Glasgow Goes Green

 

Glasgow Goes Green

 

Bringing sustainable living facts, fun and food is the pop up festival Glasgow Goes Green. Running 15 February in SWG3 from 5– 11pm, the event is part of UK Go Green Week.

Festival lead organiser Sarah Bacom explained: Go Green Week is the largest week of student climate action. Glasgow Goes Green comes as part of it, bringing together the city’s four universities in the common cause of environmentalism.”

Although student led the festival welcomes people from all walks of life, with daytime family activities and an 18+ after party.

Bacom said: “The festival will be running in two stages; from 5- 8pm it will be family friendly, with stalls, activities and acoustic music. Then from 9 – 11pm the stalls will close and a DJ from the IM Project will lead the party.”

The venue has disabled access and guests can book free tickets from Eventbite website.

We want the festival to show that environmentalism is accessible to everyone,” the organiser added.

This sentiment will ring throughout the day’s activities.

Bacom said: “The festival will have food, arts, crafts, lifestyle and biodiversity strands. Some people will have stalls and some will host workshops. The arts strands will see interactive sessions, such as live mural painting, where the crowd can come forward and feed into the artists’ work.

“There will be art displays that people can pass and admire, but most of the art will have an interactive element.”

Getting everyone involved is the aim of the game.

Bacom explained: “This year’s festival theme is ‘What does Green Mean to You’; so we are trying to engage with people who might not identify themselves as environmentalists and change their perspective.”

She added: “Environmentalism means different things to different people; some people think of gardening while others think of protesting. Some people are very passionate about human rights, but don’t associate this with environmentalism, however we are working to show that climate justice is social justice.”

With its food for thought the festival also brings food for sustenance.

Bacom promised: “There is going to be lots of vegan, as well as gluten free food. Some of the more unusual food will include honey from the Glasgow University Beekeeping Society. The beekeepers will even be hosting honey tasting sessions!”

Honey can also be found in some of the festival’s drinks, as it will include Plan Bee a company that flavours its beer with locally sourced nectar.

Bacom enthused: “There are so many eco-friendly start- ups, niche organisations and projects in Glasgow! This shows that Glaswegians have a real desire to make their city better and empower others too.” 

This desire was reflected in the strong turn out of last year’s Glasgow Goes Green festival, which boasted over 800 attendees.

This year’s festival looks to follow suit, with 2/3 of the tickets snapped up within the first few weeks of going live.

Bacom concluded: “Come and explore Glasgow Goes Green! We have something for everyone. You never know what you might do or who you might meet!”

Ballroom Blitz

 Ballroom 4

Ballroom has hit a renaissance, with programmes like Strictly Come Dancing dispelling its myth of antiquity. Instead its speedy steps; dapper dress and modern music have been exposed.

Glasgow Ballroom Dancing Society instructor Julia White said: “Ballroom is not just a stuffy old waltz that travels around the room. It can be a fiery Latin Samba, graceful Foxtrot or a whirling- twirling Viennese Waltz. There is something in it for everyone and can be lots of fun; even addictive.”

Having moved from America to Annisland, White (who is now 24) sought to continue Ballroom and this brought her to the Glasgow club.

She said: “Unfortunately at the time the club didn`t have a competing group, so I began to help plan trips to competitions. The group is currently in its 3rd year but the competitive aspect only began this year, and the response has been even greater than expected.

“With expansion of the club we have found more experienced students to help teach some of the introductory classes, and just this year we found a professional to help teach the more experienced dancers.”

Leading the group is Society President Marit Behner, she and White join the rest of the executive board booking rooms, organising events and keeping members happy.

21- year- old Behner, joined the group in 2013, but first started dancing at age thirteen in Germany (where Ballroom is a rite of passage). Having lost practice for a while, Behner returned to the art in college, before joining the Glasgow Society in 2013.

Despite her early start, Behner explains that the art is open to everyone, with no previous experience needed.

She said: “We aim to make beginners classes so everyone can join and learn dancing from scratch. Once you know the basics you can move up to intermediate class.”

White agrees: “Our beginner’s class is perfect for anyone that has never danced before, and for those who have danced but want to learn the basic Ballroom footwork. As dancers progress they can move up to the intermediate class which adds addition footwork and moves.

“We don’t force anyone to move up; they can come to as many of the classes as they want, although the more they do come the faster they will learn.”

Classes run Monday and Wednesday in Glasgow University’s Union and Chapel buildings. Updates on class locations can be found on the Society’s facebook page.

Monday hosts an open floor from 2 to 3pm, where dancers can practice and socialize, then it’s Beginners from 3 to 4pm and Intermediates from 4 to 5pm. Wednesday from 3 to 4pm is a mixed Intermediate and Beginners class; then from 4 to 5pm is Competitors. Class slots also vary from term to term.

Beginners and Intermediate classes are £5 is per lesson, with the fourth free. Competitors’ classes are a further £5.

Beginners need only bring themselves, no fancy footwear or partner is required.

Behner said: “Our intermediate and beginner classes are open without a partner; we rotate partners throughout the class, to keep it mixed and sociable.

“For our competitive class however, we ask people to come with a set partner, though we help pairing people up at the beginning of term.”

She added: “We have a good mix of ladies and gents or leaders and followers. At some points we have more leaders, at others more followers, but it is no problem pairing people with the same gender. In fact, it’s taught me a lot more than just being a follower.

“In terms of age we have mostly students attending, but are open to all ages as long as people enjoy dancing.”

A standard class teaches two different dance styles, usually one Latin (such as Rumba, Chacha or Samba) and one Standard Ballroom (such as Tango, Waltz, and Quickstep).

White concluded: “There are wonderful benefits to dancing, whether it`s gaining confidence, improving posture, getting in better shape or even just making new friends. It`s fun and the people are friendly. There`s nothing to lose from trying.”

For more information visit the Glasgow Ballroom Dancing Society facebook page.