THE HISTORY OF VOGUE | By JAMAL MILAN

 
The dance VOGUE was invented in the 1970's by a man named Paris Dupree. One day as he was listening to music while flipping through a Vogue magazine, he noticed the different poses that the models were doing and took them and decided to imitate those poses to music. Sometimes  holding different poses to the music. He began doing this new dance at the clubs and at the balls and that is how Vogue was introduced into the ballroom scene. By the end of the decade and into the next decade, the art form had evolved and the Posing, Hand Performance, Floor Performance, Precision of movement or angles made with your arms, Spinning and Dips were added. One of the key components of the art-form was to always perform in sync with the beat and/or the timing of the music being played.
 
Originally the category was called Pop, Dip and Spin because after all that is what you were actually doing while vogueing initially. The objective was to Pop your arms to the music, fall into Dips to complete your vogue moves and use Spins to enhance them. As the trend began to spread, different people began to create their own interpretation of Vogue, that is why we say that Vogueing is ultimately your own style however, there are basic moves to the category such as; sliding on your back on the floor for example.  
 
As newcomers came to the ballroom scene in the mid 1980's and as they began to compete in the Vogue category, they brought different elements to it such as stretching your arms, stretching your arms and holding that pose, moving your arms backwards and doing splits etc... By the end of this decade some ball throwers and competitors thought that by having stretch it was a disadvantage to other competitors so certain ball throwers began to call the category “Performance” as a way to separate the two categories by name. The people who did not have stretch would walk Pop, Dip and Spin and those who could really stretch would walk Performance. 
 
Keep in mind that as a ball thrower you had the power to call a category whatever you wanted to entice people to walk it. 
 
The name Oldway originated from the term "Old school". Back in the day you had folks who where known for waking "Performance or Pop Dip and Spin" as that was the 2 names the category was called originally. Then you had the younger generation emerge in 1987/1988 such as myself and others who were vogueing as well as the older generation at the time considered me as well as the new bunch of kids who were in the scene "the new school kids".

How the name began to change from Pop Dip and Spin or Performance to Oldway 
 
One day during the timeframe of 1989-1990 someone threw a ball and on their flier they said they wanted to see the "Old school kids” battle each other and they also wanted to see the “new school kids” battle each other for performance as a way to separate the older folks from battling the newer folks. Then...after that - someone else threw a ball and on their flyer they said they wanted to see Vogue the Oldway, meaning, voguing like the kids used to do back in the day before stretching. Then after that depending on who threw the ball that ball thrower had the power to call category whatever they wanted in order to make their ball and category hott and slowly the name morphed into Oldway which is a term that I have always hated because "Oldway" is not a real word. It's just a term. The category SHOULD always be called Pop Dip and Spin point blank. If you want to be specific in what you want to see as far as the vogue these days you can say Pop Dip and Spin the Oldway. The oldway meaning doing some traditional moves that they once did back in the day. Because the dance called Vogue was new, people did not do too much creatively however, as it grew different people brought different elements to the category and others either imitated those moves as a rule of thumb, a guide or they created new moves such as I did with my one hand walk around vogue move which is now considered a unique power move or a signature move in Pop Dip and Spin today. 
 
I would like to say (again) that Oldway is not a real word and has no definition anywhere in the world so I will personally continue to call it Pop Dip and Spin like it was originally called at the balls back in the day excluding the name "Performance". 
 
The term “New Way” happened the same as oldway. At one point in time, I used to walk Newway because I was considered as a new school voguer however once the folks who had stretch continued to walk the new way I realized that I couldn't compete in that area and I focuised on walking Oldway/PDS. The term New way means "a new way of vogueing opposite of the oldway of vogueing".  That new way of vogue was basically using a lot of stretch while vogueing.  New Way Performance was geared more toward advanced stretching of the joints, without sacraficing Hand Performance, Floor Performance, Precision of Movement and Dips. The Spinning aspect of that style was not a focus on the overall New Way style of vogue.
 
The ERA Color Time Span
 
This was done solely by Derek Prada Ebony. He came up with an idea to separate generations into a color scheme. This is solely his point of view. Keep in mind, that there are no specific rules in Ballroom today therefore people have the liberty to make changes and sometimes those changes grow and expand like wildfire and sometimes those ideas fail or are rejected by the Ballroom Community. 
 
 
FQ Performance
 
FQ Performance back in the day was originally a feminine and softer version of Pop Dip and Spin. It was for the men who got up in Drags and the Fem Queens. Because they were feminine they would do more posing as well as doing seductive moves on the floor (floor performance) such as layout dips where as the men did dips on their necks (neck breaker/Kansai dips) and cartwheels and things of that nature to make their vogue more exciting but basically the moves for the Drags and Fem Queens were the same just different based on the style depending on how you identified yourself.  As with evolution the style of FQ Performance has changed due to the many elements that different people have brought to the category and style of dance. As a FQ performer you should still do all of the same elements as the other types of Vogue such as Hand performance, spinning, holding poses all in sync with the music being played. 
 
 
 
BQ Vogue Fem
 
During the timeframe of 1992-1993 another style emerged called BQ Vogue Fem. The category "Butch Queen Vogueing Like A Fem Queen" was held on March 28, 1992 at a ball hosted by Alvernian Prestige. After that, the name of the category evolved into "Butch Queen Vogue Fem". It is a style where you had men who wanted to vogue like or imitate women or fem queens and that is how BQ Vogue Fem emerged. It started out as a kiki category as no one really took it seriously but as new comers began to amaze the ballroom with their styles, antics and techniques it became more popular. 
 
Face with Performance 

Face with Performance is a Vogue category that originated by combining the Face and the Pop Dip and Spin (the Oldway) Performance categories together during the 1980-1981 LGBTQ Ballroom circa for male and female competitors. The ruler of the category at that time was Icon Michael Dupree. Michael practically crafted Face with Performance. Unfortunately I do not know the exact date that the category was invented however, during the early years of Ballroom, a Ball Thrower could create any category that they wanted to see at their ball. Depending on how many people that walked and how interesting the category was is what made a category successful in Ballroom.

What is Face with Performance?? 

Face with Performance is a Vogue dance that consists of Vogueing around your Face. With your hands, you are making box moves and shapes around and/or near your Face. The mission is to “sell your face” to the judges. In other words, imagine that your Face is an item that you are selling or advertising to the judges and your vogue movements and overall performance is to showcase and highlight your Face. I prefer to use Egyptian styled movements as my signature. 

RULES: Face with Performance

In order to be eligible to walk the category you must have Face. At some balls, the competition would need to get 10s for Face first before they could participate in the vogue battles to make sure that each person had Face. If you were chopped for Face you were disqualified to walk...

An unspoken rule that I prefer to practice is to keep my hands and arms above my shoulders or at my shoulder length and not allow my hands to go below my shoulders. For example, if you were to stand up straight and open your arms on both sides (standing in a T position) that is as low as your hands should go. Trying not to let them go below your shoulders. All of your hand movements should remain above the shoulders. You can also place your hands on your waists or on the ground while voguing or doing your floor performance as long as you bring your hands back to voguing around your Face. I do this because I think that you can see the precision and beautiful shapes when the Vogue is done above or at the same level as your shoulders. 

DIPS: Face with Performance: When you go into a Face with Performance dip or as you go into your Face with Performance poses they should always showcase or highlight your Face. 

HISTORY: Face with Performance was a very popular vogue category in the late 1980’s (around 1987-1989) some known competitors were myself (Jamal), Jarret Princess, Floyd Ebony-Milan, Shawn Omni, Otis Mugler, Brian Omni, Ira Aphrodite, Stewart Ebony and Dennis St Laurent. It re-emerged as a really hott category during the early 1990′s thus spawning new talents such as; Kaduma Ebony, Julian Mugler, Dwayne Mugler Milan, Laten Aphrodite, Ti Ti Diamante, Joseph Princess, Tyrell Ebony, Cliff Milan, Ivan Chanel and Jack Mizrahi. Face with Performance remained a hott and popular category from 1991 thru 1996. It slowly died down in the later months of 1996 due to the AIDS virus, drugs and prison as they collectively took hold of many of it’s competitors. Over time, newcomers have emerged again such as Jacen Prodigy, Orlando Mugler, Brian Balenciaga as well as other talented individuals.  

I also have several Vogue tutorials and Vogue workshops on Youtube on Pop Dop & Spin and Face with Performance for review.
 
 
Realness With A Twist 

In my earlier years of Ballroom, my first House was the House of Adonis. At a House of Adonis ball on July 15, 1990 titled “Hotter Than July II Harmonica Takes Manhattan”. I created and wrote the category for the Butch Queens which was “Bangie Realness with Performance. Are you real enough to get all 10s and then turn and Pop Dip & Spin. Vogue like a boy would”. It was a category where the men had to get 10s for Realness and then come back and Vogue like a boy. The hottest battle was between Kaduma Ebony and Tony Revlon. Grand prize ultimately went to Devin Elite. That was the first time that a Vogue category of any kind and a Realness category were joined together at a ball. The category was referred to as “Bangy Vogue”. The word “Bangy” signified the masculinity of Realness and the Vogue was to be done masculine like a straight boy would vogue. In December of that same year in 1990, Jamel Princess walked BQ Realness and he Vogued like a Fem Queen all the way down the runway and challenged any judge on the panel to chop him. Of course they did not and Jamel Princess won Grand Prize for the category... Fast forward 29 years later, and you now have the category called Butch Queen Realness with a Twist. A perfect example of Ballroom evolution. The picture of the original Adonis Flyer with the category listed is captured in my photos section  


Written by Jamal Milan on 9/9/2017

Jamal Milan Workshop (Face with Performance & Oldway)

Jamal Milan Oldway and Face with Performance workshops in Finland.

House of Adonis - Hotter Than July Flyer 1990 - Bangie Realness with Performance

House of Adonis - Hotter Than July Flyer 1990 - Bangie Realness with Performance