Wuhan's vogue dancers embrace new freedom as COVID-19 anniversary nears | Inquirer News
Close  

Wuhan’s vogue dancers embrace new freedom as COVID-19 anniversary nears

/ 02:55 AM December 23, 2020
Wuhan's vogue dancers embrace new freedom as COVID-19 anniversary nears

Vogue dancer Xiong Daiki, 22, teaches dance at a studio, almost a year after the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Wuhan, Hubei province, China December 13, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

WUHAN, China In a converted factory building in downtown Wuhan, 22-year-old Xiong Feng, who goes by the name Daiki, struts and spins in a black sequined full-body suit and stiletto boots.

Dancing behind him in zebra print and pink streetwear are his students, snapping their fingers and flicking their hair toward a cameraman filming a promotional video.

ADVERTISEMENT

Daiki is Wuhan’s only teacher of vogue, a highly stylized form of dancing that was popularized by gay and transgender communities in New York in the 1980s.

His class numbers have jumped from just a few people to around 10 since the city’s COVID-19 lockdown ended, as students, many of whom are young gay men, say they are keen to live more authentic lives in the wake of a traumatic year.

FEATURED STORIES

“I think that after the epidemic, everyone enjoys themselves more. People won’t work as hard as before, so it’s obvious that more and more people come to dance,” said Daiki.

Beginning January 23, Wuhan endured a grueling 76-day lockdown that barred people from leaving their homes and shut the city off from the rest of the country. It also experienced the most COVID-19 fatalities in China with 3,869 deaths,

Wuhan hasn’t recorded a new case since May and has largely returned to normal, but young people in the city say the disruptive and mentally challenging time has permanently altered their outlook on life.

“I feel that vogue has given me a lot of spiritual support during this period,” said Crisp, a baby-faced 23-year-old student in bright pink eye shadow.

As Crisp dances, he shows off a series of rapid choreographed hand movements and in the finale of one routine, he slams his body backward into the ground in a practiced half split called a ‘death drop’ in drag circles.

“We need to seize every minute and every second to be who we are. We have to cherish ourselves,” he said.

China has a thriving LGBT culture, despite strong censorship in mainstream media and a strict legal framework that broadly rejects non-traditional families. That said, Daiki notes not all LGBT people in Wuhan approve of voguing as some argue that men should act more manly.

ADVERTISEMENT

During the lockdown, Daiki, his students, and friends practiced at home in their bedrooms, staying in touch by sharing videos of new dance routines.

Now they hope more people will try it and have dreams of building Wuhan’s first vogue ballroom community.

“Because of the epidemic, everyone was locked up at home … but our situation is much better now,” said Daiki. “It’s a long-lost happiness.”

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: 2019-nCoV, China, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Dance, Freedom, Health, International news, LGBT, lockdown, NcoV, nCoV update, News, novel coronavirus, Outbreak, pandemic, Virus, vogue dancers, world, world news, Wuhan
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.