By Tyler Martin
On Tuesday, April 11th, I attended the “All About Ballroom” event where I learned the history of ballroom and how to embrace my inner artist.
The first part of the event was a panel discussion where Jenny B. Davis posed questions to the Kiki House of Nike group. The House of Nike created this group as a shelter for those who strive for a community in the early 2000s when Ballroom was introduced in Texas. One member of the House of Nike stated that sometimes you have to cultivate your own community if one doesn’t already exist, and that is exactly what they did… and what an amazing community they created. The House of Nike members are always encouraging people to join and want everyone to feel welcome, as many of the members came from marginalized communities.
Drag and Ballroom are not the same, although many people believe them to be interchangeable. Ballroom is not rated on a number scale of 1-10 like Drag, it’s simply a 10 or nothing. It is also less drastic than Drag.
Drag queens are often painted and made up to be very extravagant, whereas ballroom performers prefer to put their emphasis on the performance in their multiple different categories. Ballroom performers can engage in a multitude of different categories; face, vogue, performance, and more.
After an interesting panel came the much-anticipated performance. Members performed several stunts and struck different poses. I could not believe how flexible, animated and entertaining all of the performers were. A performer would be walking down the catwalk and all of a sudden, do the most effortless death drop and be up and dancing again in a count of 8! The House of Nike even encouraged audience members to participate in the showcase. Those of us in the audience rated the performances, to which they all deserved a 10.
Attending this event was an experience I will truly never forget. I walked out of the event feeling so confident as these performers inspired me to care less about pleasing others and instead to embrace my inner performer and make life my Catwalk.