Go-Go-Dancing is the 'pure pleasure of dancing' for Pelan

Fri. February 22, 2019 10:29 AM by Ross Forman

Tea Time from I Am Living Productions on Feb. 24 features Pelan on stage

Jonathan Pelan was at the IML Victory Party several years ago when he approached Matthew Harvat, curious what he'd need to do to be a go-go dancer for future events from CircuitMOM Productions, which Harvat runs.

Pelan was expecting Harvat to tell him to leave him alone, or reach out another time about dancing.

"To my surprise, he grabbed me by my hand, took me backstage and told me to strip down to my underwear and get on stage and dance," Pelan said. "I was in disbelief. I was nervous and scared having never done it before, but quickly realized how much I enjoyed it."

Pelan and Harvat are still friends, and he has since danced at numerous CircuitMOM events.

"I owe my go-go dancing career to him," Pelan said of Harvat, laughing. "He is an amazing guy and has allowed me to be a part of his vision for several years now."

Pelan, who lives in River North, is the director of HR for a textile company. He is originally from Detroit and has been living in Chicago for eight years.

He has been dancing for various local parties for four years, including events from SKIN Productions and I Am Living Productions.

"I honestly love," go-go dancing, Pelan said. "It's never been about the money, but for (the) pure pleasure of dancing. I am happy when I'm on stage. It's a wonderful feeling, and I enjoy it a lot. I have met some incredible people through go-go dancing, people who I probably would never talk to otherwise, and I have been lucky to make friends. It's also allowed me to travel and go to different events, explore new cities and be exposed to different people and productions. Each party is different and it's pretty cool to be a part of it and see how they make it their own. We get to wear awesome costumes and a lot of times we get to meet the DJs. It's just a cool experience overall, and to me it always feels like fun, not work."

Pelan has danced at events in Indiana, Texas and California – and has, believe it or not, received multiple $100 tips.

"I became a part of I Am Living at (their) second event, (so) I have seen how much it has grown and changed for the better," Pelan said. "I have no doubt that it is a lot of work, and (I Am Living promotor) Beau (Guidry) has done a great job making the event bigger and better. It's great that someone else has stepped up to give people something else to do on Sundays."

I Am Living presents Tea Time on Sunday, Feb. 24, from 5-10 p.m., at The Call (1547 W. Bryn Mawr), with beats from Janky.

"I Am Living events are special because it's a new company (building) from scratch," Pelan said. "Beau cares for this event, and it shows. He has successfully created an event where people gather to have fun, and because of its size, it allows people to interact and easily meet new people. I am honored to come back month after month to entertain. Beau is very open to suggestions and has allowed me to be creative in my own way, and I appreciate that. We work well as a team.

"The Tea Time Dance from I Am Living is a fun place to be and meet people. He hires good DJs who play great music, and it's a place where people can be who they are and enjoy themselves."

On Stage With ...Jonathan Pelan

Favorite Chicago Bar: "Mini Bar always (was) my favorite bar in Boystown, (so) it was sad when it closed. I'd say Hydrate is where I go to the most, especially (on) Saturday nights. But overall, I would say Drumbar and Berkshire Room are my two favorite places to go to for a drink."

Drinking: "I love a good dirty martini. But if I'm drinking multiple drinks, my favorite is citron vodka with water."

Favorite Chicago Restaurant: "It used to be the Pump Room before it closed. I would say right now it would be GT Oyster and Fish."

Favorite Holiday: Christmas – "I've always had fond memories of (Christmas) since I was a little kid."

Celebrity You'd Like To Meet: Tom Brady

Talking Football: "I don't do much during the week other than going to the gym. It's a way of releasing stress, and my day is not complete until I work out. I am more of a home-body during the week, and I usually don't do much until the weekends. I am a huge sports fan, especially college football and NFL, so when (it is) in season, I will watch every game every Saturday/Sunday, without fail. Tailgating and going to the games is another activity I truly enjoy."

Dream Vacation Destination: Australia/New Zealand

Sounds At The Gym: "I listen to different podcasts, and usually I go with some of my favorite DJs, (such as) Ivan Gomez, Sagi Kariv, Grind (and) Dan Slater."

Talking Pizza: "I'm very plain, so just cheese for me."

Boxers or Briefs: "I'm a briefs guy."

On The Job: "I have been doing HR and talent acquisition pretty much my entire career. I am primarily responsible for hiring new employees, (and) onboarding them. I create hiring processes and also play a big role in employment relations."

Best Part of Your Job: "(I) love looking for new talent to join our organization, and then ensure they have a great career with us."

Best Part of Living in Chicago: "I love this city. It always feels so alive, and there is so much to do. It's a beautiful city, and living downtown has its perks considering how close I am to all the cool restaurants and bars."

Worst Part of Living in Chicago: "I work in the suburbs, so my commute is not always easy. There are times when it can take me (90 minutes or more) to get home, and I'm only 13 miles from work."