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Who Invented Voguing?

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Voguing was invented by the black and Latinx LGBTQ+ communities in New York City in the 1980s as a form of dance expression and performance. It originated from Harlem’s drag ball culture, which is often considered a safe space for marginalized communities to celebrate their identities. The dance style was popularized in the 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning,” which highlighted the influential work of queer black and Latinx artists. Today, voguing has gained global recognition and is celebrated as an art form that celebrates the creativity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.

Welcome to an exciting article about the origins of voguing, a dance style that has captivated the world. Did you know that voguing was a creation of the black and Latinx LGBTQ+ communities in New York City during the 1980s? It was born out of the ballroom scene, which was a safe and welcoming space for marginalized communities to showcase their creativity and identity. Voguing gained popularity following the release of the 1990 documentary “Paris is Burning,” which brought visibility to the contributions of queer Black and Latinx artists in the dance scene. Read on to learn more about this fascinating dance movement that continues to inspire and evolve.

Who Invented Voguing?
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Who Invented Voguing?

A Brief History of Ballroom Culture

Voguing is a dance form that has its roots in the LGBTQ ballroom scene of New York City in the 1960s and 70s. The ballroom scene was a place where members of the LGBTQ community could come together and express themselves freely in a safe space where they would not face discrimination.

Ballroom culture was a haven for those who were marginalized in society and the dance form known as voguing was born out of this culture. Voguing was a dance form that was created by queer people of color and was a way for them to express themselves through dance.

The Mother of Voguing

One of the most important figures in voguing is the late Willi Ninja, who is known as the “Mother of Voguing”. Willi Ninja was a dancer and choreographer who started dancing at ballroom events when he was just a teenager.

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Ninja’s style of voguing was influenced by the martial art form of Capoeira and he became a pioneer of the dance style. He was known for his graceful movements, fluidity, and precise hand gestures, which were all signature elements of voguing.

Apart from his dancing skills, Ninja was also responsible for bringing voguing into the mainstream culture. He was famous for appearing in music videos, movies, and television shows, and he even appeared on the Parisian runway shows. Willi Ninja will always be remembered as one of the most iconic figures in the history of voguing.

The House of Xtravaganza

Another important figure in the history of voguing is the House of Xtravaganza, which was a pioneering House in ballroom culture. The House of Xtravaganza was founded by Hector Xtravaganza, who was a Puerto Rican dancer and choreographer.

Members of the House of Xtravaganza were credited with developing and innovating voguing, and they became some of the most influential figures in the history of the dance style. Some of the most famous members of the House of Xtravaganza include Angie Xtravaganza, who was known for her pioneering voguing style, and Venus Xtravaganza, who was a transgender woman and one of the most celebrated transgender icons in ballroom culture.

In conclusion, voguing is a dance form that has emerged out of the ballroom culture of New York City. It was created by queer people of color and has since become an important part of the LGBTQ community and a popular dance form around the world. The Mother of Voguing, Willi Ninja, and the House of Xtravaganza are just some of the influential figures who have contributed to the evolution of voguing and have helped make it what it is today.

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Voguing is believed to have been invented in the 1960s by LGBTQ+ people of color in New York City’s ballroom scene. This dance style is known for its sharp, angular movements and dramatic poses, and it has had a profound impact on contemporary dance and fashion.

How Voguing Has Evolved Over the Years

Voguing, a dance form that originated from the ballroom culture of New York City’s LGBTQ+ communities, has come a long way since its inception in the 1980s. What started as a form of expressive movement and self-expression within a specific subculture has now gained mainstream recognition and global influence. This article will explore the evolution of voguing over the years, from its origins as a niche subculture to its mass appeal today.

Voguing Goes Mainstream

One of the most significant milestones in voguing’s evolution is its widespread mainstream popularity in recent years. With appearances in music videos, fashion shows, and even reality TV shows, voguing has become a sensation in popular media. However, this newfound attention has led to ongoing debates around cultural appropriation and the roots of ballroom culture. Voguing’s flamboyant and dramatic style has been co-opted by the mainstream culture, raising questions about who has the right to profit from it.

While some argue that voguing’s mainstream success dilutes its cultural significance, others believe it has helped bring greater visibility to the art form and its origins. Regardless of the debate, voguing’s influence in mainstream culture cannot be denied.

Voguing Goes Global

Along with its mainstream success, voguing has also spread worldwide to become a symbol of queer identity and resistance. As ball culture has expanded beyond New York City, voguing has emerged as a way for marginalized communities to express themselves and push against societal norms.

In recent years, voguing has gained popularity in places like Paris, London, Tokyo, and even South Africa. In 2019, the first-ever International Vogue and Ballroom Festival took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The festival brought together around 30 youth teams formed in different regions of South Africa and included workshops led by voguing pioneers from the United States.

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This global expansion has allowed voguing to not only gain worldwide recognition but also develop diverse regional styles that reflect the communities in which they originate. Voguing has become a way for marginalized communities worldwide to find a voice and express themselves through movement and dance.

Voguing Today

Currently, voguing has evolved into a complex art form with different categories and styles. These categories are separated by gender, experience level, and type of vogue. The dance form requires athleticism, grace, and creativity, and voguers often train for years to master the various elements of voguing.

While voguing originates from ballroom culture, the dance form has now expanded beyond its roots. Voguing workshops and competitions are now held globally, and various voguing houses have been established across the world.

However, with its global reach, voguing has also been subject to cultural appropriation by those who don’t understand its significance and origins. The debate between cultural appreciation and appropriation continues, and many argue that voguing should be preserved as a part of ballroom culture.

In conclusion, voguing’s evolution from a niche subculture to a worldwide phenomenon has been impressive. Its influence can be seen in music, fashion, and mainstream media. While voguing’s mainstream success has raised questions about appropriation and cultural significance, it has also helped shine a light on the ballroom culture and the communities in which it originates. As voguing continues to evolve, it remains a symbol of resistance, empowerment, and self-expression.

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