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It’s Beyonce’s world and we are all just living in it. At least that’s what it feels like when you watch Renaissance: a Film By Beyonce — don’t worry, no major spoilers here, although it’s a concert film so there’s only so much one can spoil.

Written, created, and directed by Beyonce herself, the film shows the tour in all of its high-definition and supremely-choreographed glory. But, it most importantly shows the intention behind it. Renaissance took four years of planning to stage, and with many elements of the process revealed, any true fan was all the more enthralled with the behemoth that was the tour. But amongst the featurettes in the 168-minute film is one on the ballroom scene, a central inspiration for not only the album and pacing of the tour, but the driving heart of it as well.

If you aren’t aware, ballroom in a nutshell is home. Founded as the house-ballroom scene in 1970s Harlem, the now-global scene is a community that serves as a series of collectives where largely queer and trans folk support one another. Ballroom serves as a laboratory and finishing school of sorts for those same individuals to explore who they are and how to realize that more fully in the world. It serves as the venue for high-octane, often deeply personal battles for cash, trophies, clout in competitions delving into fashion, dance, and other forms of performance. Whether you know it or not you’ve likely seen ballroom in some form (likely voguing) or felt its presence by the way it infiltrates culture. And in Renaissance, the film, Beyonce shines her light on an already beaming community.

Here are a few names you should know from the film.

Kevin JZ Prodigy

If you’re on Tiktok (or Instagram or any social media really) it’s likely you have already heard his voice. Kevin was once named the “Voice of a Generation” within ballroom and is one of the scene’s foremost commentators. In fact, his voice is used throughout the tour performance, relied on heavily for transitions and a key ballroom section of the show — Beyonce herself referred to Kevin as the “heartbeat of the Renaissance Tour.”

The Philly-native is ballroom through and through, first establishing his name as a voguer before commentating. Beyonce gives him his just due flowers in the film. There’s also mention of “Kassandra,” a reference to Kassandra Ebony a revered voguer who was known as a “battlecat” ready to go move for move with anyone who would dare. This December is the five year anniversary of her passing.


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Honey Balenciaga

If you’ve seen any clips from the Renaissance tour, you’ve undoubtedly seen Honey. Whether it’s spinning mid air to land on beat in a dip to “Energy” or the now viral panther crawl she does as her alter-ego Alice during the ballroom section, she seems to embody “Pure/Honey’s” Miss Honey. But this isn’t her first time in the spotlight: the lifelong dancer often went viral for voguing at balls before stealing the show on Legendary seasons 1 and 2. She, along with Carlos, Darius, and Jonte Moaning make up a femme-leaning group of dancers within the tour dubbed “The Dolls.” Her house sister Nerita “NV Balenciaga” McFarlane is also a key backup dancer for Renaissance.


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Carlos Basquiat

Carlos isn’t as loud and in-your face as some but he’s definitely been around. You may remember him from back in 2018 when he appeared in the music video for Sam Smith and Calvin Harris’s song “Promises” — or even the mini-doc from that, which Carlos also appeared in. Or maybe you remember him from season one of Legendary when the House of Lanvin, which he was a part of, was famously robbed. But now, he’s bringing the angular origins of voguing to the ballroom section via the Old Way style.

Darius Hickman

With a face that radiates from the furthest seats in the stadium, Darius brings a softer side of vogue to the showcase, though he hasn’t been walking for very long. Going by the moniker Flexy from the House of West, he walked his first ball in August 2022. Though he is newer to the scene, he’s definitely one to watch.


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The ballroom scene is composed of houses but the lionshare of the activity happens at balls of varying sizes. One of the most significant weekly balls of the last five years is OTA, held every Monday at 3 Dollar Bill in Brooklyn, New York. If you’ve seen viral clips of Rosalia, Sam Smith, or Lil Nas X at a ball, it was probably this function. It was founded by Leggoh JohVera who made his name as a voguer and commentator in the House of LaBeija before leaving and sealing his legacy with OTA under the name Leggoh JohVera.