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Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps

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The Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps is a Chicago-based visual performance ensemble of gay male volunteers. The name is a play on the Reserve Officer Training Corps. The group has become a staple of gay events in Chicago. It also travels across the country to perform at various LGBT events.

File:PrideParade2006-ROTC-SoniqDotOrg.jpg

The group formed in 1992 by Ron Rubright, Bruce Linsmeyer and Chuck Henson and was meant to provide light entertainment to gay pride parades that they felt were rather too serious. Unlike military color guards, this ROTC tries to make people laugh.[1] Their uniform borrows elements from military garb (khaki or camouflage, black boots) but then also includes camp elements: members are encourage to personalize their wardrobe. In addition, although the group marches in unison and performs synchronized movements, the music is generally techno, disco or a gay anthem. The group's performance consists of "a precision, military-style warm-up routine, and traditional routines to dance or disco music."[2]

As one member says, "I think we put a lot of raw male sexuality into our routines—lots of sass, lots of flair and lots of innuendo. Some of our moves might be deemed inappropriate for some crowds, but our audiences would be disappointed if we didn’t do them."[3]

The group has inspired other versions in a number of cities. St Petersburg, Salt Lake City and Toronto each have a branch. In Ohio, the Flaggots are a similar group. In Boston the Lawn Chair Bears spoof the Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps' spoof: heavy-set men half-heartedly perform military-like routines with lawn chairs and then collapse into them.The newest performance unit is called "Santa's Twirlers" in St. Petersburg, FL. ROTC Chicago founder Chuck Henson along with David Russell, Jose Perez, Michael Howard, Paul O'Keefe and Tom Young have created this new organization to perform for the annual St. Petersburg Santa Parade.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Davenport, Misha (2007-06-22). R.O.T.C. gives Pride Parade a twirl. Chicago Sun-Tiems. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
  2. ROTC Official Website. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
  3. Barnidge, Mary Shen (2006-06-21). Stepping in Time: The Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps. Windy City Times. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.

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