Wa Na Wari’s Cake Dance @ Washington Hall

Take the cake 🎂

📸: Washington Hall

Tuesday, April 4th • 6 – 8 pm

If you don’t know what a cakewalk is, it’s a dance of Black joy and resistance. The tradition came from enslaved Africans, who held cake dances on plantations. It may have started as a slick way for them to mock their masters’ posed behavior, and it evolved into a celebrated dance that was hugely popular at the turn of the 20th century. The phrase “take the cake” originated here, from cakewalk events that awarded winners cakes. 

At these events, you walk to music around a numbered circle in each round. Then you stop when the beat stops, and the MC calls out a number. If your number is chosen, you select a cake. This coming Tuesday, at a 21st-century version of a cakewalk at the historic Washington Hall, winners will get prizes from local bakeries like Baked from the HartKJ CakeryMoon Village BakeryTom Douglas, and more. And it’s all put on by Wa Na Wari, a community art project housed in a fifth-generation, Black-owned home. 

Also, to celebrate Black dance, performers at this event will show off some Lindy Hop, tap, and Chicago-style steppin’. And speaking of a celebration, this fundraising event coincides with Wa Na Wari’s four-year birthday. 

Pro tip: Get tickets online in advance. You’ll need them for the door plus one per round if you want to walk. And though I love Seattle’s frumpy fashion, don your best Dapper Dan ensemble for this event. Make plans to hit one of the many Black-owned spots for happy hour beforehand! 

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Patheresa Wells

Patheresa Wells is a Black/Persian, Pansexual, Polyamorous Poet (so many Ps) and writer living in Seatac. An aspiring comic, you can catch her cracking jokes at open mics around the area. In her free time, she likes to imagine what she’d do with free time and feed her backyard crows cuz they’re silly. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.