June 1 was the official launch of Gay Pride month across America, which is typically a time for honoring LGBTQ history and celebrating freedom and equality. On June 12, 2016 the celebrations came to a screeching halt when a gunman targeting gays and lesbians walked into Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and opened fire killing 49 and injuring 51 people in the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
One of the most potent yet heartbreaking parts of the shooting was that in the hours that preceded the shooting, the club was full of patrons dancing the night away full of nothing but love, happiness, and pride in a place they felt safe to be who they were.
The shooting hit the LGBTQ community hard, nationwide. Vigils took place all around the world including in San Diego where recording artists and lesbian couple, Danielle LoPresti and Alicia Champion performed live at the vigil in San Diego. Immediately following the vigil the duo started to work on a song that would honor the victims and share a message that the community will not cower to hate and will continue the dance the victims didn’t get to finish.
The song, “Finish the Dance” is an upbeat dance track with a message of perseverance and love. The track’s opening piano “montuno” and classical guitar pay homage to Latino members of the LGBTQ community who were the majority of those slain that night. The song was written by Champion and LoPresti and co-produced by Champion and UK producer, Jordan Lea. It will officially release today on YouTube and Band Camp at 6:12 a.m. June 12, accompanied by a video montage of the 49 lives lost.
Later that day, LoPresti and Champion will host a Facebook Live session to share with fans behind the scenes stories of creating the song and how they plan to honor the victims and the survivors moving forward. The forum will also be open for anyone to share memories of what the year has been like for them after the shooting, memories of any of the victims, personal coming out stories, and how fans can continue to support the official fundraising platform for victims and survivors, The One Orlando Fund.
“We wrote “Finish the Dance” to honor every blessed being whose life was taken a year ago at Pulse. They didn’t get to finish their dance that night because of hate, so we as a community are going to finish it for them and prove that hate will not have the last word in each of their stories. We want to celebrate them, honor them – we want to remember them and the joy and love their lives gave to the communities they were part of,” stated LoPresti
Listen to “Finish the Dance” at https://youtu.be/Si49fiJvYRU.
The Facebook Live will take place on LoPresti’s page at https://www.facebook.com/