Throughout the history of dance culture, LGBTQ communities have been at the forefront. House music was famously championed by sexual minorities in New York City as early as the 1970s, and similarly the city’s underground queer culture gave birth to voguing a decade later.
The movement’s exposure peaked in 1990 with the release of the documentary Paris Is Burning and a certain Madonna classic, but with increased interest surrounding the dance form, recently voguing is making a comeback.
With a refreshed look at our Sunday programming placing a shining light on LGBTQ parties, we’re becoming involved in the scene, too. This weekend we open up Room One for JayJay Revlon's denim vogue ball followed by Love Child, so we spoke to him to learn more about the plans for the afternoon.
Tell us about voguing: what is a vogue ball? When, where and why did it start?
Voguing is a form of dance. It initially started in the USA with drag queens and women of colour running drag balls around the 1960s. A ball is where we all meet and compete with each other.
You’re the father of House of Revlon UK, what does that mean?
I look after my family, helping them where help is needed. A vogue house is a family. You could say it’s your chosen family.
Where did you learn to vogue?
I got into it through watching YouTube clips of voguing. You would be surprised by how much you can pick up by going to balls. Anyone can enter to walk the ball. The music varies, and has a wide range of beats. If you want some inspiration, there’s a lot you can find on YouTube.
There’ll also be judges coming this Sunday. Can you tell us more about them?
Buffy West, who was birthed into the ballroom scene in 2011, has claimed the title as the performance “It Girl”, by simply embodying combination skills. She has a great ability to tell a story through her body and hands, whilst delivering eye-catching appeal on the runway.
Faye Revlon is part of The Unforgettable House of Revlon and specialises in the New Way category. She has battled in London and Europe, and picked up a few trophies. She’s had the privilege of being invited to judge balls in London and competitions including World of Dance. She also works as a contemporary dancer outside of ballroom, and is currently working full-time with the Rambert2 ensemble.
Sasha Mizrahi is very active in the Kiki scene, and is also known as one of the finest Bq Vogue Fem performers in the making in Europe. He’s won balls in Paris and beyond.
Princess Makaba Angels Garçon has been a part of the Dutch ballroom scene since 2014. She started out as a contemporary dancer, and got involved in ballroom a few years ago. She lets the girls know that there is no playing with her on the floor. She has a charismatic way of presenting herself, and her passion of ballroom had helped her make a name across the European scene. As the Founding Godmother of the International European KikiHouse of Angels she lets her kids shine in glory, while doing the same herself.
DivaD was one of the first of this generation to help establish and build London’s ballroom scene. She’s brought knowledge to the kids, and introduced the Oldway performance to today’s scene. She is well known for her classique, clean, unbothered and softer performance, and really knows how to shake up a room. DivaD was hugely inspired by the early days and traditions of ballroom, having a love for the presentation of Pop Dip and Spin and its femme queen performance she makes it a duty to carry on the presentation style and essence of the yester-years whether she is performing or teaching.
How would you summarise what to expect from this Sunday in a few words?
It’s gunna be FAB. It’s gunna be GREAT. It’s gunna be WOW. It’s gunna be POW.
When’s the best time to arrive?
Arrive for doors at 3pm, so you can get your space.
What’s the dress code?
You can take inspiration from the categories or come however you feel comfortable.