To kickoff Dance Together’s residency at Assembly Park this Spring, Danah Rosales led a special Vogue 101 workshop. This workshop was an introduction to one of today’s most well-known ballroom categories, performance, the dance form also known as Vogue. Vogue is a stylized freestyle dance born from the New York underground ballroom scene, a by-for community founded by Black and Latinx LGBTQI+ people. It is a camp style of dance that presents gender as a performance where dancers embody the spirit of extravagance in a way that is purposefully exaggerated and artificial. From applying makeup/”beating the face”, to styling hair, donning extravagant clothing, and throwing shade through physical movement, not only does Vogue transform into a physical and emotional way to express stories and fantasies but it becomes a tool in learning to embody ones best self. During the workshop, Danah and participants discussed the history, playing with poses, and the elements of Vogue.

Danah Rosales, known as Maldita Siriano 007 (she/her/siya) is a Tkaronto based queer millennial; 2nd-gen Canadian-Filipinx; a daughta; a cister; a solo mama of two little humans; legendary women’s performance motha of the kiki house of siriano; and a dora nominated artist in which her work encompasses dancing, teaching, producing, collaborative and interdisciplinary choreography and performance. 

Danah aspires to bring more ballroom arts to different stages with ballroom specific works, “The Grand March of the House of Siriano” that was commissioned by Fall for Dance North in Fall 2021 and “GIVE ME ONE” commissioned by Toronto Dance Theatre in Spring 2023, where the cast was nominated for the ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble’ Dora Award.

Read on to learn more about Danah Rosales. 

AP: What is your biggest source of inspiration? 

DR: “I think inspiration is available everywhere, however I would say that my biggest source of inspiration easily comes from music.” 

AP: When did you first know you wanted to be an artist? 

DR: “It was in highschool where I knew I wanted to be an artist.  I went to Etobicoke School of the Arts where I primarily auditioned to be a music major, but then I double majored in dance and in grade 10 I knew I wanted to pursue performance seriously past highschool.  I was fortunate to be in an environment surrounded by students who were immersed by so many different arts.  To belong to a community of young artists working on their craft, learning and growing together constantly challenged and inspired me.” 

AP: How has the arts and culture community in Vaughan impacted you? 

DR: “Thanks to Katya from the Dance Together Project, I was introduced to the Arts Assembly space and to folx who attended my workshop.  It’s just the beginning of this relationship with Vaughan’s arts and culture community and I look forward to more experiences and exchanges!” 

AP: Tell us a fun fact about yourself. 

DR: “A fun fact about me… New York City is my happy place.”