Matt Smith

Five Events I Promise to Attend This Year

I’ve lived in Kitchener Waterloo for 11 years and profess myself to be a local arts enthusiast. But there are some events I’ve said I’d go to for years and still haven’t attended. So I’m putting it in print. Hold me to it. Join me?

Contact Jam
Last week I tried contact improv and it was as freeing as I imagined. With a partner, you have at least one point of contact, then you move together in momentum with gravity. There is no wrong movement and this is what makes it so inviting, especially for people who don’t consider themselves dancers. The flow, rhythm and energy exchange I have seen in contact improv is fascinating. My excuse for not going has been that I’m not loosey-goosey flowy-bendy enough. But I realize now that the stiffer you are, the more freeing contact improv will be. Let’s jam: every other Tuesday and Thursday at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Kitchener, $5 – $15 or pay what makes deep sense. I love this hippy-dippy riff on pay what you can.

Theatre on the Edge
Did you know KW has an improv comedy group? Theatre on the Edge is a sketch comedy project by the KW Little Theatre. Amateurs are invited to workshops Sundays at 4 p.m. at the Button Factory and the resident troupe performs every Thursday at 8 p.m. Five dollars gets you in, and remember what your grade eight drama teacher told you: the only rule of improv is always say yes.

Hep Cat Swing
In 2009 I sang once for the Hep Cats, but my lindy-hopping has not improved one step since. This year I am determined to jump, jive and jiggle with Hep Cat Swing at their studio on 42 Erb St. E. You don’t need to bring a partner because the dances are structured so that you alternate partners, and the price of admission ($7 – $11) includes an 8:30 p.m. dance lesson on Monday nights. Whew! The folks here are super friendly and you won’t feel like a loner loser wallflower.

Lesbo Bingo
Line up five in a row and shout out “lesbo!” at this annual Tri-Pride fundraiser. Local rainbow community icon Shelley Secrett has been producing events like Cliterature and Lesbo Bingo for 13 years. And while I may feel slightly awkward at an event attended by mostly white middle-aged lesbians, I also want to win prizes surrounded by my fellow queers at the Schwaben Club. This one-night-only event will happen sometime in March, is family friendly and costs $5 – $12.

Poetry Circle
I used to run this event, then a couple years ago schlepped it off to my poet colleague Bashar Jabbour. However, I still love sitting in a circle, reading poems and then geeking out over diction, syntax, metaphor and rhyme scheme. Poetry circles bring out a diverse group of people and poems and is more relaxed and less intimidating that the poetry slam. Bring poems to read, written by anyone, and prepare to explicate. This one’s free, and happens the third Monday of the month at Seven Shores Cafe or Words Worth Books.