It was my priviledge to be asked to judge the first half of Father
AJ Ninja's Painted 2: Khaos Ball (I was to compete in the second
half). I do not take this role lightly, as I understand first hand
all the hard work that can go into category preparation, only to
be slighted by a callous or vengeful panel member.
One of my calls
that did not sit popularly with some calls for clarification,
as I tried to give just that to the contestant in question.
I had to "chop" because of an afterthought and a stall. When you
compete for a category, make sure you have all your 'T's crossed
and 'I's dotted. You could still run the risk of getting "chopped,"
but that still doesn't excuse faulty preparation. When you forget
part of your presentation, its not a good idea to hold up proceedings
while you and your assisters scramble around to try and correct
the problem (especially if the oversite is brought to your attention
during the actual judging). If the judges have to remind you that
you overlooked a particular detail, than you obviously did not prepare
for the category. Take your evaluation and be ready for the next
Also, the frequency
in which a person does or does not attend balls has no bearing
on their ability to judge a ball. I have always been know
to be a stickler for detail, so my credentials speak for themselves.
All that is required is that one have a
culture and protocol, of which I do... 20 years as of this summer,
I might add. Perhaps many have grown accustomed to the overlooking
of what constitutes a "10" as opposed to a "9" scoring, but it is
as elementary as the difference between an "A" and a "B" grade.
The only approval I give is when one at least meets the basic category
requirements (as printed on the flyer). A 9 just means you were close,
but you missed something. Regroup and re-evaluate for the next time.
Along with vogueing, I have had an ongoing interest in fanning. This is basically an extension of the first hobby. Fanning, or "flagging" (as it is called these days), is the art of manipulating fans or pieces of fabric with intricate wrist and arm movements, creating a living sculpture, usually accompanied by music. Like vogueing, the music is the main inspiration or drive for the flagger.
Also like vogueing, I've had to dig around to get information on this resurging practice. Very big during the Disco Era, the art has been kept alive by handing it down from one generation to the next. With the development of the AIDS crisis, practitioners were dwindling at an alarming rate, putting a damper on the movement. There has been a resurgence as of late, making it a little easier to cross paths with fellow flaggers (or spinners, another name used), thus showing "you can't keep a good thing down".
my investigating, I have found some interesting tidbits. The
flagging vs. fanning issue is one that comes to mind. Supposedly,
flagging is perceived as more "macho" by the newer generation,
where fanning is considered more flamboyant. I personally thought
flagging was a cop-out the first time I saw it, even though fan
construction can be a painstaking task (but well worth the trouble).
I think fanning takes more skill, but I like the options flagging
provides as well.
find was that along with the obvious differences between the
US east and west coasts, I find that it filters down to spinning
as well. West coast spinners' fans tend to be smaller and less
flashy, going along with their more controlled, close-to-the-body
manipulation. East coast fans are flashier and larger by comparison,
probably coinciding with size of their dance clubs. Movement
is more extended, and production is bigger. Whichever style
appeals to you, it's great to experience the variations.
-Father Aaron Enigma
Aaron gets a
with Terrence Legend International
Aaron gets a
"Sex in the City" Fashion Icon,
House of Enigma
Enigma to St. Petersberg, Russia to conduct a Vogue Dance and History Workshop, then judging a vogueing competion Piter in da House Champion Vogue Competition 2013
Aaron Enigma performs in New York at the Flow Affair Documentary Fundraiser
Enigma walks the "Floguing" category at How Do I Look: The Ball Pt.
Enigma and Aaron Enigma with AJ Ninja at a Chicago screening of How Do I Look
enters "New Way vs. Old Way Vogue" category as one of the
four elements (water) at Father AJ Ninja's Painted 2: Khaos Ball
of Enigma members attend the 3rd Annual Midwest Legends
Aaron Enigma's Midwest Icon status is set...
Enigma receives a
Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters
presented by Terrence "Legend International" Dixon
distinguished recording or dissemination of Ballroom culture and genealogy
to the highest degree made contributions to Ballroom History through
outstanding literature; storytelling; photography; motion picture,
or any written, audio or visual mechanisms."
Enigma cameos and receives editing credits
in the EduTainment DocuFeature How
Do I Look produced
by Wolfgang Busch www.howdoilooknyc.org