It’s been a week since Beyoncé dropped her long-awaited 7th studio album, RENAISSANCE Act I, and people can’t get enough of the upbeat, euphoric body of work.
Something apparent about the album is its homage to the LGBTQ+ community and Ballroom culture. All throughout RENAISSANCE, we hear the influence of Ballroom in her lyrics, beats and melodies, most noticeable in songs like Alien Superstar, Heated and Pure/Honey. And we can’t help but notice her use of terms like “10s across the board” and “cunty” which are infamous in ballroom culture.
Many would say this album is a “moment” for the LGBTQ+ community as the ballroom has been a safe haven since the 1970s. Bey previously credited her late Uncle Johnny– whom she refers to as her “godmother”— for introducing her to this style of music.
In honor of Beyonce’s tribute to Ballroom, we caught up with Ballroom legend and icon Dashaun Wesley to break down some of the Ballroom terms heard throughout RENAISSANCE Act I. Wesley is featured on iconic shows like FX’s ‘Pose’ and HBO Max’s ‘Legendary,’ which introduced the Ballroom scene to the world.
Check out some of the terms Wesley breaks down below:
Song: Alien Superstar
Dashaun Wesley: “Explaining to everyone what competition they’re about to see right now.”
Dashaun Wesley: “Usually they’ve been spooked, a flashlight has put in front of them and someone is point out like they’re in a detective room and someone is asking them questions.”
“10s Across The Board”
Dashaun Wesley: “It’s like making it past the competition to the next round. If you get 10s across the board from every judge, that means you really did what you needed to do to make it to the next round.”
“Giving Face/ Face Card”
Dashaun Wesley: “When you give face that means you’re selling it, you’re letting everybody see your natural beauty whether it’s your skin, your cheekbones, your teeth, whether it’s your jawline, whether its the structure of your face. You’re showing people what you have over others.”
Song: Pure/ Honey
Dashaun Wesley: “It’s a feminine side of things, an appreciation of feminine and dainty and softness.”
Dashaun Wesley: “It’s watch how this person delivers what they are selling, and for us, our technique is our elements, our character of who we are. So the fact that she did Pure/ Honey and you add the vibes into it with the beats and the sounds it makes you want to do the elements.”
See Wesley’s full interview below, where he talks ‘Legendary,’ Beyonce’s new album Rennaissance, upcoming projects and more.