreographer, is what caught my attention first.

This Saturday July 23, Dani Tirrell is creating a space within Othello Park called Makes Me want to Holla! Pop-Up Dance Party. It will be a free and all-ages event focused on the power and presence of movement in communities of color, especially Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. Tirrell created this event to give people of color the chance to take up space together in a less structured but emotionally grounded forum for solidarity and healing.

This summer has been immensely trying for queer and trans people of color (QTPOC). We are in need of a variety of healing spaces as rallies, protests and vigils are often created for/by the majority (white people) and centered on a specific emotional expression. If you or a QTPOC in your life desire a healing space without police gaze or preset activities, Makes Me want to Holla! is an exciting prospect.

Originally a birthday gathering for Dani Tirrell and Tirrell’s friends, Makes Me want to Holla! grew into a “space of dance healing and joy for black bodies” in the wake of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling’s deaths. Throughout the Facebook event page, self-care and unapologetic blackness are emphasized. Tirrell posts regularly, encouraging participants to wear their black empowerment or ally gear and bring whatever they need to practice self-love. Importantly, it will also function as a space for queer and non-queer black folks to meet and share emotion as Othello Park inhabits a zip code that is in the top 5th percentile for diversity as ranked by the Census.

Makes Me want to Holla! is solely born from Tirrell’s desire for “a space where [he] could dance and move [his] body outside, and a bunch of my dancer friends wanted the same thing.” No keynote speakers, local organizations or other artists are involved. No rallies, DJs, or after party are scheduled. Tirrell even emphasized not wanting to host this event in a building or bar. “Just me, a speaker and some of my favorite music and people that want to… have joy show in their bodies,” said Tirrell. The music will explore black power songs, house music, R&B, and vogue tracks with the purpose of uplifting, inspiring and embracing the emotional longitude so often denied to black people while maintaining the casual comfort of a backyard hangout.

“We are meeting in the park to dance,” said Dani, “to release black joy in the world. We are going to dance for our recently killed ancestors. We are kicking it old school meet in the park and just live.”

Makes Me want to Holla! happens Saturday July 23 from 3-6pm at 4351 S Othello St in Seattle.

If you are looking for other QTPOC-centric dance events and can’t attend Makes Me want to Holla! check out:

Night Crush
July 24, 8pm-12am at The Islander Yacht (queer boat cruise with some donated tickets for QTPOC)
August 6, 10pm-2am at Rebar

July 23, 10pm-2am at El Quetzal Bar & Lounge