History of Queer Dance

BuzzFeed recently released a video that is everything plus a bag of chips! Choreographers Kumari Suraj, Jonte Moaning, Derrell Bullock, and Brian Friedman have put together a history of queer dance through movement, and it totally has us reaching for our high heels. It’s like time traveling through a queer dance space time continuum… and it’s amazing.

The video is perfectly compiled of five different genres of fabulous, which include; Voguing, Waacking, Drag, Hip Hop, and Jazz Funk. It begins with all of the dancing queens in one room (picture the Geneva Convention, but if the Geneva Convention was sparkly and amazing). Then the genres begin to emerge. First is the voguing section, which includes Derrell Bullock, Dolores Parisi, and Noel Bajadas. It’s voguing like you’ve never seen it before, and dare we say… better than Madonna (gasp)! Then we are blessed by the waacking crew, Kumari Suraj, Lorena V, and Lashaun Price, who serve up a mean slice of sass. Next up is the Drag section with Calypso Jete, Jasmyn Simone-Echelon, and Mystic Befierce-Miller, which of course comes with some splits and death drops. The Hip Hop/ house, heels section includes Jonte Moaning and Tovaris Wilson (whose jazz funk classes you can take right here on DancePlug!), and it’s one of our favorites because HELLO… can you say nostalgia. It will bring back all of those 90s feels. And of course Brian Friedman rocks the ending with his Jazz funk section, accompanied by Jade Chenoweth, and Taja Riley. But the best part… all four choreographers come together at the end and give us all of the feels!

The video is also completely raw and unforgiving. There is no holding back… from the truth behind the movement to the honesty of the uncensored music, this video tells it how it is. Also, notice how the whole video takes place inside a relatively dark and low lit space - this is quite the statement, and is a salute to the many queer dancers who had to keep their dancing underground. The video is a wonderful gesture of respect and appreciation for the history of queer dance. Check it out for yourself - take your pick

Original Version

Choreography Version

Happy Pride Month!

About the author

Keira Whitaker is a dedicated teacher, performer, and choreographer, who has been dancing for the past 21 years. She recently graduated from the University of California Irvine with a BFA in Dance performance and a minor in English.