Freaky Cool: Dallas Suspension Convention takes place in April

Dallas Suscon and Obscure Enterprises INC. are proud to present The 2016 Dallas Suspension Convention, taking place from Monday, April 18 to Friday, April 22 in Dallas. With an opening party on Sunday, April 17, this six-day extravaganza will feature expert speakers, classes in technique and safety, advanced suspensions, and entertainment geared toward the suspension community.

The opening party “Freaks & Fetish” will take place on Sunday, April 17 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Lizard Lounge (2424 Swiss Ave.) and the closing celebration will take place on Friday, April 22 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Red Light (2911 Main St.) Classes will take place each day at different venues on different dates. Prices vary depending on class choice. To register and view the full schedule for this year’s event, please visit http://www.suspension.org/suscon/.

Classes offered during the annual event include beginner to advanced knot tying, educational courses on the ritual of suspension and why people are drawn to it, hook placement, the art of suspension, traditions of hook swinging in South Asia, how to maintain a clean environment for suspension, and more. The 2016 Dallas Suspension Convention is encouraging the suspension community to come together and share their knowledge and skills with each other in a socially constructive and beneficial way. The objective of this convention is to promote international communication within the suspension community, share information on techniques, protocols and safety measures, and address many concerns that have been arising due to the negative overexposure of suspension in the media.

“We live in an age of mass media exposure and instant access to information via the Internet. Because body suspension is such an interesting art form it is often sensationalized and seen by many as extreme activity that can create feelings of both revulsion and fascination,” said Allen Falkner of Dallas Suscon. “Our goal with events such as the Dallas Suscon is to present the practice in both a positive and safe manner for those that are curious and give answers to those with misconceptions about how and why people get involved.”

The suspension community has been growing in leaps and bounds with very little education and regulation to keep our industry in check. Events such as The 2016 Dallas Suspension Practitioners Convention afford us the opportunity to provide education and standardize regulation among suspension communities from around the globe. The act of suspending a human body from hooks that have been inserted through temporary body piercings has been around since 1832. Historically called the Okipa ceremony, suspension was created as a complex ceremony and a major part of the Missouri River Mandan tribe’s religious lifestyle.

Dallas native and founder of Deep Ellum-based tattoo removal shop Fade Fast founded TSD (Traumatic Stress Discipline) in 1992 and today the group is the longest-lasting and most influential group of their kind. Often referred to as the “Father of Modern Suspension,” he is considered the first to bring body suspension into the mainstream and was one of the first apprentices of Fakir Musafar, a performance artist and teacher of body modification techniques such as body piercing, corseting, scarification, tattooing, and suspension. He has been featured on American magician and illusionist Criss Angel’s show “Mindfreak."

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