All girls deserve the chance to have a positive dance experience during high school. One where everyone feels welcome regardless of religion, cultural background, sexual orientation, or any other perceived difference. However, this is often not the case. The idea for this project began when a hijabi friend lamented that she could never attend homecoming or prom since it is haram to dance in front of guys. Other folks I know are hesitant to go to these kinds of events in fear that their self expression will be ridiculed. Even people who don’t have these restrictions are sometimes forced to contend with unwanted attention like touching or grinding without consent. These issues repeatedly ruin what is supposed to be a fun night.
We at Louisville Girls Leadership (LGL), want to create a safe space where girls can dress how they want, dance how they want, listen to the music they want, and have fun with their friends. An event that focuses on community and camaraderie, and not coupledom. That is why we are planning an all girls dance called Galentine’s. Last year, I piloted this event at my high school and it was a huge success. Girls had a chance to let their hair down (both metaphorically and literally). Last year’s attendees have insisted we make it an annual tradition so they can bring different outside friends who don’t have this opportunity at their own schools.
Since the solution to accommodate more young women who are seeking the freedom that this event allows would be to have a scaled up even beyond my own school, I proposed a citywide version of Galentine’s as a meaningful project that uplifts women in Louisville. We plan to rent and decorate a space, provide snacks, hire a DJ, bring in vendors and booths, and advertise across Louisville through posters and radio ads. Through this we hope to provide a quintessential high school experience to young ladies who can’t have it within their own schools and cultivate a sense of sisterhood within Louisville.
Funded by Louisville, KY (December 2018)