Stepping out on faith from the Ballroom scene, on the shoulders of Willie Ninja, Vogue Evolution came to mainstream attention as the first openly LGBT team to compete on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. These Ball Kids: Leyomi, Pony, Prince, Deshawn, Malachi are LEGENDS in their community and fiercely advocate for those who have been rendered voiceless by society.
The crew, made up of four Queer men of color and one transgendered womyn, ultimately got fifth place on the show but the impact of their mere presence spoke in waves for the audience watching. For years the Ballroom scene, which is rumored to have been around since the Harlem Renn, has been misappropriated and misrepresented by pop Divas like Madonna and Beyonce. From movements to music many have been heavily influenced and have mimicked the artistry of the Balls, but rarely have the Ball kids, themselves, had the opportunity to represent and speak for themselves. We’ve had flashes but never full on impact. That’s what makes the appearance of Vogue Evolution so important. In a culture that is hostile to homosexuals and and almost unbearable for queer people of color, it is rare that we get to tell our own stories. It is rare that we are given the credit we deserve for contributing to the human experience. Fashion, Pop music and R’nB all owe an un-payable debt to the Ballroom.
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