It’s been a week since Beyonce released their long-awaited 7th studio album, RENAISSANCE Act I, and people can’t get enough of the upbeat, euphoric work.
Something obvious about the album is its homage to the LGBTQ+ community and Ballroom culture. Throughout RENAISSANCE we hear Ballroom’s influence in its lyrics, beats and melodies, most noticeable in songs like Extraterrestrial Super star, Heated and pure honey. And we can’t help but notice his use of terms like “all-around 10” and “cunty” that are infamous in ballroom culture.
Many would say this album is a “moment” for the LGBTQ+ community as the ballroom has been a safe haven since the 1970s. Bey previously credited his late Uncle Johnny– whom she calls her “godmother”— for introducing her to this style of music.
In honor of Beyonce’s Ballroom tribute, we caught up with the Ballroom legend and icon Dashaun Wesley to break down some of the ballroom terms heard throughout RENAISSANCE Act I. Wesley is featured on iconic shows like FX’s ‘Pose’ and HBO Max’s ‘Legendary’, which introduced the Ballroom scene to the world.
Discover some of the terms Wesley breaks down below:
Song: Alien Superstar
Dashaun Wesley: “Explaining to everyone what competition they’re about to see right now.”
Dashaun Wesley: “Usually they were scared, a flashlight was put in front of them and someone pointed out to them that they were in a detective room and someone was asking them questions.”
“10s at all levels”
Dashaun Wesley: “It’s like taking the competition to the next round. If you get 10 points from each judge, it means you really did what you had to do to move on to the next round.
“Giving a Face/Face Card”
Dashaun Wesley: “When you give a face, it means you sell it, you let everyone see your natural beauty, whether it’s your skin, your cheekbones, your teeth, whether it’s your jawline, whether it’s the structure of your face. You show people what you have on others.
Song: Pure / Honey
Dashaun Wesley: “It’s a feminine side of things, an appreciation of the feminine, of delicacy and softness.”
Dashaun Wesley: “It’s watching how that person delivers what they sell, and for us, our technique is our elements, our character of who we are. So the fact that she did Pure/Honey and you add vibes to it with the beats and sounds, it makes you want to do the elements.
See Wesley’s full interview below, where he talks about “Legendary,” Beyonce Rennaissance’s new album, upcoming projects and more.