Unlike you and me, Fabulous Freddie Ninja (aka Freddie Leroy) irons his white jeans before an all-styles dance battle. And unlike anyone else, he fearlessly integrates breaking and voguing—two of the perhaps most disparate elements in Chicago underground dancing—spinning on his head, then jumping to his feet only to collapse to the ground in a precipitous Vogue Fem dip, one leg tucked behind his back, one up in the air. He does this looking no less than fabulous, in getups like a purple-and-white galactic bodysuit or a gold jacket worn over a black mesh T-shirt emblazoned Paris. In battle, Freddie's youthful overt sexuality and unique technical style are unmatchable: female opponents try to rival his flamboyancy but often lack his breaking technique, while men, unable to vogue, attempt to shut him down with aggressive moves—and mostly can't. Last fall Freddie took first place in the all-styles category at the annual World of Dance Chicago competition and won his first ball in the Chicago ballroom scene, where he's a new member of the legendary House of Ninja family ("Grandfather of Vogue" Willi Ninja immortalized the name in the film Paris Is Burning). He's got his eye on Europe, but currently Freddie tours U.S. cities competing—he visited more than 20 last year. Summer's looking busy too, what with local battles at Evil Olive and Berlin and a Thursday-night residency at Watra, and you just might catch him performing at Pride Fest this weekend.
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