Vogueing – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Styles Glossary

I. What is Vogueing?

Vogueing is a dance style that originated in the LGBTQ+ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s. It is characterized by intricate, fluid movements and poses that mimic the poses of models in fashion magazines such as Vogue. Vogueing is not just a dance style, but also a form of self-expression and a way for marginalized communities to reclaim their identities and celebrate their creativity.

II. History of Vogueing

Vogueing emerged in the 1980s as a way for LGBTQ+ people of color to express themselves and compete in underground ballroom competitions. These competitions, known as balls, provided a safe space for marginalized communities to showcase their talents and creativity. Vogueing quickly became a central aspect of ballroom culture, with dancers competing in categories such as “voguing femme,” “voguing butch,” and “voguing runway.”

The dance style gained mainstream recognition in the late 1980s and early 1990s, thanks in part to Madonna’s hit song “Vogue,” which featured choreography inspired by the ballroom scene. Since then, vogueing has continued to evolve and grow in popularity, with dancers around the world incorporating elements of the dance style into their performances.

III. Elements of Vogueing

Vogueing is characterized by a series of poses, dips, spins, and catwalk-inspired movements that are performed with precision and grace. Dancers often strike exaggerated poses and use their hands and arms to create fluid, flowing movements that mimic the poses of models in fashion magazines. The dance style also incorporates elements of acrobatics and gymnastics, with dancers performing flips, spins, and other athletic feats.

One of the key elements of vogueing is “voguing battles,” in which dancers compete against each other in a series of rounds, showcasing their skills and creativity. These battles are judged based on criteria such as technique, style, and originality, with the winner being crowned the “legendary” vogueur of the night.

IV. Types of Vogueing

There are several different styles of vogueing, each with its own unique characteristics and influences. Some of the most popular styles include:

– Old Way: This style of vogueing is characterized by sharp, angular movements and poses that emphasize precision and control. Dancers often incorporate elements of martial arts and Egyptian hieroglyphics into their performances.

– New Way: New Way vogueing is more fluid and graceful than Old Way, with dancers focusing on smooth, flowing movements and intricate hand and arm gestures. This style is often performed to house music and electronic beats.

– Vogue Femme: Vogue Femme is a style of vogueing that is performed by cisgender women and transgender women. It is characterized by exaggerated femininity and glamour, with dancers incorporating elements of high fashion and runway modeling into their performances.

– Vogue Butch: Vogue Butch is a style of vogueing that is performed by cisgender men and transgender men. It is characterized by a more masculine and aggressive energy, with dancers incorporating elements of hip-hop and street dance into their performances.

V. Vogueing in Popular Culture

Vogueing has had a significant impact on popular culture, with the dance style being featured in music videos, fashion shows, and movies. Madonna’s hit song “Vogue” brought vogueing to a mainstream audience in the early 1990s, inspiring a new generation of dancers to embrace the dance style.

In recent years, vogueing has experienced a resurgence in popularity, with dancers and choreographers incorporating elements of the dance style into their performances. Television shows such as “Pose” and “Legendary” have helped to bring vogueing back into the spotlight, showcasing the creativity and talent of ballroom dancers.

VI. Vogueing as a Form of Self-Expression

Vogueing is more than just a dance style – it is a form of self-expression and a way for marginalized communities to reclaim their identities and celebrate their creativity. For many LGBTQ+ people of color, vogueing provides a safe space to express themselves and showcase their talents in a supportive and inclusive environment.

Through vogueing, dancers are able to explore themes of gender, sexuality, race, and identity, using their bodies as a canvas to tell their stories and share their experiences. The dance style allows dancers to break free from societal norms and expectations, embracing their individuality and celebrating their uniqueness.

In conclusion, vogueing is a powerful and dynamic dance style that has had a profound impact on popular culture and the LGBTQ+ community. Through its intricate movements and poses, vogueing allows dancers to express themselves, celebrate their creativity, and reclaim their identities in a world that often seeks to silence and marginalize them. As vogueing continues to evolve and grow in popularity, it serves as a reminder of the resilience, strength, and beauty of marginalized communities who refuse to be invisible.