Save the Dates, 2015 Edition

We’ve been working hard to get our annual events scheduled for 2015 and we are happy report that we have been successful in that mission!  Put the following dates on your calendar so you never miss a Big Moves event!

  • Sunday April 26th, 2015: Big Moves’ Annual FREE Day of Dance,  Noon-5pm, The Beat, 2560 9th St. Berkeley, CA
  • Saturday June 13th (8pm) and Sunday June 14th (2pm), 2015: Big Moves Annual BIG SHOW, Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon St., Oakland, CA
  • Sunday August 2nd, 2015: Cupcakes and Muffintops: A clothing and bake sale where only the prices are small, Humanist Hall, 411 28th St. Oakland, CA
  • Saturday October 24th, 2015: A Taste for Dance: Big Moves’ annual chocolate tasting and performance showcase, First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th St., Oakland, CA

Stay tuned for more details about these and other happenings in 2015.  We hope to see you soon!


Join us for Open Rehearsals in the New Year

If you are looking for fun, supportive, body-positive place to dance look no further and join emFATic DANCE in our no-diet talk, non-body shaming, fat positive zone for Open Rehearsal on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of most months. Open rehearsal is an opportunity to learn new dance skills and explore new dance styles in a fat-positive, beginner-focused, class-like format alongside the emFATs you know and love. The dance style will vary but will typically be focused on jazz, lyrical, contemporary. and/or musical theater. All open rehearsals will begin with a jazz/ballet warm-up including some center work and stretching and end with learning an emFATic combination. Open rehearsal is a great place to start if you are interested in performing with Big Moves and/or the place to be if you are just interested in working on some dance fundamentals. Open rehearsals are open to people of all sizes, genders, and skill levels (including beginners). Please wear clothing you are comfortable moving and sweating in, bring dance shoes (jazz, ballet or dance sneakers) if you’ve got them and be ready to MOVE!

Open Rehearsal with emFATic DANCE 
First and Third Saturdays of the month
(1/3, 1/17, 2/7, 2/21)
12:00-1:30 pm
The Beat, 2560 9th Street, Berkeley, CA
$15 drop-in/ $20 for both classes in a month
FREE with your A Taste for Dance Program

A Taste for Dance (Chocolate Tasting) 2014 Follow Up/Apology

We here at Big Moves would like to issue an apology. At our recent chocolate tasting (A Taste for Dance 2014), a guest artist, Pavini, used a puppet to symbolize the Long Dark Night of the Soul. Pavini intended for the puppet to be read as an embodiment of the struggle they have felt when wrestling with questions about their socialization in terms of fat, but for some the puppet read too literally as a black person. We understand that this puppet, used by a white artist, was problematic for a number of reasons, regardless of its intent, and the puppet reading as a black person also triggered the trope of the wise person of color for some audience members (what Christopher John Farley called the “Magical Negro” in 2000:  We apologize for this happening at our show.

Since the event, we’ve been in conversation with Pavini, who has been very open to feedback about the impact of their work. Here’s a statement pe wrote for the community:

“I have received and deeply contemplated feedback from people who saw my Long Dark Night of the Soul puppet and felt worried that my piece might move towards black caricature. I truly regret that I did not consider that my puppet could be read in terms of race.

I am in a process of learning how considerations of race must inform all of my work. I didn’t know about the magical negro trope, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to research it. I’m grateful for the ways this experience helps me to understand more deeply the privilege I have as a white artist.

I stand behind the radical content of my “Spiritual Fat” piece. I feel proud of the vulnerable nature of the work. I am committed to developing it so that it truly reflects my subversive intentions. I am very sorry for any harm caused by my lack of awareness.

I’m not sure yet what the next iteration of the puppet will be.  I am committed to both making art and being in community consciously.  I feel very thankful to those who honestly brought their experience to my attention, and those who help me to know the things I do not know alone. This is why we need community.  I remain open to feedback.”

As producers, we take full responsibility for what’s on our stage, and we are committed to more thoroughly reviewing our own works and the works of potential guest artists for problematic aspects that maintain the systemic injustices we seek to dismantle. We’re enthusiastic about Pavini as a new guest artist with excellent content, and share their earnestness in making fat art that is thoughtful and enjoyable for everyone.

Like Pavini, we also very much appreciate people’s willingness to talk frankly with us about any discomfort they have at our shows; we consider that a generous gift that helps us grow, and we thank you.

Matilda St John, Director of Big Moves and Co-Artistic Director of emFATic DANCE


Jessica Judd, Co-Artistic Director of emFATic DANCE

A Taste for Dance 2014 Performers

We are so excited about A Taste for Dance happening tomorrow night in Oakland. In addition to the fabulous chocolate, the raffle, and costumes. we have an full evening of incredible performances for you.  Take a peek below at who’s performing:

Since the troupe’s inception in 2001, the members of emFATic DANCE have delighted audiences up and down the West Coast with their signature blend of round bodies and sharp moves. Combining jazz, lyrical, contemporary and musical theater styles, they are truly a force to behold. They’re also a friendly bunch who would love to see you in rehearsal!

Bayhia Movement
Bahiya Movement wowed our audiences at The Next Big Thing back in June and we are so excited they are returning to our stage for A Taste for Dance. Bahiya Movement fuse Hip-Hop, Jazz, Modern and African dance to create an electrifying energetic movement. Founded in 2011 by mother/daughter team Afia Thompson and Nafi Thompson, their goal is to show that body size doesn’t define you as a dancer. Rather the passion, skill, and love of the art that makes you a dancer.

Pavini Moray
Pavini will be performing Spiritual Fat, a comedic look at what happens when Pavini attempts to reconcile their fat body with their Northern California spirituality, and ends up dancing with Long Dark Night of the Soul. (Who reminds you of the New York Grandma you forgot you had, and who doesn’t tolerate your woo-woo nonsense!)

Katrin Auch
Katrin is a long time contemporary dancer, a former emFATic DANCE member, and a periodic guest choreographer for emFATic DANCE. She’s thrilled to be back in the Bay Area and will be debuting a new piece at A Taste for Dance called “A Meditation,” which is a about the struggle to find a place of peace inside ourselves.

Paws UP!
PawsUP is a trio of queerdos making great music together. We’re wagging our tails to the beat and meowing with the melody. Paws UP! brings joy and connection to every jam. They rock classics, put new spins on familiar tunes, and look forward to making you tap your toes. Get ready for a howling good time!
We’ll see you on the 11th!

Saucye and Tigress
Saucye and Tigress first danced together in 2012 as members of the Full Figure Entertainment Models Dance Troupe. Tigress founded FFE in 2008, and Saucye has been an FFE model since 2010. Both women are plus sized models and size acceptance activists. Saucye’s blog is at You can find Tigress at For more information about Full Figure Entertainment, visit

Model, Perform, or Volunteer! Big Moves wants you!

We are looking for models, performers, and volunteers for our annual chocolate tasting and performance showcase, A Taste for Dance, happening Octobers 11th in Oakland.   Read on for more details!

We had such fun with the Cupcakes and Muffintops fatshion show last year that we’re doing it again! Do you have something you bought at the sale that you absolutely adore, and would like to show off for an appreciative audience? Consider strutting your stuff in our Cupcakes and Muffintops fatshion show! No modeling experience necessary; this is a wonderful opportunity to get in touch with your inner ham.

We’re still looking for a few good folks for a few things at A Taste for Dance on October 11th. If you’re an extrovert, or would like to fake it for a night, you might be interested in performing! We’re booking family-friendly acts (dance, comedy, music, performance art, ???) to show their work at this low-key show with a very friendly audience.

If you’re a more introverted type, or would just like to help out, please get in touch with us about volunteering! We need volunteers for set up, to replenish the chocolate buffet and coffee service, to help sell raffle tickets, and to help clean up at the end of the night. Seated or standing positions available.

If you’re interested in any of the above, send an email to

We’ll see you on the 11th!

Cupcakes and Muffintops 6.0 TOMORROW 8/3 in Oakland

Phew!  The truck is loaded and we are ready for Cupcakes and Muffintops happening tomorrow, 8/3, from Noon to 4pm at the Humanist Hall (411 28th St. in Oakland, CA)! We are so excited to see you all at the sale and to find all these fabulous clothes new homes. A couple of quick notes:

1.) Doors open at Noon (no earlier) and the sale ends at 4:00pm (no later). If you want to shop you need to get there before 4.

2.) Most everything is $7 and under and prices are fixed! There will be price sheets listing prices by item type posted throughout the hall. There is no bargaining or special deals.

3.) We DO NOT accept checks. We take cash and credit cards for purchases and cash only for door and bake sale donations.

4.) While we will have some bags at the register, it is helpful if can you bring your own to to pack up your fashion scores.

5.) The entrance to the sale is on 28th St. See event information for the full description of the entrance and for full accessibility information.

6.) We CANNOT take clothing donations at the door.

7.) We have many volunteers working the sale who are there to help you shop and generally help you have a fabulous day. If you need any assistance find someone working the floor with a name tag on and they will be more than happy to help you!

8.) The more the merrier, so bring your friends!

See you all tomorrow!

Cupcakes and Muffintops 6.0 is coming your way August 3rd in Oakland!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year around here for fat fashion!  That’s right,  it’s time for Cupcakes and Muffintops 6.0, the fat-friendly, gender-inclusive clothing and bake sale happening Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 from Noon-4pm at The Humanist Hall in Oakland, CA.  Come on out for the Bay Area’s biggest fat fashion extravaganza of the year and spend the afternoon in the company of some of the most gorgeously courageous, enthusiastic fat folks around, egging each other on to buy that tight leather vest or try on that bikini.  Come sample delicious homemade treats and come in with a reasonable amount of cash, and leave with armloads of new-to-you clothes you can’t wait to wear  Presented jointly by Big Moves, friends of NOLOSE, and the Fat Friendly Funders, we’re so proud that this bonanza of fat fashion and fellowship is becoming a Bay Area institution.

cm2014_facebook_cover_photoCupcakes & Muffintops V6.0
August 3rd, 2014
Humanist Hall
411 28th Street, Oakland, CA
12-4 pm
$0-$10 suggested door donation, no one turned away for lack of funds
Pricing info: Most clothing $1-7; Some boutique items $10 and up, shopper’s discretion.

We are excited to announce that we will be accepting both cash and credit cards for clothing purchases. The door and bake sale will remain cash only.

Check out our blog for updates and photos of what is coming through the sorting room:

Find the event on Facebook and join it, share it, and invite your friends:

It’s never too early to clean out your closets for great fat causes! We’re currently accepting donations of gently used clothing for people of all genders, size large and up, up, up! Superfat and masculine-spectrum clothing especially appreciated.

Send an email to schedule a donation pickup, volunteer to help at the sale, or sign up to bake some goodies!

Accessibility Information: The entrance to the sale is on 28th Street, through the garden. There is a small parking lot on the side of the garden towards Telegraph Avenue, and we ask that people leave the parking spaces in the lot for people who need closer, more accessible parking. Once in the garden, there is a path down to a ramp on the left; the ramp is the main entrance to the sale and will be festooned accordingly. Inside, we’ll have some armless seats and volunteers on hand to help you shop, carry clothes, etc!

The Humanist Hall has two gender-free bathrooms, one of which is accessible but may have a sink-height issue. The shared dressing room is also gender-free.

A note about the clothing: we put the call out for donations of clean clothes but don’t wash them ourselves, so some may arrive with pet hair, scented detergents, or smoke.

A few more details about The Next Big Thing!

WOW!  We had a great dress rehearsal last night and as we are headed into the actual show this weekend we wanted to give you a few more details about tickets and attending The Next Big Thing.

  • Advance ticket sales end at NOON on Saturday for the Saturday show and 8am on Sunday for the Sunday show.  After that tickets will be available at the door.
  • Children under 3 free, Ages 4-17 $10 at the door.  People often ask us if the show is kid-friendly and we always say this: It depends. It is an all-ages show, but there is some brief partial nudity in the show from our two guest burlesque artists and there may be some salty language used throughout the evening. A couple of emFATic’s pieces are kind of serious this year and deal with themes of fat oppression and fat hatred (a little more serious and emotional than in years’ past). Some kids watch the whole show and some step out into the lobby for certain acts and that is easy to do. If you have questions about this, just let us know!
  • The main entrance to the show this year is the accessible entrance at the back of the theater. To reach this entrance enter the campus from Fallon St. and enter at the accessible entrance at the back of the theater. Go down the hallway and enter the theater directly. We will have a volunteer check you in at will call or take your money for a ticket. There are accessible bathrooms on this level. There is street parking on Fallon St. and flat, but sloped, pathways to get to the theater. There are a number of disabled parking spaces available in the Laney parking lot closest to 8th St. and Fallon and the theater. From that lot, you will go down an alley behind the theater to the entrance that is closest to 10th St. People can also be dropped off directly at the accessible entrance door. We will have a volunteer posted at the entrance and lots of signs!To avoid stairs in the theater, enter at the accessible entrance. For the accessible entrance to the theater, enter the campus from Fallon St. and enter at the accessible entrance at the back of the theater (the side of the theater that is closest to the art gallery and 10th St.–see photo and also at link:
  • Theater and bathrooms are wheelchair accessible. Fixed theater seats have arms. Seat width on fixed seats with arms is 19 inches. There will be a number of armless chairs in the accessible seating section. We are expanding the accessible section for armless chairs and wheelchairs/scooters this year by removing some of fixed theater seats. We will be reserving the row of seats behind the accessible section so that people in mixed size/ability groups attending the show together can sit together.
  • The theater is across the street from Lake Merritt BART. We recommend taking BART if you are attending the Sunday show as there is a flea market that happens in one of the campus parking lots on Sunday and parking is more challenging that day





The Next Big Thing postcard…take a peek!

We are really excited to share the postcard for The Next Big Thing.  We are so happy with ow this turned out!  The Next Big Thing is happening June 14th and 15th, 2014 at Laney College Theater in Oakland and features our own emFATic DANCE plus special guests Raks Africa, Tigress and Sarah, Bahiya Movement, Kitty Von Quim, the  models of Full Figure Entertainment, Magnoliah Black, The Spoonies, and Juicy D. Light as emcee.  Get tickets now at:


The Next Big Thing tickets available NOW!

Tickets are available NOW for The Next Big Thing, our an all-new size diverse dance and music showcase happening June 14th and 15th at Laney College Theater in Oakland, CA.  The Next Big Thing  features emFATic DANCE and special guests Raks Africa, Magnoliah Black, Kitty Von Quim, Tigress and Sarah, the models of Full Figure Entertainment, Bahiya Movement, The Spoonies, The Tartlettes, and Juicy D. Light of Rubenesque Burlesque as emcee.  Get your tickets at .  Don’t miss out!

Big Events
Newsletter Sign-up
Sign up to receive email updates of our latest announcements: