In Training 3-Year Anniversary Bash

CLEVELAND – IN TRAINING is pleased to invite you all to celebrate three years of our mission to provide a space for queer self-expression and unapologetic living. We are so thrilled with the community of queer folks, misfits, freaks and outsiders that have coalesced around what we started on a whim, and are so happy to share a memorable evening of self-affirmation together!

FEATURING DJ SETS BY:

DOC SLEEP (Jacktone Records / Room 4 Resistance, Berlin)
https://soundcloud.com/docsleep

After years of support and love from afar, we are pleased to announce that the Doctor Is IN! DOC SLEEP is known worldwide for her outstanding DJ sets and her curatorial ability, both of which put forth some of the wildest cuts from the underground that are sure to electrify the dancefloor. Doc Sleep is the owner and operator of the acclaimed JACKTONE label, who release music by luminaries such as Russell E.L. Butler, Liquid Asset, Experimental Housewife, Worker / Parasite and many more! Her own compositions and remixes have seen pressing by labels such as DETOUR in Pittsburgh. She is a resident and co-promoter of the monthly Room 4 Resistance parties, whose grip on the queer underground has captivated partygoers both in their headquarters of Berlin and also worldwide! Also she is wearing a cool hat in her promo pics. Maybe she’ll bring it? COME FIND OUT!

LUZ (Room 4 Resistance, Berlin)
https://soundcloud.com/room4resistance

LUZ is a formidable DJ, curatorial mind, promoter and forward-thinker of the Berlin community, one whose efforts with ROOM 4 RESISTANCE have not gone unnoticed. Her proclivity for the finest cuts of Detroit techno and electro – supplemented by various sounds of the underground – have instilled a drive in her to elevate the marginalized and honor the calls for liberation and resistance that this music was born with. As a resident of R4R, she is no stranger to command crowds of racuous partygoers, and her selections will undoubtedly show us country cousins just how the queer femmes of Berlin get wild.

ADAB (HEAVEN IS IN YOU, Cleveland)
https://soundcloud.com/adab

Cleveland based sonic purveyor ADAB will be opening the night with their usual entrancing selections, deep and tailor made as a precursor to freak activity and unadulterated pleasure. As 1/2 of Cleveland party Heaven is in You, ADAB puts heavy emphasis on translating the unifying elements in the world and themselves through djing. Characterized often by their palette of sounds, they made a name for themselves in Cleveland spinning a variety of genres (house/techno/footwork etc.) and venues alike. Having started djing dance music heavily as a result of finding Cleveland’s techno party In Training and being a gender queer black youth raised across a few states in the Rustbelt (IL/MICH/OH), ADAB seeks to unabashedly open up new dimensions and understandings for both themselves and others.

SPECIAL LIVE PERFORMANCE BY:

MOON BABY (Future Gods, Pittsburgh)
https://soundcloud.com/themoonbaby

Is she a dream or a nightmare? Do we even have the capacity as humans to understand just WHO SHE IS? MOON BABY has made a name for herself with her darkly funny performances that combine elements of dance music, drag, stand-up comedy and performance art. Her sets are wry and crass but also introspective and loving. We are thrilled to have her come perform for us – you little piglets are gonna lap this shit up.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 6
9 PM – 2 AM
$10
18+

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

IN TRAINING is dedicated to the pursuit of building solidarity between marginalized people and establishing a space for people to express themselves without fear of oppression. We are committed to assisting our partygoers in this, and are happy to intercede in any situation that limits the ability to live unapologetically for the individuals that attend. In attempting to establish our party as a safer space, we proudly enforce a policy of no racist / sexist / homophobic / transphobic / ableist behavior in word or deed, and ask that our partygoers practice good consent on and off the dancefloor. Attendees who violate this expectation are subject to removal.

QUEER RUN // QUEER ENFORCED

+EFFORT WONT BETRAY YOU+

ADAB

In Training: July Incandesence

CLEVELAND – IN TRAINING would like you to shine as bright as you can this month as we enter the midst of summer and, for one of the first times, welcome friends both from Ohio and abroad!

PERFORMANCES FROM:

BATU [DJ] (TIMEDANCE/LIVITY SOUND/HESSLE AUDIO, UK) – Since breaking out in 2013 with his own original productions and the beginnings of his Timedance label, Batu (Batu_music) has established a singular sound and vision within dance music scenes in the United Kingdom and the world over. His productions and vision as a label curator seek to explore the grey areas between techno, ambient, and the rhythmic workouts his hometown of Bristol has become known for with the sounds of contemporaries like Hessle Audio and Livity Sound. As a DJ, his sets function as an extension of his production vision, incorporating techno, electro, and off kilter percussion into one pulsating mass. Outside of our affinity for Batu’s talents, the Timedance parties he curates also mirror the party values we aspire to for In Training; thriving upon intimate venues, low admission charge, and DJs playing strange music for even stranger people. We couldn’t be happier to host Batu for one of his only midwest stops on his American tour and give him a warm welcome.
https://soundcloud.com/batuuk
https://soundcloud.com/timedance

NOELSFERATU [DJ] (BUILD, COLUMBUS) – Ohio’s own behind-the-scenes maestro of the infamous Night Mode (RIP) and BUILD parties in Columbus, two recurring series of parties that have sought to break down the barriers between art insallation, club sounds, and experimental electronics since 2013. Along with cohorts Shirtless and V1984, BUILD (or Bodies United In Love and Dance) has booked/shared bills in Columbus with many cutting edge artists and friends of In Training including Rabit, MPW (of Funerals), ADAB, Mumdance, and Bearcat. Noelsferatu himself has cut his teeth in the electronic underground for years, making a name as one of the regions best club music DJs and never shying away from tracks filled with strange and near cacophonous sounds. We’re thrilled to finally have him up for an In Training set to showcase his love of music that retains it’s experimental edges without sacrificying any elements of body movement and club readyness.
https://soundcloud.com/noelsferatu
https://soundcloud.com/buildcrew
https://soundcloud.com/mixmag-1/between-two-coasts-an-intro-to-build-columbus

FATHER OF TWO [DJ] (IN TRAINING, CLEVELAND) – Fresh off a series of gigs crushing the Seasonal rooftop party in Akron and Club Toilet in Detroit, Father of Two is back to open In Training this month with his arsenal of mechanical shuffles and emotional top melodies. His love for other men is rivaled only by his love for smooth blends and EQing, and he’s here to let you know he means business before heading off to play slots at Midwest Fresh and the Honcho Summer Campout. Do your stretches!
https://soundcloud.com/fatheroftwo

IN TRAINING events are intended to be a space for autonomous living for oppressed and marginalized people who have run afoul of society’s expectations with regards to gender, sexuality, race, class and ability. It’s a party that also emphasizes practicing good consent on the dancefloor and helping people who feel unsafe in public spaces – especially club environments – feel safe and welcome. If anyone interferes with your enjoyment of this event by harassing, groping or otherwise behaving in an oppressive manner, please let the promoters and venue staff know and we will have them removed. We would also like to remind everyone that this is an 18+ event, and we will be verifying ages at the door.

QUEER RUN // QUEER ENFORCED
~RADIATE OUTWARDS~

FRIDAY JULY 28TH / 9PM-2AM / $8 / 18+

MESH Adds More To Pittsburgh’s Queer Nightlife

Similar to the interlaced fabric that the title encourages, MESH is a new queer party contributing to the creative network of Pittsburgh’s dance community. Deeply inspired by Hot Mass at home and other queer parties abroad, Chad Beisner and Michael Fischer established their event to provide another safe place for music and freedom of expression.

They met during the very beginning of their college years at film school. Fischer says, “We met in freshman orientation at Point Park University and I skipped out to go out to a club and dance and came back the next morning covered in glitter and a total mess, so he walked up to me and the rest is history.”

As Pittsburgh natives they both share a passion for music and an appreciation for places that encourage creativity. Fischer says he has “always had a deep love for music, dancing, and positive creative spaces in general! I grew up listening to all different types of music from disco to punk and my love for dance music derived from that.”

MICHAEL FISCHER & CHAD BEISNER

Beisner, who also DJs as ChadKid, started exploring dance music in high school. “I eventually bought a controller for my laptop and started DJing at my friends’ high school parties. At the time I wasn’t really exposed to techno music at all and was playing R&B edits and disco. When I first started to go out when I was in college, Hot Mass was one of the first places Micheal ever dragged me to. That place really sparked my interest in techno and more underground electronic music. Without them I don’t know what I even be doing right now.”

Pittsburgh’s local dance scene has been growing significantly over the past several years. Although ripe with events at Hot Mass, they still have a small scene comparatively to other cities. Too many promoters in these environments can cause a competitive atmosphere and a dilution of quality, but MESH is on more of a symbiotic mission

Our city as a whole has been growing like crazy lately. And after being in our amazing scene and community of queers and music heads we have here in Pittsburgh, I’ve been able to see it grow as well over the past couple years. Michael and I have been wanting to start our own party for a while now, and we’ve done a couple of smaller things in the past that went well,” Besiner says. “But now the city is at a point where we have room for more than one queer techno party without it seeming like competition, so we figured now would be the perfect time to step in. It’s been great to be able to book and showcase artists that I love and give them a space to show off their talents to the rest of this amazing city.”

MESH KIERNAN LAVAUX

MESH VOL. 1 KIERNAN LAVAUX & CHADKID – ART BY LENNON DINDA

Fischer adds that the creation of MESH is to provide another safe place for queer freedom and visibility. With Hot Mass and some local bars there are certainly spaces already established, he says, “but there can never be enough.”

It’s also important to note that their party differs from Hot Mass in many ways. MESH is not an after hours party, which has a prominent impact on the overall atmosphere. Besiner explains, “I think there’s a lot that’s fundamentally different about our party from Mass for sure. And not that Mass/Honcho is doing anything wrong, quite the opposite, but we just wanted to create a different kind of queer party. Our parties aren’t all nighters and there’s no spaces for sex. Not that those are bad things but they can definitely create a different kind of dance floor vibe at a party. After traveling some last summer and going to parties like In Training in Cleveland and Jarvi’s Acid Daddy parties in Chicago, I was inspired to create a party with a similar vibe to those.”

Liberation through dress, dance and sound that can be found at these parties and within Club Pittsburgh is also welcomed for those who attend MESH. “Hot Mass is like a second home for me, I’m so grateful that I can be part of this amazing community and be a part of amazing events. MESH is very much inspired by the community Hot Mass has created. Hot Mass is a space where anyone can be who they are,” Fischer says. “Trust me I’ve worn some crazy shit there and all I got was love. MESH is another one of those spaces where we want everyone to express their true selves and showcase artistry of all queer people no matter where they came from or where they are going. Like I said before, there can never be too many queer spaces.”

Often adorned in mesh fabric, Beisner and Fischer developed a signature look. They decided to title their party after their favorite breathable dancing material, only to find the poetic parallels revealed as the event transpired. “As we thought about it more the better and better it worked. Mesh is breathable and unisex fabric and we like to think of our party as breathable and unisex too. Comfortable and accessible to everyone from all areas of the queer spectrum,” Beisner says.

Queer parties play such an important role in the music scene on a global level. These parties collectively work to not only shape the scene at large but also have a major impact for local communities by providing a space of acceptance where there is freedom to just be yourself.

“I think queer focus and visibility is important in any scene. Often times trans, non-binary, and just queer people in general are pushed out of scenes which sucks because there are so many amazing artists that can’t showcase their work. One of the main goals of MESH is to showcase these amazing artists.” – MICHAEL FISCHER

Beisner adds, “Queers throw the best parties! I think all the queer people I know in our music scene are doing the most interesting things. And a good queer party will draw in people who might not be too into the music and turn them into someone obsessing over it. I know several people that Honcho has done that for, including myself. I’m sure all these other amazing parties have done the same for many others.”

MESH launched on April 28 at Cattivo, a bar and venue in Lawrenceville. Beisner provided opening duties prior to headliner Shane Christian, who DJs as Kiernan Laveaux. Not only is she an advocate for queer and trans rights, and co-creator of Cleveland’s In Training parties, but she is a growing name in the techno community, especially after her performance during this year’s Club Toilet and Industry Brunch parties in Detroit.

 

 

They both share responsibilities for the event. Beisner focuses on booking and wrangling the music and lighting equipment while Fischer handles budgeting, venue and space decoration. When the night of the event arrives their friends collaborate to lend helping hands. “It does overlap and we work together to find great spaces and artists. We are also lucky enough to have amazing friends that jump at the opportunity to help set up, work the door, and much more. It would be impossible without them,” Fischer says.

Barring the space being just a little too big, the evening was a success. Fischer says, “Our event at Cattivo was great! The turnout was lovely. The only downside was that the space was huge! It’s hard to fill a room that big. The staff at Cattivo was very accommodating and great! They welcomed us techno weirdos with open arms. Shane’s set was amazing! She is such a talented DJ and it was such a honor to have her play our first party!” Beisner agrees that their first event went smoothly and free of any problems. Venue hunting is tough in Pittsburgh, especially when looking for an underground spot that is also the perfect energy for a queer friendly environment. Fischer continues, “Finding a space is difficult no matter where you are, I find. Pittsburgh has very strict liquor laws and that can be a bit of a challenge especially with after hours parties. For now, having a non-after hours party is great. People are often intimidated by after hours so while we build a following, this is perfect. We would love to find a space to settle in monthly but for now we are still on the search!”

“We want to build a very strong sense of community and a good vibe of queer friends dressing up and having a good drunken time on the dance floor together to music they love. That’s what we are hoping to bring to Pittsburgh with this party.” – CHAD BEISNER

Beisner agrees on the difficulty found while scouting locations. “It has definitely been the hardest part of organizing this party. All the existing gay/queer spaces are not fit for any kind of party like this, and some of the spaces that are aren’t necessarily the safest places for queer people … We aren’t opposed to staying in one place, but definitely are always on the lookout for new and interesting places. We wanna keep it fresh and expose people to new spaces in the city as well. Also we really wanna do a poolside day party, so if anyone has any leads on that please contact us,” he says with a laugh.

MESH VOL 2

MESH VOL. 2 WITH JARVI & A&L ON JUNE 30 – ART BY MAY DAY

Finding The Glitter Box Theater for their next installation of MESH is a dream come true space, they say. Hailing from Chicago on June 30 will be Jarvi, and opening will be a live set from local duo A&L. Beisner says, “This time the space is gonna be perfect I think. Glitterbox is this multi-use queer art space that just opened recently, it’s the perfect size for us and it will be great to have it in an actual queer owned space instead of a bar. We are bringing in Mike Masai’s amazing sound system that is gonna fill this space perfectly. And on top of everything this space is BYOB so it will be easy and cheap for everyone to get drunk and get dancing.

Jarvi is a non-binary artist prominently known in Chicago’s underground queer house and techno scene. Among the Naughty Bad Fun Collective crew they can be found putting on parties at Smartbar for Planet Chicago, and also on their own endeavor hosting Acid Daddy’s Haus of Diesel at Berlin Nightclub. Opening the evening will be Pittsburgh’s A&L, a live collaborative performance of raw techno from Alexis Icon and Andre.

“We are so excited for Jarvi! The Glitterbox Theater is more of an art space while Cattivo was a bar. The set-up of Glitterbox is a little more our style and it’s BYOB which is always great,” Fischer adds. “As usual people can expect dancing, techno and lots of mesh.”

Eventually, the last track will play and the lights will come up and after everyone has gone home, Beisner and Fischer will be planning another event. Although anyone who throws parties does so for their own unique drive, there is always a common reason to do so: community.

Fischer says he throws parties because it allows him to “see my friends and community come together and just have an amazing time is enough cause to do it. Seeing people dance and show off their music, fashion, art, makeup, etc. is so amazing to me. I really just love to have a good time!”

Beisner adds, “Ultimately I just wanna throw a party where everyone can have a good time, feel safe, get exposed to some new music, and simultaneously create a space where my favorite DJs can play in my city. I wanted to expand on our already amazing scene here and create a place to dance that is welcoming to everyone. To look out at the crowd during a party and seeing everyone have a good time and dancing is the reason I do it. Putting an event together is more stressful than you imagine before you do it, but the end result is always worth it. We will also be donating proceeds to different organizations as often as we can. We donated all our proceeds from our first party to Planned Parenthood of Western PA. It’s nice to be able to make this party give back to the community.”

Keep a close eye on MESH as they continue to develop and grow in Pittsburgh.

In Training & Honcho: A Leather-Encouraged Evening Together

CLEVELAND – IN TRAINING is pleased to announce that we are partnering with our good friends HONCHO to bring you:

“A Leather-Encouraged Evening Together”

10p – 6a / $15 / Location TBA / Must RSVP to attend

An all-night semi-private party for friends and revelers to dance, unwind and release!

For years, Pittsburgh’s premiere LGBT dance night HONCHO has staked their reputation on the unmatched caliber of their flesh-soaked, sweat-drenched undergrounds at infamous bathhouse & dancefloor HOT MASS. We have spent a long time courting them for a playdate in Cleveland and are thrilled that they’ll be gracing (and greasing) our presence. To make this event extra-special, we will be throwing it in a space that allows us to party until the cold shame of morning!

Featuring music from 10 pm to 6 am from HONCHO & IN TRAINING DJs:

Aaron Clark
Clark Price
D’Adhemar
Father Of Two

In order to keep our gathering intimate and safe from prying eyes, we encourage all the attendees to email us to RSVP at:

ITxHONCHO@gmail.com

YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR NAME to be on the list! If you would prefer to give a name other than the one on a form of Identification, please let us know and we will accommodate your request. Attendees on the RSVP list will receive the address via reply.

Our venue is a large, modern space near the city center, easily-accessible by rideshare. There will be ample well-lit parking and venue security attuned to the needs of our attendees.

This event will cost $15, a portion of which will be donated to The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence, a long-running national LGBTQ organization that uses drag performances to fundraise for HIV/AIDS programs.

Feel free to email or message us with any questions / comments at ITxHONCHO@gmail.com

Let us sweat together!

In Training: March Acceleration

CLEVELAND – IN TRAINING returns to help celebrate the spring solstice with an all-star lineup of midwest DJs to bring you closer to yourself and those around you at 130BPM and beyond. Momentum can shatter even the strongest barriers.

DJ SETS FROM:

WATARU (GIVE ‘EM BPM) – Hailing from the nether regions of our shared universe some decades ago, Wataru is here as our guest and guiding light for the night. Utilizing the power of 3 turntables and a TR-909 drum machine to bond souls and lives together, his style is one rarely seen outside of the forebearers of techno DJing and the culture that birthed their innovations, culled directly from an era of rustbelt collapse and a neverending pursuit of freedom.
https://www.mixcloud.com/Wataru2517/
https://www.youtube.com/user/Wataru2517
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_5HPlQW3SY&feature=youtu.be

ADAB (HEAVEN IS IN YOU, CLEVELAND) – An extended family member of IN TRAINING since day one, we are thrilled to welcome our sibling ADAB back on the decks this month. They last graced IN TRAINING in December 2016, and have only furthered their style of midwest freak DJing while racking up a gig this coming April at Smartbar in Chicago with Hot Mass resident Tony Fairchild and fellow Pittsburgh selector Bijoux. As half of the Cleveland party Heaven is in You, they put heavy emphasis on translating the unifying elements in the world and themselves through DJing. Having started DJing heavily as a result of finding IN TRAINING and being an isolated gender-queer black youth raised across a few states in the Rustbelt (IL/MICH/OH), ADAB seeks to unabashedly open up new dimensions and understanding for both themselves and others.
https://soundcloud.com/adab

MX SILKMAN (IN TRAINING, CLEVELAND) – IN TRANING’s resident Princess of Punishment returns to go toe-to-toe with ADAB all night as an opening bout before Wataru graces the decks, bringing her signature blends of industrial rhythms, cold minimal wave, and driving techno to our dancefloor. Recently, she was called upon to open the night for the most recent Modern Cathedrals party in Detroit, and will be heading to Chicago at the end of the month to DJ at Smartbar as part of the Daphne series with Hugo Ball resident Eris Drew and Rose E Kross.
https://soundcloud.com/mxsilkman

IN TRAINING events are intended to be a space for autonomous living for oppressed and marginalized people who have run afoul of society’s expectations with regards to gender, sexuality, race, class and ability. It’s a party that also emphasizes practicing good consent on the dancefloor and helping people who feel unsafe in public spaces – especially club environments – feel safe and welcome. If anyone interferes with your enjoyment of this event by harassing, groping or otherwise behaving in an oppressive manner, please let the promoters and venue staff know and we will have them removed. We would also like to remind everyone that this is an 18+ event, and we will be verifying ages at the door.

QUEER RUN // QUEER ENFORCED
~UPON ENTERING / DON’T HOLD BACK / JUST GET LOOSE~

REDUX presents Jarvi + Father of Two

“so many questions have been made
​about this new dance craze, called acid
​what people really want to know
​is how the story, all goes, about acid…
​​this is acid
​i’m gonna give you acid”

REDUX is bringing you another evening of non-stop grooves. This time bringing in Chicago’s Jarvi and Father of Two from Cleveland.

JARVI // chicago (nbfc, haus of diesel)

Jarvi – aka Acid Daddy – is a representative for the non-binary gender house and techno scene. A member of Chicago’s Naughty Bad Fun Collective, resident at Smart Bar for Planet Chicago (along with Sassmouth and Pat Bosman), and can be found on the dance floor jacking to proper beats. Hailing from Metro Detroit, they were introduced to the music at ayoung age. DJing has always been a dream for Jarvi and in 2013, with the help of mentor Sassmouth, that dream became a reality. Jarvi is additionally curator of the freaky queer club party, Acid Daddy’s Haus of Diesel at Berlin Nightclub in Boystown.

https://www.facebook.com/aciddaddy
https://soundcloud.com/mynameisjarvi

FATHER OF TWO // cleveland (in training)

Father of Two is a co-founder and resident at Cleveland’s queer electronic music monthly, In Training. During his set he draws you in deep, bringing raw, unadultered energy. He works to provide a decentralized approach where he connects the dots for regional dance music and styles from further abroad. Through In Training there is a set intention for autonomous safe living for oppressed and marginalized people regarding gender, sexuality, race, class and ability.

https://www.facebook.com/INTRAININGCLEVELAND/
https://soundcloud.com/fatheroftwo

$15 at the door
11 p.m. – late
safe space: come as you are

REDUX
https://www.facebook.com/REDUXbuffalo/

Sound by Buffalo Pro Audio Group

Father of Two

A techno and house music scene, particularly for the queer community, was lacking in Cleveland, Ohio. Brian Bohan, otherwise known as Father of Two, is one of three who put together In Training – the city’s freaky, most prominent club night.

Bohan was born and raised in Cleveland. For the past six years he has resided on the west side of Cleveland, barring a short stint living in Chicago in his early 20s. During his free time he says “you can usually find me gliding around the streets of Lakewood delivering for Jimmy John’s, or at home with my boyfriend acting like a dumbass online.”

I inquired of him to reveal the mystery behind his moniker, Father of Two. “I had a much, much, much worse fake DJ name when we first started In Training that I will decline to share. So I was already in the market for a new one when one day, I was contacted by a stranger via a gay hookup app,” he says. “His opening salvo to me, which I assume he was hoping would lead to some sort of sexual congress, was ‘Hey! Father of two great kids here, how’s it going?’ It all fell into place instantly. I responded, ‘I’m doing well, and even though I’m not remotely interested, thank you for giving me my new DJ name!’ And the rest is history.”

Kiernan Laveaux B2B Father of Two in Chicago – Photo courtesy of Jarvi

He started DJing mostly through In Training, the monthly party he hosts along with Shane Christian (who DJs as Kiernan Laveaux) and Aerin Ercolea.

“There aren’t many avenues in Cleveland to get to play out the type of music I wanted to play before we started doing this. The only previous experience I had was doing a small Monday night residency with my friends in a crew called 4NPLCY a few years ago,” he says.

The idea for the queer-run and queer-focused party was developed by Aerin and Bohan in 2014 on the first night they met. “I mentioned offhand that I had always wished that I could do some sort of freaky queer night with weird music at a weird venue and she basically came back to me a few days later with all of the initial logistics for it planned out. Shane was (and is) Aerin’s roommate, so she was just always around when we were discussing all of this stuff so she became a part of it pretty quickly as well,” Bohan says. “I think we all happened to meet at an interstitial point in each of our lives where we were all very ready to switch things up and try something new, and that energy translated into all of this getting off the ground quickly.”

In Training is held at Now That’s Class, an underground bar and venue located in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood of West Cleveland. The venue is a sanctuary and blank space for the events that don’t quite fit into the more frequented and popular spaces of the city. “Now That’s Class, for better or for worse, has long been a venue and gathering space in Cleveland for freaks, weirdos, and musical acts that realistically couldn’t get booked anywhere else. The few ‘clubs’ there are in Cleveland (LGBT or otherwise) were useless and tacky, and we had zero faith in them to let us do what we wanted to do or be any sort of asset to us. Their incompetence and lack of ambition is a large part of what drove us to start doing this, so in a strange roundabout way, I almost have to thank them. We needed a space that we could transform and fully control, and Now That’s Class has provided that. The venue and location isn’t perfect, but it’s our home and it’s almost impossible to imagine doing it anywhere else in Cleveland. The world’s shittiest dive bar with, somehow by the grace of God, a really great soundsystem, knowledgeable tech people, friendly staff, and bathrooms that demand an iron will.”

Now that's class cleveland

Now That’s Class music venue in Cleveland, Ohio

The party has hosted artists and performers including Titonton Duvante, Bill Converse, Tony Fairchild, DJ Shiva, Clark Price, Sassmouth, Jarvi, Pat Bosman, Steve Mizek, Savile and more. The name of the party was Aerin’s idea. Bohan says, “It sounded mysterious, kind of slutty in some undefined way, and open to interpretation. It mostly just sounds cool, and it can mean something different to everyone”

Cleveland is among the smaller U.S. cities that play a very important role of the evolution of the American dance floor. “I think our small communities provide the blueprint that some parties in larger enclaves do their best to try and emulate. I can only speak for us here in Cleveland, but we do what we do because we would otherwise have nothing to live for. It’s that simple, and that (apparently) gives what we do in these places a sense of urgency and authenticity and ‘grittiness’ or whatever people in the larger cities can attempt to create their own version of with their more abundant resources.” Cities with the tight-knit family structured communities are fueled by concentrated energy, cooperation and a do-it-yourself attitude.

“Our communities drive this thing. We are the source of the energy. I think a lot of people generally assume that we basically just do small town versions of a big city phenomenon when it’s often the other way around. I may sound like I have a slight chip on my shoulder, but I think all of us doing things in these places should acknowledge our place and be proud of the work we do and what it means for the culture as a whole.” – FATHER OF TWO

Although he says it’s difficult to be objective about how In Training has played a role on a larger scale, he delves deeper into what the party means to him, being queer in Cleveland. “Doing this has really helped me spread my wings, so to speak, and really embrace being gay and feeling like I can define what that means for myself in a way that encompasses every aspect of my personality. Cleveland’s wider LGBT scene is pretty emaciated for a variety of economic and cultural reasons, and it was pretty hard to connect with most of the people I was coming across or even trying to date. So I hope it’s done for the scene what it’s done for me, which is put the right people in close enough proximity to each other under pleasant circumstances so that they can grow, teach each other, learn from each other, dance together, act stupid together, and make a bunch of new weird-ass friends.”

In Training artwork by Matthew Goik & design by Ted Bizon

The In Training crew identifies wholeheartedly with the community they have cultivated, bringing an authenticity and ingenuity to their parties and their mission. Aerin Ercolea identifies as non-binary/femme and Shane Christian is transfemme and her talents as a DJ are becoming increasingly recognized. Historically and culturally house and techno has roots as a refuge for minorities and the oppressed. Although today’s youth has embodied a culture of acceptance, it is clear through recent events that there is still a lack of understanding and compassion. So queer focused parties will continue to maintain defiance against prejudice and hate by allowing strength in unity on the American dance floor.

“As much as we stress the by-queers-for-queers aspect of our party, at the end of the day, a substantial portion of our audience is straight and cisgender. In a city where it’s a struggle to get enough critical mass for anything besides bad garage rock and fusion tacos, we’ll take what we can get, and as long as these people recognize that they are guests in the space, we very rarely have any problems with the queer and cishet crowds coming together. Personally, I view it positively.”

Similar to Hot Mass, the Pittsburgh party that strives to blur the lines between the gay and straight communities of their city, Bohan revels in the relationship he has developed with that particular dance floor and everyone involved. He says the Hot Mass family “has become a huge part of my life personally and some of the strongest and most supportive allies for us as a crew. So much of what they do has served as the initial [and continual] inspiration for what we do and how we operate, but I think both the vibe and our goals are pretty different. I think that’s what makes the relationship between our two institutions so special.”

When it comes to the queer community of the house and techno scene beyond Cleveland he says he’s not sure how much of an impact their party has made yet. “But I hope we are part of a process that will start to open up space for all queer people and weirdos in this current sort-of Renaissance we are having for underground dance music in America.”

Catch Father of Two, along with Chicago’s Jarvi, on Saturday, March 4 for the next installation of REDUX in Buffalo, N.Y.