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With PurpleLife RVA, ANIMAL & Deanna Danger aim to reinvent the dance night

"It was only a matter of time before these scenes found a way to team up to bring people from all walks of life together in sparkly celebration."

GayRVA Staff | August 16, 2017

Saturday, August 19 marks the debut of a new monthly dance night at Godfrey’s. However, organizers Deanna Danger and ANIMAL RVA want you to know that this is not the same old club night you’ve been hitting up for years. ANIMAL’s Joseph Whitfield calls it “Richmond’s own version of Studio 54,” while Deanna Danger says, “We want this to be genre and label defying.”

If this all sounds quite ambitious, rest assured that it’s every bit as ambitious as it sounds. Both Danger and the ANIMAL collective are veterans on the RVA nightlife scene, and with PurpleLife RVA, the two are hoping to tie together many of the various interests that brought them to create the sorts of events they’re responsible for. “I found my way into performing from the fetish, kink, and music communities,” Danger says, and points out ANIMAL’s overwhelming success since their launch in 2012 at taking LGBTQ-themed dance parties to venues not traditionally identified with the LGBTQ community. “ANIMAL – RVA has done absolutely wonderful things to bring the queer community together,” she says.

In spite of ANIMAL’s frequent use of non-traditional venues for their parties, Godfrey’s, one of the longest-running LGBTQ-themed establishments in Richmond, seemed the perfect venue at which to bring this new concept to life. “Godfrey’s has been a stronghold for the gay community for over two decades now,” Danger says. “It was only a matter of time before these scenes found a way to team up to bring people from all walks of life together in sparkly celebration.”

What sort of celebration are we talking about though? Well, it won’t be just another DJ spinning tunes for party people to shake their things to, that’s for sure. The event will mix dance breaks with more organized performance events, with the two switching off over the course of the evening. Highlights will include choreographed dance performances featuring as many as 10 dancers, as well as drag performers, hoop dancers, fetish performers, breakdancers, and all sorts of other performance art types. “RVA has a wealth of talented people that may typically fall outside the mainstream beauty ideal,” Danger says. “We hope PurpleLife RVA helps to bring them out and give them a place to shine and succeed, and you know… boogie together ‘til the break of dawn.”

Danger and ANIMAL hope that PurpleLife RVA will bring a variety of scenes together, from the more established LGBTQ dance party scene in places like Godfrey’s to the younger crowd ANIMAL attracts to the kink/fetish communities and the sort of Burning Man-inspired art kids you might meet at an event involving hoops and fire. There are aspects of the evening’s unique structure that should appeal to all of these groups, with everyone being given space to feel safe being themselves. “We want this to build bridges not walls, and offer RVA a supportive atmosphere to be their most fabulous self,” Danger explains.

The inaugural edition of PurpleLife RVA will take place this Saturday night, August 19, at Godfrey’s, located at 308 E. Grace St. The evening will feature DJs Dirt Thurston (ANIMAL RVA) and David Riley (Mirror Mirror), as well as an opening group performance from Boom Boom Basics Burlesque & Performing Arts Studio. Doors open at 10 PM; admission is $8 til 11 PM, $10 after. For more information, click HERE or follow @PurpleLifeRVA on social media.