Dancing With Her
Dancing With Her is an LBGTQ magazine and blog. Their website is filled to the brim with love stories, testimonials, engagements, you name it. Dancing With Her was founded by Tara and Arlia as they were planning their way down the aisle but couldn’t find any diverse LBGTQ resources or inspiration. So in 2017, they set out to create their own. Two years later, they’re celebrating women in love and have released their 4th magazine.
What is your company? Dancing With Her
What do you do? Dancing With Her is both a digital and print publication that celebrates LGBTQ+ women in love.
Where are located? We are based on the Gold Coast in Australia but work on a global publication
How big is your team? Our team is currently two full-time staff [myself and my partner] and we work with a number of different contributors [both on a voluntary and freelance capacity].
The Heart of it:
What is your origin story?
Our story really begins back in 2014. Arlia and I had been dating for around a year and, while we had loosely discussed weddings, we both didn’t feel like there was any need to be married. That was until Arlia acquired a traumatic brain injury after a bicycle accident and wound up having brain surgery and on life support. It was during that time, and the healing process, that it became important to us both to have a union that was legally binding.
In 2016 we were finally at a place where we could shift our focus on Arlia’s healing to making steps towards our future - one being marriage! I proposed in August, Arlia said yes, and we found us in a wedding space that left us feeling uninspired.
The wedding space, particularly in Australia, wasn’t a space where the LGBTQ+ community was celebrated in an authentic way. So, a few weeks after that proposal, while sitting in the sun in Byron Bay, I said to Arlia; ‘if we’re struggling finding any wedding inspiration, there HAS to be other couples out there that fell the same way we do. Let’s do something about it”. A few hours later, while I was on night shift as a nurse, I started Dancing With Her on Instagram, oblivious to what it would become.
Now, we have a global magazine that’s shipped to more than 40 countries across the globe - which blows our mind!
Dancing With Her has really grown so quickly, I’m sure it must have been a wild ride. What was it like in the beginning?
In some ways, I think we’re still in the beginning phase. It’s been a rollercoaster and a very steep learning curve. We found ourselves working our day jobs and spending 8-12 hours a day working on Dancing With Her alongside.
We certainly went into the publication with a ‘we have nothing to lose’ attitude and that’s worked in our favour.
Apart from sharing beautifully-told individual stories, do you see Dancing with Her as possessing a special role to the LGBTQIA+ community?”
Absolutely! These stories deserve to be shouted from the rooftops and we’re thrilled to have built a platform to be able to do that.
We’re also really excited as we move into more categories. We’ll be exploring a whole lot more about LGBTQ+ families, and travel in 2019 [as well as a few other secret projects!
What continues to keep you invested in creating Dancing with Her?
The community. We wholeheartedly believed that Dancing With Her deserves to exist, and the thought of us inspiring people to be their authentic self and have that dream wedding day is honestly a privilege. It gets us up every day and makes those hard days just that little bit better.
Your magazine is filled with such joyful images. In what other ways does joy manifest in your work?
Joy comes from absolutely every that we do. We get the privilege of diving into some of the most intimate and romantic parts of our lovers' life, and we get the platform to share that with the world. I don’t think we could ever have a job more joyous.
What are your top 3 wedding tips?
Set a budget, one that doesn’t set you into debt. Set up a spreadsheet, or use an app [whatever works for you!] and stick to it.
Don’t give into trends. Trends come and go. Be authentic in your wedding choices.
My number one tip; ask ‘why’ at every step. Why do we want a photographer, why do we need a wedding cake, why do you need to wear white. By asking why you’ll figure out what really feels right and your wedding day will be as authentic as it should be.
We love that you connect readers with vendors! How did that start?
It was a natural progression. We had vendors coming to us wanting to find couples and we had couples coming to us looking for inclusive vendors! We saw the opportunity to be the one to connect them.
What do you hope future LBGTQ weddings will look like?
I don’t hope that they look a particular way, but I hope that that diversity is celebrated more and that all weddings are authentic to the couple. My favorite wedding days are the ones where couples have put all the traditions and wedding scripts to the side and they’ve done everything their own way.
At Love Les, our passion is to share LGBTQIA+ love stories. Your work must bring you into contact with so many beautiful love stories, are there any that have been particularly moving to you?
One wedding that will always stick with me is one that we shared of two brides under a waterfall. They took one guest as a witness, who played acoustic guitar, a celebrant and a photographer. It was a intimate, beautiful wedding. The brides both wore dresses that they’d purchased from the thrift shop the day before and they day was just a celebration of their commitment.
It was incredible - and you can view and read it here.
This interview was with Tara a founder & editor of Dancing With Her. Tara, you are an absolute delight. Our team continually feels inspired by the stories and images you share. All of these photos were taken from the Dancing With Her website- a treasure trove of LBGTQ love stories; including Ilenia & Lorenza’s story from a previous interview!