Generally known as the “Surprise Girl of Vogue,” Leiomy Maldonado boasts a formidable resume of collaborations with the likes of Willow Smith and Icona Pop. You could have additionally noticed her as one of many judges on the HBO Max present “Legendary,” a dance competitors impressed by the world of ballroom. Ten homes compete in opposition to one another in weekly vogue battles, with a special theme guiding every episode.
For the 35-year-old Bronx-born dancer, the expertise of being on the present has been enjoyable, but additionally deeply fulfilling. She’s lengthy wished for a possibility for ballroom tradition to “be celebrated and showcased on a stage of that magnitude.”
“For it to be one thing I’m part of, that is so main to me,” Maldonado tells POPSUGAR. “I have been listening to from so many various folks [about] how they’ve realized to simply accept their siblings, or they’ve realized to simply accept their youngsters, and realized to simply accept or perceive the LGBT group a bit bit extra. To me, that is profitable.”
Maldonado first encountered voguing at a Boys and Women Membership in her native Bronx, by somebody who ended up changing into her first trans mentor. She was captivated by the artwork type and desirous to be taught extra. A number of days later, after they met up once more, she handed over a VHS tape.
“I went house and I popped that within the VCR,” Maldonado recollects. “I mechanically obtained pulled into the wonderland that ballroom mainly is. After that, I began going to after-school LGBTQ+ packages. And I met different voguers there. And from there, I used to be launched to my first home.”
In 2003, she walked her first ball and “obtained chopped,” as she places it, although the expertise solely fueled her ardour for voguing much more. “I used to be so keen to simply get on the market and showcase what I realized alone, and as soon as I obtained chopped, for me, it was like an ‘oh, properly’ type of factor,” she says. “I did not count on to do good in any case, but it surely did not deter me from eager to compete extra and getting again on the market.”
Maldonado appears to have a penchant for leaping into the unknown. She not too long ago joined a gaggle of LGBTQ+ group leaders, together with Regulation Roach and Tess Holliday, in a panel dialogue for the Metaverse Tradition Sequence “Dream Home.” They mentioned id, chosen household, and security and tradition within the metaverse.
Under, POPSUGAR joins Maldonado within the metaverse to speak about dressing avatars, packing for summer time adventures, and all of the life classes voguing has taught her.