|Genre||House dance, ballroom dance|
|Origin||Harlem, New York, United States|
Vogue, or voguing, is a highly stylized, modern house dance that evolved out of the Harlem ballroom scene in the 1980s. It gained mainstream exposure when it was featured in Madonna's song and video "Vogue" (1990), and when showcased in the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning (which went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival).
Inspired by Vogue magazine, voguing is characterized by model-like poses integrated with angular, linear, and rigid arm, leg, and body movements. This style of dance arose from Harlem ballrooms by African Americans in the early 1960s. It was originally called "presentation" and later "performance". Over the years, the dance evolved into the more intricate and form that is now called "vogue". Voguing is continually developed further as an established dance form that is practiced in the gay ballroom scene and clubs in major cities throughout the United States—mainly New York City.
There are currently three distinct styles of vogue: Old Way (pre-1990); New Way (post-1990); and Vogue Fem (circa 1995). Although Vogue Fem has been used in the ballroom scene as a catch-all phrase for overtly effeminate Voguing as far back as the 1960s, as a recognizable style of Voguing, it only came into its own around the mid-1990s. Other styles of voguing include hand gestures and dramatics, although they are also referred to as part of Vogue Fem.
It should be noted that the terms "Old Way" and "New Way" are generational. Earlier generations called the style of voguing the generation before them practiced "old way". Voguers, therefore, reuse these terms to refer to the evolutionary changes of the dance that are observable almost every ten years. Ten years from now, today's "new way" will likely be deemed the "old way".
Old way is characterized by the formation of lines, symmetry, and precision in the execution of formations with graceful, fluid-like action. Egyptian hieroglyphs and fashion poses serve as the original inspirations for old way voguing. In its purest, historical form, old way vogue is a duel between two rivals. Traditionally, old way rules dictated that one rival must "pin" the other to win the contest. Pinning involved the trapping of an opponent so that he or she could not execute any movements while the adversary was still in motion (usually voguing movements with the arms and hands called "hand performance" while the opponent was "pinned" against the floor doing "floor exercises" or against a wall).