Tag: Ballroom

  • Ballroom and Language

    Ballroom and Language

    Harlem’s role in the 1970’s ballroom scene and many other earlier iterations of trans expression, is well known. What may not be as well known are the linguistic contributions that originated in this musical/fashion/identity/dance scene. Slang words like “shade” — to speak ill of something or someone –- or “werk,” as in “werk it,” or…

  • Elks in Paris

    Elks in Paris

    In 1990 Jennny Livingston released a documentary called Paris is Burning that revealed to theater goers the rich underground ballroom scene in Harlem during the 1980s. The film focuses on one key venue for the ballroom scene – the Imperial Lodge of Elks at 160 West 129th Street – just east of Adam Clayton Powell…