Joshua Taliani was scrolling through dance videos on YouTube when he first chanced upon a performance by legendary American ballroom dancer Javier Ninja. 

“Javier Ninja did an iconic hand performance at a ball in 2006. I absolutely loved the energy, the movement, and the beats he was catching,” Joshua told Star Observer in an email interview. That set off Joshua’s deep interest in Voguing.

In 2019, Joshua and trans performer and community leader Ella Ganza founded the House Of Alexander in Meanjin (Brisbane). 

Strike A Pose! Vogue!

House Of Alexander’s Mother Ella Ganza and Father Joshua Taliani.

Madonna’s charttopping ‘Vogue’ first introduced the world to the dance form in the 1990s. The dance form originated on the streets of Harlem, New York and the culture set its roots in the black and Latinx LGBTQI communities between the 1960s and 1980s.

The world got acquainted with the New York Ballroom scene with its fierce ‘Houses’ vying for trophies in the iconic ballroom competitions in the 1990s documentary Paris Is Burning and more recently in the HBO series Pose

In Australia, voguing and the ballroom culture is a relatively recent phenomenon. 

The House Of Alexander

Mother of the House Of Alexander Ella Ganza. Image: Supplied

Ella Ganza first became interested in voguing when she watched Vogue Evolution on the show America’s Best Dance Crew and discovered her idol, the legendary ballroom dancer Leiomy Maldonado. 

“Seeing a trans woman of color on TV was so inspiring,” says Ella Ganza, who began voguing in 2010 and was the founder of the dance crew Runway Movement. “Voguing has massively helped my confidence.  It’s a style of dance that just feels so natural to me.”

When Ella co-founded the House of Alexander and took on the role as Mother (Joshua is the father of the House), her aim was to ensure a safe space and create a family. 

Father of the House of Alexander Joshua Taliani. Image: Supplied

“The house of Alexander is all about family essence.  We strive to continue the legacy of all the legends and icons who have come before us to foster space for our trans women of colour and our Queer POC community.  We truly are a family, and we support each other both on the ballroom floor and in life,” says Ella. 

Today the House of Alexander (named after Alexander the Great) is one of the most vibrant and prolific Houses in Australia. The ballroom scene in Australia too is evolving, according to Ella. 

Ballroom Scene In Australia Is Thriving

House of Alexander. Image: Supplied

Australia’s ballroom scene, according to Joshua is “fresh, underrated, and growing”. The mother of the House agrees.

“The ballroom in Australia is exciting as it’s growing more and more each year.  We are seeing the ballroom scene  expanding with a lot more Houses forming,” adds Ella, who says she would like to see “more accurate representation of Voguing in the dance community.” 

The House of Alexander is performing at the ongoing Mad Dance Festival, that showcases and celebrates  Queensland’s street dance scene. 

The House of Alexander is taking over Metro Arts with ‘Alexander Vogue Night’ at the New Benner Theatre in Brisbane on June 18, 2022. The categories for the night include Pop, Dip, & Spin Ota, Face Ota, Runway Ota, Non-Binary Sex Siren And Vogue Femme Ota.

For more information and to book tickets for ‘Alexander Vogue Night’, check the festival website. 

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