Interview with Aus Spotted Eagle A.K.A Aus Ninja New York Part I
From 'Imperial House of Waacking', 'House of Ninja', 'House of Ultra Omni'Barcelona Dance Report
Leer en castellano
AUS (AUSBEN SPOTTED EAGLE )
Barcelona Dance: 'How did you start dancing?'
AUS: 'I was born in Texas and raised in Kentucky. I started dancing when I was 6 years old doing Traditional Dances I am from Lipan Apache and Choctaw American Indian tribe from the Southern part of the United States.
I moved to Kentuky when I was 6 continuing doing tribal dance, then my next style of dance was break dancing hip hop poppin when I was 13. I went to high school to study musical Theatre as tap, ballet, lyrical, jazz and then I went to a Performing Art College and got a 'BFA' in Musical Theatre.
Then I moved to New York. I toured in a couple of musicals for about 2 years then I switched my focus after meeting Brian Green as my first teacher who started telling me about 'Waacking' and 'Vogue'.
Brian Brian informed me about different clubs to go to in New York, there was one called 'The Club House'. This was in 2004, so I went there and that was the first time that I saw the Vogue Scene in New York. In 2001 I went to some clubs where I actually saw some people dancing this style but I didn't know this style was called 'Vogue'. From there I started to go deep inside of the culture and I ended up eventually joining up the 'House of Ninja' at the end of 2005 while Willi Ninja was still alive.
Barcelona Dance: 'What are your other influences from the Vogue Scene?'
AUS:'Mohammed Omni is my actual teacher. He is a Vogue Legend he is in the documentary called 'How do I look'. He has information about all kind of different people and I am lucky enough that he taught me to hand down a lot of information too because he hasn't done it for many people. He's been involved into the Vogue scene for about 20 years and I kind of help him bringing him back.
There is Tim Princess from 'House of Princess', also there are, Ira Afrodite, Damien Ebony, Paris Dupree, Sylvain, Andrew Mizarahi from all different house There are over a 100 houses and still growing, there are new houses popping up all the time. Lot of them are inactive but with this boom going on, there will end up going back up again.'
Barcelona Dance: 'What makes a House?'
AUS: 'It would be someone from the ballroom scene who starts to get famous walking (competing) categories and then would end up creating his own 'house'. When the 'House' concept came up, it actually started with 2 groups, you had a Spanish group and then you had a black group gathering African Americans, Indians and also people from Caribbean. They would go to the clubs as 2 separate groups battling each other.
Barcelona Dance: 'Are the Houses still mainly gays'
AUS: 'Yes predominantly and when I came into it, I was one of the only straight guys to be actually in it. It was hard for me at the beginning because they wanted to know me and why I wanted to learn and also because lots of the categories are gender specific, for instance the 'Butch Queen-Fem Queen' category with gay men acting feminine or the 'Butch Queen Realness' category with gay men acting masculine straight, so this was kind of controversial. Some people would say that you couldn't compete in these categories just because you were not gay. When I started performing, I managed to get a lot of respect from the community and I also had the support from my teacher Willi (Ninja).'
Barcelona Dance: 'How did you meet Willi Ninja?'
AUS:'I met Willi through a man called 'Shack-A-Lock' who also introduced me to Tyrone. Shack-A-Lock is an old school dancer from New York, he's a Locker who knows all the Original Lockers such as Don Campbell.
So I met Willi Ninja the first time in a benefit concert organised in his honour to raise money for him as he was sick from AIDS, in order to help him to pay his bills and his treatment and when he came on stage I could see how passionate he was about what he did and the way that he moved, he was amazing, most of his movements were martial arts based. Also I was doing martial arts since I was 6 years old. So Shack-A-Lock introduced me to him and told him that I wanted to be part of his house. Willi looked at me from head to toe and he said: 'Let me see you vogue' and he brought 4 or 5 different people and I had to battle them on the spot. Then after that he told me to talk to Mother Richard (now in charge with Billy Ninja of the House) and I started with the rehearsals.'
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