Class Transitions

Austin, Texas based queer legends Erica Nix and Rocky Lane strive to build a better future for LGBTQIA+ folks through their weekly non-normative and gender expansive movement classes. They propel their community forward, in the face of statewide government leaders who attack queer lives and futures.

  • Em K Shapiro
  • An Chen
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 2, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - The University of Texas at Austin
  • Vancouver Queer Film Festival
    Vancouver, BC
    August 11, 2022
  • Trans Stellar Film Festival
  • Future Front Festival
  • Sioux City International Film Festival
Director Biography - Em K Shapiro

Em (they/them) is a nonbinary filmmaker currently pursuing their MFA in Film Production at the University of Texas at Austin. They have screened their short animated and documentary films internationally across independent festivals. In particular, Em is passionate about exploring the embodiment of disability and queerness through collaborative storytelling.

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Director Statement

As a queer, trans, and disabled individual, I've spent much of my life in search of a full feeling of embodiment. I am invested in how leaders in the queer and trans community have discovered their own embodiment, and found tools to relate that experience to others. In Austin, Texas, two of these leaders are Erica Nix and Rocky Lane. Together, they create a strong model for pathways to queer and trans joy, body-positivity, and wellness through weekly alternative fitness classes designed for the LGBTQIA+ community in mind.

Within the past year, the Texas legislature has proposed over 40 anti-LGBTQIA+ laws over several legislative sessions. In this moment of deep alarm for the community, Erica and Rocky’s classes and community presence offer a refuge for queer Texans--and virtual community beyond state borders--to gather where they are and as they are, in full celebration of the bodies they exist within. Despite the hateful rhetoric and practice of bigoted lawmakers, I believe now more than ever in the importance of alternative joy access for LGBTQIA+ folks to thrive.

I am grateful to have shared in Erica and Rocky’s collaboration to build a better future for queer and trans lives. In resisting normative gendered movement culture, Erica and Rocky activate others to join them in the cause, whether that’s stretching in your best neon clothes on a zoom call, protesting at the Texas Capitol, or making a splash pool-side.

As an access note, I am committed to making my films more accessible to potential viewers. I aim to screen this film with closed captions to ensure that audiences of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities can have better access to the work.