The Best of T Dance Montréal

t dance montreal is an established ritual for Montreal’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community once the Pride Parade is over. And this year’s line-up is bigger than ever.

Highlights include the Dream Academie for up-and-coming drag queens and a colossal closing T-Dance on the TD stage, presented by Skip The Dishes. There’s also Mundo Disko on the Loto-Quebec stage, with DJ K.Nox, DJ T Don and Ugandan DJ Kampire.

1. Dream Academie

This dance school is a non-profit club that provides a free, comprehensive education in a variety of styles. Students have the opportunity to perform in various competitions throughout the year, take part in dynamic lectures from guest speakers, and participate in community service activities. Students also learn entrepreneurship, financial management, and social skills through the club’s leadership programs.

In 2021, the club was taken over by the Mansour Group, a multinational conglomerate with several subsidiaries and investments around the world. While Right to Dream still doesn’t receive a profit (as in, it does not pay out a dividend), its assets have grown significantly since then, and the academy is now more than just a dance school.

Despite being born into a multi-ethnic family, Manon Bannerman hopes to be able to inspire others through her music and believes that “it’s important to be yourself.” She has been praised for her sexy dancing during missions like “OMG” by NewJeans, “Antifragile” by LE SSERAFIM, and “Buttons” by the Pussycat Dolls.

2. T-Dance

The École de dance contemporaine de Montreal trains future generations of contemporary dancers in a unique space adapted to the art form. It also provides a place for learning, research, creation and innovation based on human values. It is a meeting point for key trendsetters in the field.

Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, the School has an open and welcoming spirit. It aims to make dance accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. From the Olympic-calibre dancer training for a career on the world stage to the child or elderly person discovering the joy of dancing for the first time, students are taught in a safe and respectful environment.

The T-Dance and Closing Show is the culmination and final celebration of Montreal Pride’s week long festivities. Usually a wild party, it features some of the biggest DJs in town including Montreal’s own David Laguerm. This year, they will be joined by DJ K.nox, DJ T Don and Ugandan DJ Kampire.

3. MX Contest

A variety show with a beauty pageant twist, Mx Contest invites people of all gender identities to showcase their hearts and talents under the parodic guise of a talent competition. Contestants are ranked by the judges panel and audience reaction, a winner being declared at the end of each night.

This year, the festival celebrates four 2023 Grand Marshals, people who make a difference in the lives of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. They include Anachnid, an Oji-Cree artist who won the Felix Award for Indigenous Artist of the Year; Claudia Bouvette, whose Paradise Club album on Bonsound won the Polaris Music Prize; and Zambian-born rapper BackXwash, better known as Ashanti Mutinta.

DistinXion, presented by TD Bank on the TD stage, brings a wide range of local artists, innovative talents and singer-songwriters to the stage. Performers like TEYKIRISI, Honeydrip, pony and A$H BANKS will keep the dance floor moving until late at night. DJ Beatrix will also spin at the mega t dance and is known throughout the world for her happy nostalgia that’s perfect for the dance floor!

4. Closing Show

Montreal queer dance diva REVE (aka Briannah Donolo) returns home to headline the Closing Show on Aug. 13. The 2023 Juno winner is one of dance music’s fastest-rising stars. She’s gained a big TikTok fan base, landed a major record deal and earned a nod from the dance world’s bible Billboard with her platinum-certified/Michael Pezzetta-approved smash Ctrl + Alt + Del.

The festival’s main site on the Olympic Park’s Esplanade hosts bigger Pride shows, starting with ImmiX, presented by ICI Musique, featuring Edith Butler, Lumiere, Coco Belliveau, Klo Pelgag and Joe Bocan on the TD Stage on Aug. 9. Then comes a big comedy show called Me joke-tu? at the National, hosted by drag kings Rock Biere and RV Metal.

Other events include the Xcellence night of DJs who shake up queer Montreal nightlife year-round, including TEYKIRISI, pony and A$H BANKS. Then Fierte Littéraire, the literary wing of the festival, presents roundtables and safespaces for authors of colour and an outdoor book fair.

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