Best Dancing by the Side of the Road Houston 2000 - Drive By Dancing 2000
Dancing and driving hardly seem compatible. But choreographer Leslie Scates, the woman who single-handedly engineered Drive By Dancing 2000, is clearly not the type to let a little workaday common sense supersede inspiration. The big idea came to her back in 1997, during one of those Houston-freeway-turned-parking-lot-hell moments. She tells it this way: "I was stuck in traffic at 59 and 610 by the Galleria coming north, and there was this big green space there, and I thought dancing would be better than a billboard. What would happen if ten dancers were out there right now?" The muse had struck, but Scates still had to wind her way through a Kafkaesque maze of city bureaucracy in order to get permission to dance by the side of the road. Help came from the Parks and Recreation Department and the folks at the Art Car Museum. In this way Drive By Dancing was born. A couple of years and a couple of CACHH grants later, the dancer-choreographer has built her good idea into a yearly event unlike any other in Houston. And best of all, not a single drive-by spectator has crashed in the process.