Wuhan's vogue dance finds life after lockdown

In a former factory in Wuhan, China, 22-year-old Xiong Feng or 'Daiki' walks, spins and dives into catwalks.
Each of these movements is part of a dance style called "voguing" that was popularized by a mostly weird black community in the United States in the 1980s. It was most commonly seen in underground competitions known as the "ballroom".
Today, fashion has found its way into this central Chinese city that was in the spotlight a year ago for an entirely different reason. It was the original epicenter of the health pandemic and discovered the world's first cases.
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In January, Wuhan was locked down for 76 days and isolated from the rest of the country.
'Daiki' is the only fashion teacher in town and says his small class has grown in size since the ban was lifted.
His students say they want to live a more authentic life after a traumatic year.
23 year old 'Crisp' is one of them:
"After this pandemic, I feel that fashion dancing has given me a lot of emotional support during this time. Because I realized that we have to use every minute and every second to be who we are. We have to value ourselves and pursue a better quality of life. "
Daiki and his class shot a music video together, their first personal project since the lockdown ended.
"The purpose of recording this video is to let everyone know that Wuhan also has a fashion and ballroom culture. Before that, everyone was locked at home because of the pandemic and couldn't get out, so everyone could only practice video calling online. But now our situation is much better and we finally have time to come out and make this video. "
"Voguing" is not known in a country that heavily censors LGBT content and rejects non-traditional families. Still, Wuhan has its own thriving community because people like "Daiki" dream of expanding Wuhan's first ballroom community.
Video transcript
[PLAY DANCE MUSIC]
- In a former factory in Wuhan, China, 22-year-old Xiong Feng or Daiki walks on catwalks, turning and diving. Each of these movements are part of a dance style called voguing that was popularized by the mostly queer black community in the United States in the 1980s. It was most commonly seen in underground competitions called the ballroom. Today fashion has found its way to this central Chinese city. Which was in the spotlight a year ago for a completely different reason.
It was the original epicenter of the health pandemic and discovered the world's first cases. In January, Wuhan was locked down for 76 days and isolated from the rest of the country. Daiki is the only fashion teacher in town and says his small class has grown in size since the ban was lifted. His students say they want to live a more authentic life after a traumatic year. 23 year old Crisp is one of them.
CRISP (INTERPRETER): After this pandemic, I feel that fashion dancing has given me a lot of emotional support during this time. Because I realized that we have to use every minute of every second to be who we are. We have to value each other and strive for a better quality of life.
- Daiki shot a music video together in his class. Your first personal project since the ban ended.
DAIKI (INTERPRETER): The purpose of this video is to let everyone know that Wuhan also has a fashion and ballroom culture. Previously, because of the pandemic, everyone was locked up at home and couldn't get out. So everyone could only make video calls to practice online. Now our situation is much better and we finally have time to get out and make this video.
- Voguing is not known in a country that heavily censors LGBT content and rejects non-traditional families. And yet, thanks to people like Daiki, Wuhan has its own thriving community. Whose dream now is to expand Wuhan's first ballroom community further.

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