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Ballroom

Ballroom refers to a culture of ball/house competitions and dances performed by racial, gender, and sexual orientation minorities, particularly by African American and Latina/o/x LGBTQIA individuals. Central to ball competitions is voguing, a unique type of dance that involves poses that span a variety of styles, including modeling and acrobatics. Since the 1920s in Harlem, balls have provided an outlet for the expression of gender identity and sexual orientation through performance themes or categories. This entry provides an overview of ballroom culture, the importance of House families, ball categories, and research on HIV risk in the community.

Ballroom culture was primarily underground until the documentary Paris Is Burning by Jennie Livingston was released in 1990. Within the documentary, key figures within the ball community were interviewed, ...

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