Don't Just Stand There, Let's Get to It: Vogue Evolution

If you haven’t been watching America’s Best Dance Crew this season, it’s time to start. For those out of the loop, ABDC (as it is known in the in-crowd) is a dance competition show on MTV that combines crew battles and audience voting to determine, well, America’s best dance crew. Sure, the show is a little corny, and the awesome Artistry in Motion crew was eliminated last week despite their body-positive message, but ABDC has a lot to offer the feminist television viewer. The show focuses on teamwork and togetherness as opposed to the abilities of certain individuals, and every week they give the teams a different challenge (the BeyoncĂ© challenge was particularly kickass). The real reason to watch, though, is Vogue Evolution.


America’s Best Queer/Gay/Trans/Vogue/Activist Dance Crew!

Vogue Evolution is the best f*#$ing dance crew ever on ABDC, and not just because they are the first openly gay/trans crew. Hailing from the underground ball scene in New York, crew members Dashaun Williams, Devon Webster, Malechi Williams, Leiomy Maldonado and Jorel Rios are all about breaking down barriers and representing marginalized groups in a positive, kick-ass way. To top it off, they are also dancing to raise awareness for HIV education. Oh, and their dancing is insane.

Seriously folks, Vogue Evolution rules every competition on the show. So much so that the mildly homophobic-seeming (or at least awkward-seeming) Mario Lopez and Shane Sparks (host and judge, respectively) have no choice but to swallow their discomfort and cheer for the queers. And judges Lil Mama and J.C. Chasez love Vogue Evolution without a hint of hesitation. Check out this video for evidence:

Aren’t they sooo good? OMG Vogue Evolution is the best dance crew! And it is really exciting that the MTV crowd seems to be embracing them so wholeheartedly. After all, not only are the members of Vogue Evolution representing a marginalized group (the gay, trans, queer, underground types that are not typically embraced by MTV bros) but they are doing it by voguing, a form of dance rarely seen in mainstream media. And America (at least the dance-competition-watching population) is loving it.

Visit After Elton to read a great interview with Vogue Evolution that includes background info and questions about who is single and who is taken (save the last dance for me please, Malechi!). Oh, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite crew every Sunday night at 9:00 pm. I’d encourage you to cast your vote in this direction:

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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2 Comments Have Been Posted

I'm so glad you wrote about

I'm so glad you wrote about this! I love ABDC. It's one of those shows that I watch like 5 episodes of in a row if I'm home on a weekend. Basically, I have no idea when the show is on and feel completely out of the loop, but love it nonetheless. I haven't yet seen any of this season and wasn't aware of Vogue Evolution. Beyond the noteworthy diversity of people ABDC includes, it also attempts to include an incredible diversity of dance styles. During the last season I watched, the show was really into challenging the dancers to break out of prescribed gender, race, and street vs. traditional dance boundaries. They were creating these challenges where all male dance crews with tough street images had to fem it up to a Brittany Spears song or try to incorporate tap into their routines. Other times, crews steeped in traditional dance forms like clogging (those clogging white kids from Alabama warmed my heart everytime) would be challenged to incorporate more hip hop. It was really interested and fun to watch.

Before VE

I really respect Vogue Evolution's courage. They truly are an amazing group. But they certainly are not the first feminist-friendly crew.

I'm actually a little surprised nothing was ever posted about last season's Beat Freakz (unless it was and I missed it). An all female crew that made it all the way to the top 2. Lady Jules did the first headspin ever by a female on that show. Lil Mama praised one of the members for being a mother and still being able to rip it on stage and also praised them for being strong women and using skill rather than sex appeal. They were so close to being the first all female crew to win and maintained a positive message throughout the show.

This season's We Are Heroes recognized Beat Freakz for the barriers they broke and want to finish what they started. I am loving Vogue Evolution and their groundbreaking mentality, but I am ready for an all female group to win.

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