DJ Hana was an anomaly back in 2005, when she first graced the cover of an April edition of New Times. Described by the writer as a "Valkyrie-esque she-jay" and one of South Florida's first female DJs, the story reads a bit dated ten years on, though it is difficult to gauge how far we've come since then.
While many female DJs (female anythings, really), wish we'd drop the gender prefixes altogether and focus on the content and quality of their work, it's still refreshing when women come together and actually acknowledge their womanness. Hana, last name Besedova, who hails from Prague, speaks six languages, and cut her teeth in the Switzerland club circuit before making her home in South Florida in 2000, is clearly one of those lady DJs who embraces her femaleness in all its glory.
Whether her bombshell looks have worked in her favor or against it over the span of her 20-plus years of DJing, the fun-loving powerhouse has stayed true to herself while proving her musical chops, spinning house and electro vinyl among the best of them, hosting a six-years-running radio show on The Womb, and holding down high profile residencies and gigs at Opium, Nikki Beach, and the Mondrian in Miami and internationally at top nightclubs in Monaco, Berlin, Luzerne, and Zurich.
"I've learned to be independent, stronger, to make decisions on my own, and if there is a problem, try to find a solution," Besedova says of her experience as a woman in the heavily-male world of club DJing.
Back in 2005, Besedova had just recently established a "grassroots DJ school" geared mainly toward women trying to compete in the male-dominated music market. Ten years later, at the veteran age of 45, not only does she still play at various nightclubs locally and around the world, including a Wednesday night residency at Kitchen 305 in Sunny Isle Beach's Newport Hotel, but she's also still committed to looking out for her fellow ladies.
For the last four years, DJ Hana has donated her services to the local non-profit Glam-a-THON, which partners with Broward Health Foundation to help fund free mammograms, diagnostic testing, and other needs of local women undergoing breast cancer treatment. So far, they've raised over $333,000 to benefit the Lillian S. Well’s Women’s Health Center and the Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Fund.
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"Everything started four years ago with one phone call from two amazing ladies, Tammy Gail and Judith Honorowski," says Besedova on how she first got involved with the local organization. "They asked me if I would like to be part of the Lipstick Lounge events to help raise money for local women affected by breast cancer. I really love the events and also the energy behind this entire organization. People and volunteers are donating their time and talents for a good cause."
Besedova is the exclusive DJ for Glam-a-THON's popular Lipstick Lounge charity event, which took place a few weeks ago at the Gallery of Amazing Things in Dania Beach. This Saturday, she'll man the decks for the organization's annual Strut walk-a-thon at Esplanade Park in Fort Lauderdale, bringing her upbeat, open format blend of Latino music, Top 40, dance music, and hip-hop to help keep the atmosphere energized and fun.
"I love when there is a positive energy on the dancefloor and in the club," says Besedova of her DJing style. "For me, it is very important when the crowd feels my music and is having a good time. With music, you can change the mood and energy of any venue and event. I think this is fascinating."
The cost to join is $45 per person. Proceeds will help fund underinsured local women who are undergoing breast cancer treatment and therapy. Participants will each receive a signature Glam-A-THON tote bag. The Glam Doll Strut begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Esplanade Park is located at 400 SW Second St. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit glam-a-thon.com to see how you can make a difference, whether it be through donation or participation.