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Vogue is a form of modern dance characterized by photo model-like poses integrated with angular, linear and rigid arm, leg, and body movements. Despite efforts by the media and more specifically by Madonna, who is often credited with introducing it to mainstream popular culture, vogue as a subculture was in existence long before the release of her song, also titled "Vogue." This particular style of dance arose from the Harlem ballrooms back in the early 1930s, which was then called "performance" and has evolved into the more intricate and illusory form that is now commonly referred to as "vogue".

There are currently two distinct styles (or "schools") of vogue: Old Way (pre-1990) and New Way (post 1990). Old Way is characterized by formation of lines, symmetry, and precision in the execution of such formations and graceful, fluid-like action. New Way is characterized by a more rigid, geometric pattern movement coupled with "clicks" (limb contortions at the joints) and "arms control" (sleight of hand and wrist illusions). New Way can also be described as a modified form of mime, where imaginary geometric shapes such as a box are introduced during motion and moved progressively around the dancer's body to display the dancer's dexterity and memory. Vogue also encompasses other forms of dance and movement, namely modern jazz, ballet, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, martial arts, breakdance, yoga, etc. Some dance historians even point out that breakdance and vogue evolved out of each other, with artists from both sides interacting with each other in New York City's Central Park, West Side Piers, Harlem, and Washington Square Park during the 70s and early 80s.

Voguing has evolved since its beginning and continues to be developed further as an established dance form that is practiced in gay dance clubs in New York and other big cities throughout the United States--mainly Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami, and Chicago.

Though voguing usually takes place in gay clubs frequented by African Americans and Latin American males, it is also practiced by a small number of non-gay individuals and outside of the club scene. Formal competitions occur in the form of balls held by Houses, a term used to describe collectives of dancers and performers.

Some influential Houses to note include the House of Xtravaganza, the House of Labeija, House of Revlon, House of Ninja, House of Infiniti, House of Aviance and the House of Milan.

Furthermore, distinct styles of this art form have been directly associated with voguers such as Willi Ninja, Jose Xtravaganza, Aviance Milan, and Stiffy Revlon.



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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

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