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Watch | Gay dance students find solace in Detroit vogue classes

2016-01-22
A documentary maker has captured the efforts of a dance teacher to engage vulnerable LGBTIQ youth across the city through using the vogue dance style at his Detroit-based studio. Mollie Mills, director of Vogue, Detroit, first visited the Michigan state city back in 2014, and after accepting an invitation to The House of Chanel discovered an environment that challenged the perceptions and stereotypes of “performative and fiercely theatrical Vogue," reports Dazed. “Detroit was recently called one of the most dangerous places for LGBTQ youth in America. There are over 13,000 youth in the state's foster care at any given time and a significant percentage identify as LGBTQ,” says Mills. “Whether you're homeless or not, the hate crime statistics are phenomenal.” vogue1 While the Vogue dance style is often associated with the more competitive Harlem New York LGBT dance scene born out of the 1980s, Mills says she stumbled across something much different as dance teacher Michael led a group of 11-year-old girls in his studio, located just off the infamous 8 Mile. “They had found solace in one another and Vogue was their universal language," she said. "It just so happened it was amidst, as Ruby [pseudo, Global Youth Researcher] so rightly put it, the overwhelming masculinity of Detroit – a city built on muscle cars, factory work, tyres and rubber.” You can watch the clip below: