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Voguing Night

Voguing Night


A video played at the front of the room as USGA members stretched their arms and legs. The clip showed a performer in a brightly-colored outfit walking down a runway with a crowd cheering them on. 

Out of context, the clip would be hard to understand. Is it a model showing off the latest in summer apparel? No, models don’t usually swing their arms above their heads or do a death drop mid-catwalk. Is it drag? The participants are wearing exaggerated makeup, true, but their motions are very specific and emphasize beat and angularity. Is it breakdancing? The dancer is doing the coffee grinder, but the rest of the routine is something different entirely. As it turns out, it’s not any one of these things, but an electrifying mashup of all of them: voguing. 

For Xochi, Friends and Allies Chair at USGA, voguing is a way to celebrate his identity. “I love voguing because it’s freeing! It’s saying I’m queer, I'm Latine, I’m hot, I'm sexy, I'm confident! It doesn’t matter how good at it you are, it's just about how much fun you feel.” He designed the recent activity to give USGA members a taste of that freedom. 

At the beginning of the evening, participants learned about the history of voguing, born in the 80s from influences like the Harlem ballroom scene and fashion posing in magazines like Vogue. After watching some clips for inspiration, attendees learned some basic voguing steps. Then it was time to try it themselves. 

People were understandably shy. It’s intimidating to dance down a catwalk while your friends watch. Xochi was able to lead many out of their shells by orchestrating opportunities for group participation. When no one wanted to take the spotlight, everyone began to vogue in a circle. In other cases, multiple people vogued across the room together. 

That’s the value of a community. When the pressure on one person is too great, we can all step (or dance) in to collectively lighten the load.



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