The Wayward Lamb closed their doors on Saturday, Feb. 3 with a send-off party featuring Unveiled: Eugene’s Queer Burlesque. In a farewell post on Facebook posted Feb. 1, former Lamb owner Colin Graham called on the community to help pick up where he left off.
“I hope the community can understand and I hope they take the opportunity to seize the moment and continue the long legacy of queer spaces in Eugene,” Graham said.
Victoria Destiny Walker wants to answer Graham’s call and the call of the community at large.
Having run private dances for over a year, Walker had begun to be urged by dance attendees to provide a place for the queer community that had been recently displaced.
“When the Wayward Lamb closed we realized there really is a need,” Walker said.
In April, Walker and her partner Kimi Davis, in collaboration with the HIV Alliance, opened their doors for the first time to the queer community and the Queer-Community-Dance was born.
On May 19 at the Eugene Elks Lodge, the second Queer-Community-Dance will feature Unveiled: Eugene’s Queer Burlesque, a flashback to the ending of Wayward Lamb’s legacy. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with the show running from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. An open dance will immediately follow and run until midnight.
Just like the monthly dance, the cost at the door is $10. Once inside, there will be a full bar, potluck-style snacks, two free pool tables and tables to socialize. Scheduling conflicts led to the late date in May, while the monthly dance will likely be held on the first Saturday of each month going forward.
Walker has hopes to see a consistent schedule of performers at her dance, with belly dancers, more Unveiled and possibly drag shows in the future. She has space at the Elks Lodge for the rest of the year and speaks optimistically about having the Queer-Community-Dance more often as the crowd increases.
With the closure of Wayward Lamb having left a void in the community, Walker hopes to provide a space for everyone to feel safe expressing themselves through dance.
“Dancing reminds us what it feels like to love our life,” Walker said.