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The Rebellion Ball

Thursday, June 20th at the Pheonix Concert Theatre

The Rebellion Ball

What is a Ball?

    An event where competitors face off against rival houses in a series of performances combining music, dance and costume. There is a judge’s panel to determine the winner, and commentator(s) to hype the crowd and the competitors. OTA (Open to all) categories means anyone can walk- not just those in houses.

Ballroom Categories



      Each category represents a certain style of performance or runway. Each ball has a theme woven into the descriptions highlighting a specific effect that must be present to qualify. For example, Face is about facial beauty but at Drinksmith’s “Starlight, Dark Night” Ball the effect called for an extraterrestrial visage.  

Best Dressed

An outfit that you could conceivably wear out on the town but still has the effect called for. The walk matters but not as much as the look. (Ex, effect calls for lights as part of the outfit)



Runway is more high fashion and nailing the walk compared to Best Dressed. All-American leans masculine while European leans femme.


Stretching the limits of imagination and construction, the more outlandish and wild your look is, the better. (Ex, effect called for a transformation from a being of darkness to one of light)


Commentator vs Commentator

A duel on the mic. Usually focused on chants and hyping the crowd.

Hand Performance

Telling a story through hand and arm movements.

Old Way vs New Way 

Vogue Femme

This category brings two voguing styles to the stage; the Old Way using shapes and poses and the New Way which relies on flexibility and gymnastics.

Fluidity is the key here, emphasizing feminine movements. The five elements of Vogue Femme are: duckwalk, catwalk, hands, floorwork, spins+dips.


The ability to “pass” as a hetero, cis-gender (Ex, effect is "two-face")


Sex Siren

While showing skin is often a requirement, sex appeal and attitude play a big role in mesmerizing the judges.



In contrast to Sex Siren, Body is about the actual aesthetics of the body. Not for the self conscious.



Eyes, Nose, Teeth, Skin, Structure - Face is all about beauty and presentation.

The Rebellion Ball

The Rebellion Ball



Ballroom Terms to Know



Butch Queen (BQ):






Femme Queen (FQ):

Femme Figure (FF):


LSS (Legends, Statements, Stars):

Male Figure (MF):

Open to All (OTA):


Realness with a Twist (RWT):


Serve/Work/Turn It:




When two competitors face off at the same time. This can either be to determine the winner of a hot category or simply built into the category itself

A queer woman presenting as male

A gay man- specifically a cis-gender gay man

The various types of performance and/or runway. See above for further explanation

Rhymes and vocal rhythms designed to hype up the crowd

To be eliminated from the category. This can be due to not having the effect the category asks for or for simply not qualifying. Cheer for chops

In ballroom, drag is a specific term referring to a cis-gendered gay man presenting a female facade. This is contrast to drag as an entire form of performance ala Drag Race

A prop, look or style specifically cited in the category’s description. No matter how perfect the look, if it doesn’t have the effect it will result in a chop

A trans woman

Anyone presenting as female (regardless of cis-gender)

Veteran of the scene usually with a string of trophies to show for it alongside other accomplishments related to the ballroom community

The introduction portion of a ball where the commentator calls upon legends in the crowd to both showcase their talent and praise their involvement

Anyone presenting as male (regardless of cis-gender)

A category that can be walked by anyone attending

The ability to “pass” as a certain gender expression and heterosexual. I.e. A butch queen presenting as a straight male. Even though ballroom is rooted in the defiance of societal expectation being able to “pass” as a heterosexual was a powerful skill and thus still represented to this day

Present heterosexual in a Realness category then come back to show Vogue Femme or Runway - there’s more to you than meets the eye

A surprise effect or layer of an outfit used to one up your opponent in a battle and win over the judges (and the crowd!)

All about the attitude and demeanour. Outfits and props only get you so far - to really impress the judges, you have to sell the entire character. Also short for a particularly dazzling performance

In traditional ballroom culture, judges would score much like a sporting event with 1 to 10 and the total was tallied up. These days, you either get 10’s or 0 and even one 0 means you get a chop. Thus leading to the common phrase, “10’s across the board!”

A first-timer, who’s never walked or performed in any category before

The act of competing in a ball, even if there is minimal actual walking involved (“She’s going to be walking Face”)

Ballroom Categories
Ballroom Terms to Know
What is a Ball?
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