#BETRUE – The Athletes Of The Latex Ball 2019

#BETRUE – The Athletes Of The Latex Ball 2019

“A lot of stretching. A lot of stretching. A lot of stretching. And drinking a lot of water.” -Thunder

“A lot of stretching. A lot of stretching. A lot of stretching. And drinking a lot of water.” -Thunder

Ballroom performer, NYC

Ballroom performer, NYC

That’s how you train to nail the intense steps, dips and acrobatics that make up a great vogue routine.

 

Thunder is just one of the high-ranking members of the various houses representing at New York City’s 29th annual Latex Ball, aka the most distinguished ballroom competition in the world. And like most vogue dancers, he’ll tell you that no amount of stretching or hydration can make up for not having “it”.

 

That’s how you train to nail the intense steps, dips and acrobatics that make up a great vogue routine.

 

Thunder is just one of the high-ranking members of the various houses representing at New York City’s 29th annual Latex Ball, aka the most distinguished ballroom competition in the world. And like most vogue dancers, he’ll tell you that no amount of stretching or hydration can make up for not having “it”.

 

“You either have it or you don’t. If you got it, you’ll get your 10’s. If you don’t, you’ll get chopped. It’s not something that can be taught.” - Thunder

“You either have it or you don’t. If you got it, you’ll get your 10’s. If you don’t, you’ll get chopped. It’s not something that can be taught.” - Thunder

Ballroom performer, NYC

Ballroom performer, NYC

Who are you going to be when you get up on that stage? Yes, you’ll be hydrated, yes you’ll be loosened up and yes you’ll know your moves. But according to Luz, a member of icon Leiomy Maldonado’s house, the biggest question is: Are you true to yourself?

Who are you going to be when you get up on that stage? Yes, you’ll be hydrated, yes you’ll be loosened up and yes you’ll know your moves. But according to Luz, a member of icon Leiomy Maldonado’s house, the biggest question is: Are you true to yourself?

“Once you’re up on that stage, whatever person you think you are when you’re voguing, that’s what you emit when you’re on that stage.” -Luz

“Once you’re up on that stage, whatever person you think you are when you’re voguing, that’s what you emit when you’re on that stage.” -Luz

Ballroom performer, NYC

Ballroom performer, NYC

On stage, judges like Leiomy are not there to critique the fine points of your style, they are there to push you to show your best self. If you don’t, you get chopped. 

 

Getting chopped means you’re out of the competition, but for all ballroom athletes, a chop is just a reason to go harder.

On stage, judges like Leiomy are not there to critique the fine points of your style, they are there to push you to show your best self. If you don’t, you get chopped. 

 

Getting chopped means you’re out of the competition, but for all ballroom athletes, a chop is just a reason to go harder.

“You take your chop with dignity, you come back the next time and you serve them. A chop is a “no” until it’s a “yes”, that’s how I look at it.” -Luz

“You take your chop with dignity, you come back the next time and you serve them. A chop is a “no” until it’s a “yes”, that’s how I look at it.” -Luz

Ballroom performer, NYC

Ballroom performer, NYC

And after a chop, you’ll always have your house there to support you. And your house mothers and fathers are there to coach you on how to succeed next time.

 

Hence the name “houses”. Because before ballroom culture existed, LGBTQIA+ youth (especially Black and Latinx youth) weren’t safe in their own homes, and often weren’t accepted by their own mothers and fathers. So they created new homes, found new parents and created an all new movement. 

And after a chop, you’ll always have your house there to support you. And your house mothers and fathers are there to coach you on how to succeed next time.

 

Hence the name “houses”. Because before ballroom culture existed, LGBTQIA+ youth (especially Black and Latinx youth) weren’t safe in their own homes, and often weren’t accepted by their own mothers and fathers. So they created new homes, found new parents and created an all new movement. 

“This is a culture that accepts all people, even though this culture has been rejected by so many.” - Luz

“This is a culture that accepts all people, even though this culture has been rejected by so many.” - Luz

Ballroom performer, NYC

Ballroom performer, NYC

And they did it in a way that only New York City athletes can – so big and so loud that the world beyond the five boroughs had no choice but to get the message of acceptance, hard work, and being true to yourself. And oh yeah. Staying hydrated. Always stay hydrated.

 

#BETRUE

And they did it in a way that only New York City athletes can – so big and so loud that the world beyond the five boroughs had no choice but to get the message of acceptance, hard work, and being true to yourself. And oh yeah. Staying hydrated. Always stay hydrated.

 

#BETRUE