Daniel Girón

Dance Week Diary, Part Four: Vogue femme

Daniel Girón takes his vogue class to lands beyond "Paris is Burning" and RuPaul

Editor’s note: We’ve reached Day Four of Heather Wisner’s five-day course through Portland dance classes in honor of National Dance Week, and, of course, that means Vogue Femme! Previously in the series, we’ve encountered Laura Haney’s BeMoved class, Latya Wilkins’ hip-hop class and Kody Jauron’s Broadway jazz class.

Part Four: Vogue Femme at Vitalidad Movement Arts Center
What is it? A crash course on the form’s history and fundamentals
What makes it fun? Feeling like a supermodel
Who is it for? Designed to uplift queer people of color, but all ages/races/body types welcome
Who is it not for? Introverts, anyone with joint or flexibility issues

As a first-timer to Vitalidad, I get a quick tour from front-desk staff, ending at the classroom (one of four in this spacious studio, located around the corner from Vega Dance Lab) where Vogue Femme will be held. During our warmup, the instructor plays Indian music and guides us through gentle stretches, which isn’t quite what I was expecting. Then he turns to face us. “OK,” he asks, “Does anyone have any questions about Bhangra or Bollywood?”

I run back to the front desk.

Daniel Girón leads the vogue class at Vitalidad Movement Arts Center/Photo by Heather Wisner

As it turns out, Vogue Femme has moved to another room; I dash in just in time for a set of intense quad stretching. After the warmup, instructor Daniel Girón gives us a voguing history lesson and lays down Vogue Femme’s five fundamentals: catwalk, hand performance, duck walk, Spin Dip and floor work. If your voguing knowledge is limited to Paris is Burning or RuPaul’s Drag Race, Girón recommends catching up with New York Vogue Nights:

Remember when I said that you don’t have to be young and pliable to dance? [Editor’s Note: That was in Part One: “You don’t have to be young and pliable.”] That doesn’t apply here: pliability is actually a huge advantage.