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Ballroom Voguing Evolves, and Emerges in Puerto Vallarta

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Call of Nature Ball to be Held May 22 at Industry Nightclub

The first ball room of Puerto Vallarta will take place at Industry Nightclub with the theme, “Call of Nature ” on Monday, May 22, 2023 starting at 7 p.m. with a green carpet walk at Industry Nightclub. 

The first ball room of Puerto Vallarta will take place at Industry Nightclub with the theme, “Call of Nature ” on Monday, May 22, 2023 starting at 7 p.m. with a green carpet walk at Industry Nightclub.
The first ball room of Puerto Vallarta will take place at Industry Nightclub with the theme, “Call of Nature ” on Monday, May 22, 2023 starting at 7 p.m. with a green carpet walk at Industry Nightclub.

It marks the first time the Puerto Vallarta trans, drag, non-binary & queer community will be  doing an event that sets them apart from the tourist-focused and commercial focus of Vallarta Pride and its organizers.

It will highlight and celebrate the new “House” scene that is springing up in Vallarta and major cities in Mexico, with the intention to provide multi-faceted support within and for these communities (in the pretty obvious absence of legal, social and cultural support from employers – even gay employers in hiring and providing dignified opportunities for them). 

The event during Vallarta Pride will bring in House leaders from Guadalajara and Mexico City, as well as from the local Houses, including Kiki House of Paradise and others. 

The Paradises are ready to walk their categories and show their voguing skills.

In their words, the best part of the event is that it’s made for the community and it’s been being planned for months with enthusiasm by the Houses. Organizers said they have received lots of help from friends and community members such as Alfredo Soria (organizing) and Paul Crist (Mercurio Hotel and Swimwear) as principal sponsor. 

The event marks the rising of the movement in Puerto Vallarta. A movement that was started by the heads behind the liberation. The head of Kiki House of Paradise, Mother Culi, knows we still have a long way to go to achieve the recognition of our beings in Mexico.

The head of Kiki House of Paradise, Mother Culi,  knows we still have a long way to go to achieve the recognition of our beings in Mexico.
Photo by Oscar Almeida
The head of Kiki House of Paradise, Mother Culi, knows we still have a long way to go to achieve the recognition of our beings in Mexico. Photo by Oscar Almeida.

Over the years Mother Culi discovered the scene just as her queer self in Mexico City. Originally from Acapulco, where she finished high school. With an insecurity crisis in her hometown, her family decided to send her away to study dance in Mexico City. It was her last year of studying dance that she got involved in the ballroom community in Mexico City. 

She became part of House of Mamis and soon found her way in the voguing arts.

After finishing school and finding out the life scenario of a just graduated artist, she started applying for casts and auditions. Somehow she got an audition for Rhythms of the Night. She passed the audition – producers told her they wanted her – even though she was under their required height – because of her talent. 

That led to her first big opportunity in a production directed by Gill de la Croix (Cirque Du Soleil founder), where she shared the stage with artists from Russia,Mongolia and many other countries. She did this for a year and then lost herself. 

“I started feeling like not loving doing the same numbers every night and decided to quit,” she said. 

She was living in Puerto Vallarta and decided to stay – knowing that Vallarta was a LGBTQ+ destination –  since she used to go to parties in Zona Romantica. She hadn’t realized this before moving to Vallarta.

She began to wonder where the voguers were – so now without a job – she started looking for opportunities in the hotels and theater shows. But it was complicated and competitive environment, with performing artists fighting for the spots and lowering their prices to get the gigs – this lead to her deciding to start giving contemporary dance lessons. 

She was the only contemporary dance instructor at the time, so with a great response of the people, she eventually started teaching other dance styles (including vogue) and it was on the first vogue lesson when Deriva (who was also part of the ballroom community in Mexico City) appeared at the class and the team started taking shape. 

Eventually Deriva brought in Carmilla to the vogue lessons; and then Elektra, who at a younger age had a private vogue lesson with Culi, became part of the classes. 

“This is not only a political movement and making statements through looks and dance,” she said. “It’s  a discipline and requires a lot of strength to dance in high heels and look fabulous at the same time.”

The voguers are athletes and have to learn about their body’s capabilities and limitations – so the raising team was showing their interest through constant effort. 

In the words of house members they found in the house the sense of belonging to a community, in a very active dynamic way. They were creating a creative and emotional support web from these sisters. They found a way to be themselves but in the way that also creates something for others. This is a family. 

The straightened tendencies against queer expressions in the gay man community often causes queers to slow down on their gender expressions just to fit. 

To adapt to what is seen as sexy and attractive while not being loyal to your real self eventually Alexis, Alvaro and AnaPau joined the House, and with the team together the name was obvious for the Mother. 

Mother Culi said “we live in this paradise and the House of Paradise was introduced officially as a Kiki House with all the community at “Prohibido Ball”. 

After that they started promoting the house around Puerto Vallarta and have received a great response from the public – they achieved to now be one of the headline events during Vallarta Pride 2023.

Photos: Members of the Kiki House of Paradise.

The first ball room of Puerto Vallarta will take place at Industry Nightclub with the theme, “Call of Nature ” on Monday, May 22, 2023 starting at 7 p.m. with a green carpet walk at Industry Nightclub. 

It marks the first time the Puerto Vallarta trans, drag, non-binary & queer community will be  doing an event that sets them apart from the tourist-focused and commercial focus of Vallarta Pride and its organizers.

Photos by Oscar Almeida.

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