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voguing, runway, and ballroom music

The House of Diabolique Top Ten Runway/Ballroom Classics

Many people only know of underground ballroom culture from Blah-donna's 'Vogue' or the film Paris Is Burning. Paris is Burning is a great film, but not one that does its subject justice. There is more to the ballroom scene than chopping, mopping, "fierceness" and shade; and there is more to vogueing than striking a pose.

There is nothing I do here, nothing I write, that hasn't been touched by what ballroom culture teaches.

Drag is a form of control. By looking good one can feel good. By looking powerful, one can feel powerful. One can be powerful. Therefore, beauty begets control. Artifice equals power.

Is reality so strong if one can manipulate it so easily? Is reality that important? What is real? Does reality even exist, other than the "reality" we create for ourselves? In fact, the ballroom teaches us exactly what quantum physics does: that which is not observed does not exist.

Then again, it may just be a bunch of bitches competing for trophies. Either way, its fun.

There is of course a distinction between the casual runway that would erupt at a "normal" club, and the formal runway of a ball, where there are judges and prizes and actual vogueing. We're giving you the music of both worlds here, and of course there is much overlap.

These are more than just bitchy songs; they form a soundtrack of power, control, manipulation, escape and fantasy. They glorify gayness and femininity. They range from totally glamorous to utterly cunty, but they're all designed to make one feel fantastic, in the original sense of the word.

We've divided this music into two categories: Old Way (pre-1990) and New Way (post-1990).

We dedicate this music to the legendary houses of New York:
Chanel, Christian, Corey, Dupree, Ebony, LaWong, LeBeija, Magnifique, Ninja, Omni, Pendavis, Princess, St. Laurent and Xtravaganza.

And to the truly legendary mothers, may they rest in peace:
Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Avis Pendavis, and Angie Xtravaganza.

Sometimes on a legendary night
Like the closing of the Garage
When the crowd is calling down the spirits
Listen, and you will hear all the houses that walked there before..
Malcom McLaren, 'Deep in Vogue'

Bring it to the runway. Hola senorita cosa. There can only be one queen.

New Way (post-1990)
. 'Walk for Me' by Robbie Tronco
. 'Look, My Hair' by C.Machia & Dimmy Kieer
3. 'X' by Junior Vasquez
. 'Feel This' by Robbie Rivera
. 'Cunty' by Kevin Aviance
. 'If M-------a Calls' by Junior Vasquez feat Franklin Fuentes 
. 'Didn't I Know (Divas to the Dancefloor... Please)' by e.g. fullalove
. 'Surrender Yourself' by the Daou
'Runway' by Robbie Tronco
. 'Paul's Groove' by Size Queen 

Honorable Mentions for New Way Runway/Ballroom Classics:
'Wonder Woman' by T-Pro vs Unknown DJ
'Master Blaster' by Joint Venture
'In The Mix' by Mix Masters
'X-Cuse Me' by Franklin Fuentes
'Work It Girlfriend' by Jack and Jill
'Icy Lake' by Dat Oven
'Drama' by Club 69
'Latina Acrylica' by T-Total
'Body & Face' by Mike Cruz featuring Laritza Dumont
'Mirror Mirror' by Magic Dog
'The Ha Dance' by Masters At Work
'Plastic Dreams' by Jaydee
'Witch Doktor' by Armand Van Helden
'Toca Me' by La Cubanita
'Bring It Honey' by Angelo Kortez
'You Gotta Believe' by Fierce Ruling Diva
'Tribal Anthem' by 68 Beats
'Its Over' by Junior O and Prince Quick Mix
'Fly Life' by Basement Jaxx
'Just Like A Queen' by Ellis D

'House of X' by Go Diva
'Work Me Goddamn It' by Armand Van Helden 
Ride on the Rhythm' by Masters at Work feat. Marc Anthony
'Supermodel (Work It DJ Tribal Mix)' by RuPaul
'C.U.N.T.' by Robbie Tronco
'Dub Break' by Ellis D 
'The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress' by I.M.T.
'Serve' by DJ George B presents Miss Fernando 
'Hot (Ninja Madness)' by Willie Ninja 
'Flash' by Green Velvet 

Of course many of the most popular ballroom tracks were just the most popular songs of the day. But that said, we have tried to limit ourselves to music that in particular appealled to the runway or had something to do with the ballroom scene specifically. We have weighted our rankings accordingly.

Old Way (pre-1990)
. 'Love Is The Message (Larry Levan Mix)' by MFSB
. 'Ooh, I Love It (Love Break) (Shep Pettibone Mix)' by the Salsoul Orchestra
. 'Deep in Vogue' by Malcom McLaren
. 'Elements of Vogue' by David Ian Xtravaganza
. 'Jingo' by Candido
. 'Work It To The Bone' by LNR
7. 'Set It Off' by Strafe

'Love Hangover' by Diana Ross
'Got To Be Real' by Cheryl Lynn

Honorable Mentions for Old Way Runway/Ballroom Classics
'Can You Party' by Royal House
'Let's Go' by Fast Eddie
'Mechanically Replayed ' by Virgo
'Just an Illusion' by Imagination  
'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" by Sylvester
'Love Is The Message' by MFSB
'Soul Makossa' by Manu Dibango
'Is It All Over My Face? (Larry Levan Mix)' by Loose Joints
'A Little Bit of Jazz' by the Nick Straker Band
'Hip Hop Be Bop' by Man Parrish
'Moody' by ESG
'Love Thang' by First Choice
'Din Daa Daa' by George Kranz

In song and in dance
I express myself as a member of a higher community
I have forgotten how to walk and speak
I am on the way toward flying into the air, dancing
My very gestures express enchantment
I feel myself a God
Supernatural sounds emanate from me
I walk about enchanted
In ecstasy like the Gods I saw walking in my dreams
I am no longer an artist
I have become a work of art
Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 'Welcome to the Pleasuredome'

To hear all of these songs in succession play the Runway/Ballroom jukebox.

A special thanks to Alex Infiniti of the House of Infiniti for helping me fill in the blanks of this ever-growing list. We welcome suggestions.

For more on the ballroom scene specifically, visit Aaron Enigma of the House of Enigma's unsurpassable Underground Culture of Balls.

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This website is (c)2003 by the House of Diabolique, www.houseofdiabolique.com and www.machinebody.com. Photographs and writings on this website should not be used without a linked credit. We say this to prevent not the spread of ideas, but rather their theft and/or misrepresentation.

The House of Diabolique respects the artists who have created the musical works presented here. We encourage you to support these artists.

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