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Vogue classes, Fabulous documentary screening and a lecture on ballroom culture

3.6.2022 12:16

Lasseindra Ninja/Photo: Franck Blanquin and Yanou Ninja/Photo: Carolin Windel

HAM x BALLROOM

During Helsinki Pride Week on 27.6.-28.6. you can participate in vogue classes, get to know ballroom culture in a lecture and see the documentary Fabulous! The whole program is in English and it’s co-organized with the artist Anneli Kanninen. Anneli is one of the trailblazers of the Finnish ballroom scene starting from 2010.


27.6. vogue classes

Legendary Pioneering Mother Lasseindra Ninja and European Prince Yanou Ninja, both from The Iconic House of Ninja, will be teaching vogue classes on the third-floor exhibition space, in one of the arched halls.

The classes are free of charge and mainly for QTBIPOC and LGBTIQ+ community, and the local ballroom community. Register in advance, every class can take up to 40 participants each. Registration starts on 6.6. Ballroom was born and developed in the QTBIPOC community, is a safer space and has specific codes of conduct. Please note our guidelines for a safer space and get to know the basic history and starting points of the ballroom culture before signing up. The age recommendation for the classes is +15-year-olds. No prior movement experience required. Because the museum is closed for the general public the staff will meet you at the main door and guide you to the right space. A more detailed accessibility info. Ask more, we are happy to help!

At 16-16:45 Lasseindra Ninja: vogue fem, exhibition hall registration link

At 17-17:45 Yanou Ninja: old way, exhibition hall registration link

At 18-18:55 Lasseindra Ninja: vogue fem, exhibition hall registration link

At 19-19:55 Yanou Ninja: old way, exhibition hall registration link

28.6. documentary screening and lecture

Lasseindra Ninja will be giving a lecture about the ballroom culture in HAM corner. Prior to that there’s a screening of the documentary Fabulous (2019) which gives a glimpse to her life and the lives of the LGBTIQ+ community in her native French Guiana. Director of the documentary is Audrey Jean-Baptiste. The lecture and screening are open to all and free of charge. The space can take up to 60 participants and all viewers will be provided with a chair. Register in advance and make sure you can take part! Registration starts on 6.6. HAM corner is located on street level, right next to the main entrance of the museum. A more detailed accessibility info. Please note our guidelines for a safer space when participating in the event. The language of the movie is French, and it has English subtitles.

At 16-17 The screening of Fabulous documentary, HAM corner

At 17-18 A lecture on ballroom culture by Lasseindra Ninja, HAM corner

registration link

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Lasseindra Ninja/Photo: Franck Blanquin 

Lasseindra Ninja

Lasseindra is a professional queer dancer of French Guianese origin, born in 1986 and based in Paris. She is an iconic figure in the ballroom community in France and Europe, holding the title Legendary Pioneering Mother. Lasseindra is a member of The Iconic House of Ninja in the major scene and The Iconic Legendary Founding European Mother of The Kiki House of Juicy Couture in the kiki scene.

Lasseindra on Instagram

Lasseindra on Facebook

Yanou Ninja/Photo: Mathias Casado Castro


Yanou Ninja

The European Prince of The Iconic House of Ninja, Yanou Ninja, is a prominent dancer, choreographer and teacher, based in Paris. His first encounter with ballroom culture was in 2012 when he met some voguers in a club in Paris. Yanou’s signature style is old way and it influences all of his work.

Yanou on  Instagram

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Iconic House of Ninja

The Iconic House of Ninja is one of the oldest houses in the ballroom scene, formed in 1982 by Mother Willi Ninja. Willi Ninja was an American dancer and choreographer, profoundly influencing voguing, especially new way.

Iconic House of Ninja on Instagram.

Ballroom scene

Ballroom scene had its early days in the late 19th century Harlem drag balls, created by BIPOC trans women and drag queens as a protest against racism they experienced in the white drag pageant balls. It gained its current form in 1970’s underground New York BIPOC LGBTQIA+ community, with members of extended queer familial structures, also known as houses, competing against each other in balls. A ball is a competition with categories that are based on looks, fashion, performance and attitude. Voguing and the ballroom scene have influenced and been influenced by fashion, pop culture and the wider underground club and street art worlds. If you’re not QTBIPOC, please be aware of your privileges and respect the space created by and for BIPOC LGBTQIA+ liberation and joy.

More to watch:

More to read:

  • And the Category Is… Inside New York’s vogue, house and ballroom community. Written by Ricky Tucker, 2021.
  • Voguing and the Ballroom Scene of New York 1989-92. Book and audio. Photographs by Chantal Regnault and edited by Stuart Baker, 2011.

Compiled by Anneli Kanninen.