Exploring diversity with styles of dance
By Kelsie Leggett - Staff Reporter
Ballroom dance has given LGBT people of color a way to express themselves and to feel accepted, a couple of practitioners said here on Tuesday.
In a presentation that was part explanation, part dance demonstration, Angel "Moonye- ka" Alviar-Langley and Mikey Xi talked about "BB!: Ballroom Basics, Recentering QTPOC Movement Resistance History."
They were on campus as part of LGBTQIA Week, Highline's annual exploration of sexual identity.
This isn't traditional ball- room. This version features many categories and subcul- tures that have evolved recently.
Mikey, also known as Moon- cakes, shared knowledge of the ballroom scene.
From realness, to vogue, and "serving face" (which empha- sizes how you look more than how you dance), Mooncakes taught the basics of each dance style and how they impact the culture.
Not only is the ballroom scene impacted, but modern culture has adopted many man- nerisms and slang from its com- munity.
Ballroom dance terms such
as tea, sis, and wig all originate from LGBT people of color, Mikey said.
"They've made a huge impact on modern culture," Mikey said. Mikey started in the Seattle ballroom scene and joined a
house from there. A "House" is comparable to
a dance team that also lives to- gether as a family. Most have a "house mother" role.
The strongest and most tal- ented dancers hold this posi- tion.
Known mostly for vogueing as Kylie Mooncakes, Mikey has travelled to compete in Portland, Vancouver, and even Los Ange- les.
"Ballroom has endless pos- sibilities and there is space for everyone," he said.
The community is known for being welcoming and accept- ing, Mikey said. Many people completely immerse themselves in the culture, as being accepted for who they are isn't so com- mon elsewhere.
Overall, it's a place where people go to be themselves, Mikey said.
The inclusivity in the LGBTQIA+ community is un- like any other, Mikey said. It's people who are here for a pur- pose, those who belong together and finding their place in soci- ety.