“There’s something about two men dancing together that’s so beautiful and powerful," gushes Steve Valentine, the creator of a gay ballroom dancing program debuting in West Hollywood in January. Inspired by the popularity of shows like Dancing With the Stars, Valentine has partnered with the city of West Hollywood and North American International Ballroom Finalist Christopher Beroiz to give amateurs a chance to swivel their hips in the cha-cha, fox-trot, and tango in a fun and easy environment.
There’s a bit of a love story at the heart of these classes. Valentine, a dance enthusiast and publicist, had seen same-sex ballroom dancing only a handful of times (often as a novelty) and yearned for the opportunity to try it. But there’s more to same-sex dancing than finding a partner.
“There’s a lot of issues of who leads and who follows, who's the top and who's the bottom on the dance floor,” Valentine explains. One day, while doing errands, he passed by a ballroom class saw “this beautiful man teaching a straight couple to dance” and was blown away. After the class was over, he approached the instructor, Christopher Beroiz, and they struck up a friendship. Valentine pitched his idea of bringing ballroom dancing to Los Angeles gays and Beroiz joined up. The story leads Valentine to confess, “The truth is, this all started when I was stalking a ballroom instructor because he was hot.”