Drag performers take the stage at annual ball

Michelle Livigne hosted the evening and promoted the Drag Ball in the Compass on Thursday and Friday. She lip-synched to “Crazy Kids” by Ke$ha. Photo by Forrest Nguyen
Michelle Livigne hosted the evening and promoted the Drag Ball in the Compass on Thursday and Friday. She lip-synched to “Crazy Kids” by Ke$ha. Photo by Forrest Nguyen

Alex Carrigan
Staff Writer

The Drag Ball at VCU, normally held in the fall, was moved to the spring semester this year. Morgan Britt, an elementary education student and officer for Queer Action, said that the ball from two years ago was the “biggest collegiate drag event in the state of Virginia,” but this year’s ball was just as entertaining.

In the Commonwealth Ballroom on Sunday, students gathered around and watched as several talented drag performers took center attention. The Drag Ball at VCU is an annual event put on by Queer Action, VCU’s LGBT group. The organization, which aims to promote equality and awareness, hosts several events and participates in social activism.

The event was organized to help raise money for the Fan Free Clinic. The clinic, which caters to low-income, uninsured or underinsured Richmond residents, provides HIV and AIDS testing and education about the diseases.

“We serve the community least served,” said Keri Abrams, Transgender Services Program manager for the clinic.

Abrams said the clinic has been involved with celebrations like the Drag Ball for a while. They come to events to share information about condom use and give away pamphlets.

Four performers took control of the Commonwealth Ballroom. Hosted by Michelle Livigne, she and three other performers lip-synched and danced for the entertainment of the crowd and tips from the audience, who stood in the center of the ballroom.

Livigne was the first to perform, lip-synching to “Crazy Kids” by Ke$ha. Last week, she appeared on campus to promote the event. Some students, like sophomore exercise science student Kassandra White-Prillman, came because of Livigne’s promotion.

“Michelle is amazing,” White-Prillman said. “She’s willing to take risks. She was really engaging.”

Laronica Vegas was the third performer at the Drag Ball at VCU. Her lip-synch was set to Cher Lloyd's “Swagger Jagger” and Beyonce's “Sweet Dreams.” Photo by Forrest Nguyen.
Laronica Vegas was the third performer at the Drag Ball at VCU. Her lip-synch was set to Cher Lloyd’s “Swagger Jagger” and Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams.” Photo by Forrest Nguyen.

After Livigne, Felicia “FiFi” Fellacio lip-synched to “Sweet Dreams” by The Eurythmics while dressed as a female version of “Nightmare on Elm Street” villain Freddy Krueger. Laronica Vegas, a Fredericksburg-based performer, followed with a performance of songs like Cher Lloyd’s “Swagger Jagger” and Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams.”

The final performer was drag king Jack Twist. After first performing dressed as Johnny Depp’s version of The Mad Hatter from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” he appeared dressed as Darren Criss’ character on “Glee,” wearing Criss’ blue blazer and lip synching to Criss’ cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”

The event also included a few raffle prizes such as T-shirts and cookies, as well as gift cards to local Richmond establishments like Nacho Mama’s and BoDillaz’s. Guests were treated to pizza and snacks and were free to draw on two posters that Queer Action placed out.

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