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What is Vogue Dance

# Beginner Guides

Vogue dance, also known as, voguing is a stylized form of movement originating from the LGBTQ+ ballroom scene. Inspired by the poses of fashion models featured in "Vogue" magazine, it combines elements of dance, fashion, and self-expression. 

Let's delve into understanding what vogue is and how to vogue.

Origins and History

Vogue originates from the competitive "performance battles" in Harlem's ballrooms, where participants showcased runway walks and poses, striving to embody beauty, style, and grace. This culture served as a vital outlet for self-expression, creativity, and identity affirmation, particularly for marginalized individuals facing societal exclusion and prejudice.

In the 1980s, vogue took form with figures like Willi Ninja and the House of Ninja, who elevated the art with innovative choreography and fierce performances. Willi Ninja, dubbed the "grandfather of voguing," drew inspiration from "Vogue" magazine's fashion models, infusing high-fashion glamour into his routines, shaping voguing as we know it today.

During this time, voguing transformed into a unique dance style featuring exaggerated, theatrical movements, intricate poses, and dynamic footwork. Participants competed in "voguing battles," displaying their creativity through choreographed routines set to a diverse range of music, from disco to house and electronic beats.

As voguing gained traction in the ballroom scene, it also caught the eye of mainstream audiences and media. The 1990 documentary "Paris is Burning" was instrumental in bringing voguing to a broader audience, shedding light on the vibrant ballroom culture of New York City and the lives of its participants.

Elements and Styles

1. Poses and Gestures

Vogue poses and gestures are at the core, embodying the elegance and confidence of fashion models. Common examples of these include:

  • The Catwalk: Participants emulate runway models with confident strides, showcasing poise and grace through exaggerated hip movements and dramatic arm swings.


  • The Duckwalk: This pose entails crouching low to the ground on the balls of the feet, legs splayed outward, conveying power and agility.


  • The Hand Performance: Voguers perform intricate hand gestures, displaying dexterity and finesse, ranging from delicate finger motions to sharp, angular shapes.


  • The Spin: Voguers include spins and turns in their routines, displaying agility and fluidity. These can vary from slow, controlled rotations to rapid, dynamic turns, adding punctuation to the performance.

  • The Dip: A dramatic movement where the dancer arches their back and lowers their body towards the ground, often supported by one arm, adding flair and drama while showcasing flexibility and control.


  • The Death Drop: A daring move where the dancer falls backward into a dramatic pose, often with one leg extended high in the air. It adds a theatrical flourish to performances, showcasing strength and fearlessness.


2. Facial Expressions

Facial expressions play a vital role in voguing, as they convey emotion, attitude, and storytelling within the performance. Voguers utilize a range of expressions, from confident and intense gazes to playful smiles and seductive glances, to engage with the audience and communicate the essence of the dance. These expressions add depth and authenticity to the performance, allowing dancers to express their individuality and convey the drama and emotion inherent in voguing. 

3. Categories and Styles

  • Old Way: Also referred to as "Old School Vogue," prioritizes precision, clean lines, and graceful movements. Rooted in the original voguing techniques from the 1970s, it features dramatic poses and seamless transitions.
  • New Way: Expands on old way, integrating complex and intricate movements, emphasizing flexibility, contortion, and exaggerated poses. Dancers frequently incorporate elements of mime and illusion, adding depth and creativity to their performances.
  • Vogue Femme: Vogue Femme emphasizes femininity and fluidity, with dancers channeling the grace and elegance of female models. It features sensual movements, hair flips, and runway-inspired poses, highlighting the beauty and strength of feminine expression.
  • Vogue Femme Dramatics: Vogue Femme Dramatics merges Vogue Femme with theatrical flair, integrating storytelling, theatrics, and exaggerated facial expressions for dynamic performances that captivate audiences.

4. Music and Beats

Music and beats set the tone for dynamic performances, providing dancers with the rhythm and energy to showcase their creativity and style. Genres like disco, house, and electro offer diverse soundscapes, with their pulsating rhythms and infectious beats driving the movement on the dance floor. Additionally, vogue beats, specifically crafted for voguing, provide the perfect backdrop for showcasing intricate footwork and fluid movements. Whether it's the upbeat tempo of disco, the driving energy of house, or the futuristic sounds of electro, music in voguing serves as a powerful catalyst for expression.

Cultural Elements and Evolution

Vogue is deeply intertwined with cultural elements of fashion, music, and dance. Initially serving as a creative outlet for marginalized communities, voguing has evolved into a global phenomenon, showcasing diverse styles and expressions of identity. Over time, it has diversified into various categories such as Old Way, New Way, and Vogue Femme Dramatics, reflecting the changing cultural landscape and social dynamics. 

Representation and Inclusivity

Vogue embodies principles of representation and inclusivity, providing a platform for marginalized communities, particularly LGBTQ+ individuals of color, to express themselves authentically and celebrate their identities. It has historically served as a refuge and a form of resistance against societal marginalization and discrimination. Through its dynamic and diverse styles, voguing promotes visibility, acceptance, and empowerment, fostering a sense of belonging and community among its participants. As it continues to gain global recognition, voguing remains a powerful tool for challenging norms, amplifying marginalized voices, and promoting social change.


In wrapping up our exploration of "What is Vogue Dance," it's evident that this art form transcends mere movement—it's a captivating expression of identity, style, and empowerment. From the precision of Vogue dance moves to the theatrical flair of its performances, voguing continues to inspire and uplift communities worldwide.  So, let's keep voguing, keep innovating, and keep dancing to the rhythm of our own unique styles.


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