QueerFest’s Annual Drag Ball Fills Edge Cafe and Entertains Audience

QueerFest finished off the week with the “culminating event” of the festivities: the annual Drag Ball. The Edge Cafe was decorated with streamers and balloons, accompanied by pizza, buffalo wings and salad. The actual event began over half an hour later than its listed start-time. Nonetheless, host Mister Sister immediately captured the audience’s attention with enthusiasm and engagement.

The first performer was Demi Moonlight, who donned a black wig, crop top and maroon–colored jeans. She occupied the floor instantly, and showed off an impressive booty-drop and split; it seemed like a hard act to follow.

Fortunately, the second performer, Mariposa, rose to the challenge. Dressed in a leather jacket, high-heeled boots, leggings and topped with auburn hair, she impressed the audience with her seductive moves, especially with the classic lowering of the jacket down her shoulders.

The next portion involved three volunteers from the audience, called up to the stage by Mister Sister. As soon as the song played, the participants rummaged into a pile of clothes and accessories, in order to see who could muster the best drag costume in a short amount of time. All three were well-received, but the winner was undoubtedly the most creatively transformed, as the cheers of the audience affirmed.

The next act was my personal favorite: an interpretive dance to the Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.” Chase Hurace and Ruby performed as those in a club would, with all its elements: grinding, lap dancing and even “making it rain” with counterfeit dollar bills.

Colgate’s hip-hop dance group, DDT, made a special appearance with synchronized moves to Ariana Grande’s “Into You.” During the middle of the song, the group was joined by Shibari Bittersweet, who slayed in a tight top, shorts and high heels.

Mariposa reappeared for another act with the anticipated K-Von, both of whom were very elegantly attired in black dresses. The dance was equally refined, and the two complemented each other well.

The performers were once again given respite with an audience-involved activity. In a dance-off with three audience members, the song changed three times, allowing for the improvisation of the participants. The different paces were slow, upbeat and in-between, and therefore a mix of tango, clubbing and “chill” dancing.

The last solo act was by Lily (from Sunday School), who distinguished herself with a pearl necklace. Unlike the other performers, she lip-synced passionately to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” and was joined by Host Mister Sister. At the end, she gave a respectful bow.

The final stage was absorbed by Shibari Bittersweet and her mom, or simply “Mom.” The act worked as a sort of competition between the two, starting off with Mom, who sexily unbuttoned her plaid flannel to reveal a crop top. With a song change, Shibari countered with her own sensuous, fierce dance. The song then switched back, to Shibari’s annoyance, leading to a back and forth interaction between them.

Overall, Drag Ball was undoubtedly entertaining – more importantly however, it also displayed the freedom of expression and identity that QueerFest celebrates.