Looking back on a gay nightclub that almost wasn’t; looking forward after a massacre

By : Alma J. Hill
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The news coverage of Pulse is a 24-hour cycle of tragedy. Again and again, readers are forced to relive chaos and carnage. Images of the battered wall fill our news feeds, and the faces of the 49 float in and out of our consciousness on a regular basis. Bodies in corners, mothers crying in cars, candles in the rain; remembering Pulse has come to almost exclusively mean reliving the events of June 12th.

Rarely is the legacy of the club discussed. As an LGBTQ friendly space that had been operational for well over a decade, Pulse represented many firsts for Orlando. It was the first Orlando nightclub to feature a space even remotely similar to its famed futuristic white room (that changed colors). In 2013, it became one of the first gay clubs in Central Florida to give a Saturday night home to a Latin night. The club’s opulent interior garnered national attention, earning Pulse coverage in both Club and Mondo magazines.

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Overheard in Orlando: Wanzie dances you away

By : Anonymous
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Good Morning Baltimore
It’s a cliché, but there literally wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Orlando said good-bye to Ron Legler and Andrew Springer at The Abbey on April 1. The beloved couple is moving to Baltimore, where Legler has accepted a position as president of the 2,300-seat Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. And Baltimore was a recurring theme during the party attended by more than 300 well-wishers. Legler’s co-workers at the Florida Theatrical Association and True Marketing starred in a hilariously reworked music video of “Good Morning Baltimore” from the musical Hairspray. The Orlando Repertory Theatre also performed a song from Hairspray before a string of downtown Orlando VIPs read a Top Ten List of reasons the couple shouldn’t move to Baltimore. Andrea Canny had Legler and Springer reaching for handkerchiefs with her stirring rendition of “Someone Like You” from Jekyll and Hyde—Legler’s favorite song. Then a relaxed and funny Mayor Buddy Dyer presented his friends with the Key to the City. When Legler and Springer joined him on stage, they were so moved they could barely speak. The next day Legler thanked everyone on Facebook and noted that the first Broadway touring show he’ll oversee at the Hippodrome, opening next week, is… Hairspray.

Learn velvet moves from Michael Wanzie 
Rumor has it that Michael Wanzie has the moves. The actor, producer, director and all-around talent has added ballroom dance instructor to his current repertoire. In a past life, he had the men and women at the Arthur Murray dance studio in a tizzy. He also choreographed for competition. Wanzie’s Ballroom Dance Crash Course is a series of three, six-week classes that began April 7 and will run through the summer. Gay, straight, single, coupled—all are welcome and encouraged. Classes will be held at The Venue. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails and class begins at 7 p.m. Classes will focus on the fox trot, rhumba and waltz, cha-cha, mambo, swing/jive and swing hustle and the tango and samba. Each series is $50 per person or $95 per couple. To sign up, visit Wanzie.com or email WanzieMichael@gmail.com.

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