Local Hero: Chris Ricciotti
Chris has been the inspiration and a leader for the creation and running of a healthy dance community with components in a number of places in the US. In September 1988, Chris organized a gender-free dance in Jamaica Plain, MA (JP). This turned into a regular series that continues today with two dances a month. A year later he organized a weekend dance camp. This kicked off what is now Lavender Country and Folk Dancers who hold two weekend dance camps a year and work with other groups for gender-free dance series.
Once a year he is the organizer and caller for the Harvest Ball in JP - the 19th was just held. He is the inspiration and leader for the food booth we run as a fund-raiser at NEFFA every year. Starting these dances was a very important action to create a space for GLBTQ people to be able to dance with partners of the same gender. Social acceptance has advanced in these 25+ years – much because people like Chris have taken local actions which have influenced other people. And we now see many more people dancing with same gender partners (which helps enabling everyone in the hall) or reversing roles (which helps people become better dancers).
- Submitted by John Gintell