HOUSE OF BALENCIAGA AND DEION SIMON
At the age of 21, Deion Simon graduated from the Amsterdam School of arts. He’s been able to morph himself into a multifaceted individual. He’s a professional dancer, choreographer, stylist, has worked in PR for well-known fashion brands and has recently taken on a new challenge. The 27-year-old is expanding his dancing career within the “Ballroom Scene”. We spoke to Deion about his new journey in the ballroom scene by opening a new chapter in the Dutch ballroom scene from the international ballroomhouse of Balenciaga.
What is ballroom?
In ballroom we always must give thanks to the transwomen or how we like to call them. They paved the way and created this beautiful culture in the 80s in Harlem, New York.
Ballroom is an underground scene that was created in the 80s in Harlem, New York by transwomen or how we like to call them “fem queens’ ‘ in to give queer black and Latino a space where they could be free and break the boundaries that society placed on them. The magic about ballroom is that you can be whoever you want to be, you create your own fantasy for that night.
A ballroom event is a mixture of fashion, dance, lip-syncing, and modeling. where the ball walker competes in various categories for grand prizes and trophies.
How was it for you entering the underground ballroom scene?
The first time I ever encountered ballroom was when I was thirteen, I randomly stumbled upon a video on YouTube. I still know the feeling of being intrigued, confused, and mesmerized. It was a secret obsession of mine because like most young LGBTQ+ youth I was still finding out and discovering my sexuality. When I was seventeen a friend of mine took me to my first ball in Rotterdam. It took me seven years to walk my first ball. Ballroom looks fun but it is a spiritual journey that you must have with yourself. For me it was accepting my sexuality and owning my feminine side and being confident enough to present it to the ballroom community.
What category do you walk?
Ballroom has many categories, you have runway, face, sex siren, body etc. but the most famous categories are the performance categories. I walked Butch queen vogue fem one of the most anticipated performance categories in the scene. Butch queen vogue fem is vogueing like a fem queen. You must tell a story by using all 5 elements: catwalk, duckwalk, hand performance, dip, and spin. The hardest part is finding your language and how you use the element to portray and emote how you feel that night.
How do you stay inspired?
It may sound corny, but I get inspired from every ball I attend to. The ballroom community has so many talented, creative, and beautiful people to look up to that every event is inspiring. I also love that I can combine my two passions into ballroom styling and dancing.
This beginning year you joined the house of Balenciaga, making you the first Dutch Balenciaga Holland. How was it for you to start your journey and take on this responsibility?
Ballroom houses were created to provide support and guidance because a lot of young queer people can experience loneliness in their journey to find them self and sometimes, they can’t turn to their biological family for that support
support that you need.
I wanted to become a Balenciaga from the first time I saw the Paris chapter. The house of Balenciaga was created in 2002 in New York and from that time it has branched out and has different chapters all over the world with me becoming the first Balenciaga in the Netherlands. I’m starting a new chapter. I’m extremely honored that they. trusted me with this responsibility so I can guide and support the younger generation of ballroom walkers in the Netherlands.
What would you like to pass on to the people who don’t know the vogue scene?
That ballroom is not only about the glitz, the glam, and the dips. It’s so much more.
It’s a feeling, an essence, strength, creativity, passion, and culture.
I want to encourage them to delve into history so that they better understand the
underlying emotions of people who dedicate their lives to it.
Photographer Dion Bal
Make-up Artist Jimmy Stam
Writer Faizal Boerleider
Stylist Deion Simon
Model Deion Simon