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I WILL SURVIVE is a benefit organized by Bay Area LGBT dance communities to raise money to keep the dance programs at the Lake Merritt Dance Center alive.


Doors will open at 7:00 and open dancing in the main ballroom will start at 7:30 and go until midnight. We will have a silent auction in the lounge.

Dancing in the main ballroom will include Two Step, West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, Waltz and Tango - and most importantly your friends from the many LGBTQ dance organizations from all over the Bay Area!

We'll have a variety of performances starting at 9:30. It's going to be a fun night!



A few months ago dancers in the Lake Merritt Building were informed by the city of Oakland that starting in January 2020, the dance programs would be shut down. Separately, the Master Renter who holds the lease for the building with the city decided to step down. Trouble in Oak Town!

A group of leaders from our community joined together to form a new non-profit to negotiate a new agreement with the city and keep the programs alive and thriving.

The good news: the City of Oakland wants to work with us and keep the dance programs in the building! We are taking over the lease as of January 1, 2020. We are not at risk of the city kicking us out – unless we cannot pay the rent.

The not such great news: income from our current renters is several thousand dollars short of the rent due to the city on a monthly basis. We are working our butts off to form our new non-profit and get new renters. But we are going to need some help with the transition if we want to keep the programs going.

Simply stated, we don’t have enough money to pay our rent in the first part of of 2020.

We need all of your support to get us through the next six months. We need to raise: $10,000 by December 15, 2019 and an additional $10,000 by March 15, 2020.

These funds will enable us to pay the rent to the city, cover modest administrative costs and create a small reserve fund in case we lose renters. Please know: everyone who is working on this effort is a volunteer – no one is getting paid. We hope to hire someone to help with administration in a few months. Within six months from our launch, we except to be fully solvent with income from renters sufficient to cover our expenses.

We don’t want to be overly dramatic – but the truth is, if we don’t raise the funds we need, we can’t keep our lease with the building. And the programs will close. That would be sad :( But we won’t let it happen!

Our steering committee is doing everything in their power to keep the programs going. Will you support us? We have many dance communities: if everyone gives what they can, we will hit our goal - but only if most of us participate.

Please buy your tickets at I WILL SURVIVE.

Please give generously. Every little bit helps and we would love everyone’s support. If you are in a position to be a Host Sponsor or Legacy Donor, we would be especially grateful.



Lake Merritt Dance Organizers Foundation, Inc (aka Lake Merritt Dance) is a registered California nonprofit corporation. We are applying for 501c3 status from the IRS. During the application process, Lake Merritt Dance will operate under the fiscal sponsorship of Texas Rose, a 501c3 corporation.

All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Value of services delivered is $25, the price of general admission. The amount of donations above $25 is tax deductible. You will receive documentation for your donation from Texas Rose.

See you on the dance floor on January 4th, 2020!