Keeping Ballroom Community Alive Network

Filtering by Tag: LGBTQ

Meet the Presenter

Meet Aubrey Moore Crawford, known by many as the Legendary Kassandra Ebony. The 26-year-old Brooklyn native's ballroom journey began at the age of 16 after graduating from Washington Irving High School. His consistent voguing, battling, and commentating state-to-state led to winning numerous Of-The-Year (OTY) Awards, over $10,000 in cash prizes within a 6-year time span, and being deemed Legendary in the ballroom scene. Kassandra’s love and passion for vogue has led to work Qween Beat Productions, Microsoft Airlift, Hood By Air, Jennifer Hudson, Bob Sinclair, Y-3, and Gypsy Sport. In his spare time, Kassandra gives back to the community by remaining active and teaching free vogue classes.


Meet the Organizer: Jonovia Chase

Jonovia Chase is an advocate and aspiring event planner within New York State. As a young community stake holder and leader within the House Ballroom and Transgender communities Jonovia continues to mobilize youth and Trans folks to raise awareness on health and wellness. More specifically, she aims to creating more voices for her community to unify and break systematic behaviors geared around stigma and the further marginalization of these communities.  Humanizing the lives of people of Trans experience is what one of her most deep heart felt values are. She remains hopeful that the work being done by many will continue to affect the change needed in the world.

Meet the Organizer: Stephaun Blahnik

Stephaun E. Wallace, MS, MOL, is a thought leader, public health researcher, project manager at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and co-director of the University of Washington’s (UW) Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Community Action board (CAB), with a track record in developing, implementing, and evaluating major public health and human service programs in the areas of HIV/AIDS & STD prevention, care and treatment, in diverse, high-risk populations in the United States. Wallaces’ career highlights include Director of Programs/Deputy Director of the MOCHA Center, Inc.; Program/Training Coordinator of AID Atlanta, Inc. (where he co-founded the Evolution Center/Project); and Founding Executive Director of My Brothaz Keeper, Inc., and currently serves on several nonprofit boards, committees and coalitions, including maintaining active membership in national public health associations.

Mr. Wallace is a public health/social justice leader with more than 16 years of sexual/public health experience with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities and men who have sex with men (MSM), more than a decade of senior-level non-profit administrative and management experience, more than 20 of grassroots social justice/advocacy experience with LGBTQ/MSM communities, and a proven commitment to the illumination and eradication of HIV/AIDS and other health disparities via policy, research, education and advocacy. He has completed undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice, Masters of Science degrees in Management and Organizational Leadership, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology.

In the house and ball community (HBC), he is known as Stephaun Blahnik, Chairman/President of the House of Blahnik. Since 2000, Wallace has been an active part of the HBC, and has provided ballroom/life guidance and talent development for many ballroom superstars. Wallace has received several ballroom awards and accolades since being a part of this community; and has walked and won Best Dressed, American Runway, Face, and Sneaker vs. Sneaker in multiple regions of the country, in addition to having the honor of judging major and mini-balls around the United States. Wallace resurrected the House of Elite in 2000, and has been a part of the Houses of Revlon, Cavalli, Valentino, and now Blahnik. Wallace founded the Western New York Council of Houses, resurrected the Atlanta Ballroom Alliance, and has directly supported the Chicago, Carolinas, Kansas City, and the West Coast Ballroom Alliances over the years. Wallace also provides consultation to the federal agencies, and local and state health departments and organizations around the country on projects addressing the needs and issues of LGBT communities, especially those in the HBC. Additionally, Wallace co-lead the development of an intervention called Project VOGUE; which the 1st EVER CREATED research-based HIV prevention intervention focused on the HBC, utilizing community-based participatory research principles.  

Meet the Organizer: Jennifer Lee

Ms. Lee is dedicated to making an impact on the world by addressing health inequities, disparities and social determinants of health in disenfranchised communities that experience extreme poverty, economic inequality, limited social support and poor governance.  Through the lens of resiliency, community empowerment, advocacy/social justice movements, community-based participatory research, and a strengths-based approach, her research and work provides a pathway for individuals and communities to make changes through explicit aims at social and political change.  While addressing the social, cultural, political and economic determinants that underpin health, she also seeks to build partnerships with other sectors in finding innovative solutions.

The FREEDOM Ball: Keeping The Ki Alive Part 2




Just over a year ago, August 2015, we held the first ever Ballroom Symposium, entitled "Keeping The Community Alive." This year, in following tradition we are hosting an even BIGGER and BETTER event! The 2016 FREEDOM Ball is focused on raising awareness to the history and resilience of Black and Brown people all over the world. And more importantly, focusing on how we manage to survive and thrive, despite social injustices. On October 30, 2016, the Kiki Scene will show the world how we Reclaim the Narrative - how we tell OUR OWN stories... ON THE FLOOR!




School Girl and School Boy: Bring it ready to shake the room with a protest sign

Pretty Boy: Tonight we want you exude what it means to be pretty. The judges want to see you in the name of the ICON Prince's look to push the norms of gender expression.

Executive (MF vs FF): Black Wall Street

BQID: It is the year 2020 and you are the first woman of color to be elected President of the United States. Show us just how presidential you are with your attire and looks tonight.

Fem Queen: Bangy Cunt VS Neo Soul Nubian Goddess




Part I: Formation VS Rhythm Nation

Both Janet Jackson and Beyoncé have brought awareness to social injustice into the mainstream. Tonight, earn your spot to compete as a house with a tribute to Formation and/or Rhythm Nation movements. This should include unified movement in your choreography and a message of justice and liberation. Your production will be scored by the judges on a scale from 1 - 10 for each section on the score sheet (which will be released prior to the ball). The 2 houses with the highest scores will battle for grand prize.

Part II: A Family Affair

Each house will enter 7 people from their production to enter the battle zone. The 7 must have played a dancing role in the production in order to battle.




Did you know that 3 Black queer women founded the Black Lives Matter movement? Tonight, we pay homage to the Black women that have nurtured and cared for our community. In a team of three (3) bring it in one of our most popular freedom movements. The Black Panthers.


The Maasai is a tribe located in the country of Kenya. They are known for their longstanding culture and unique dress style. Show us just how beautiful Black and Brown skin really is. Serve carta in the name of the Maasai Warriors.



Show us how you’re #ReclaimingTheNarrative by giving us a Chant for Freedom



It’s a warzone in these streets and Black and Brown bodies are on the frontline. Bring it in a rogue soldier or militia inspired effect, showing your dedication to fighting oppression.



We’re taking it back to our roots tonight - before we were we colonized. Think tribal: animal pattern, furs, feathers, face/body paint, piercings, hair, embellishments!




2 trophies, 1 grand prize

Tonight is your chance to show the world what it truly means to #ReclaimTheNarrative. Africa is a huge continent with many cultures, traditions, & styles. Bring it in a look of African Royalty. And reclaim the narrative of Black Kings and Queens.


Information regarding tables will be released shortly.