After the avant-pop star dropped a vogue homage track, here’s everything you can learn from her about the legendary dance
This week, FKA twigs lovers got their musical fix when the experimental auteur and Dazed favourite dropped a massive, bass-clattering, distortion-heavy new release “Figure 8” on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio Show. As we already know, the incredible new track is inspired by voguing, the legendary dance that was born from the underground ballrooms of New York, immortalised in Jenny Livingston’s iconic 1991 documentary Paris is Burning, and has since influenced all of your favourite pop heavyweights, from Beyoncé to Azealia Banks.
Anyway, if twigs’ Beats 1 interview is anything to go by, she hasn’t just spent the last year recording her new EP, she’s also been brushing up on her vogue moves. Now we’ve condensed everything from the interview into a handy how-to guide, so that you can vogue just as hard as she does. Listen and learn!
FIND YOURSELF A MENTOR
Whether it’s your 65-year-old drag mother or a stranger in a club, you need to learn the rules of voguing from someone with experience. In the interview for Beats 1, FKA twigs namedropped an elusive dance legend called ‘Derek Prodigy’, who she credits with teaching her the fundamentals. “I went to New York and I started to vogue,” twigs tells Lowe. “I met this amazing vogue dancer called Derek Prodigy and I started doing lessons and going to vogue clubs with him.” Who is Derek Prodigy and can he be our mentor too?!
EVERY MOVEMENT SHOULD BE ETERNAL
If your ballroom knowledge is a little rusty, the title of the track “Figure 8” refers to the shape made with your hands and arms when voguing. According to twigs, this is because every movement you make should be eternal. “(Derek Prodigy) taught me that every hand movement that you do in voguing is a figure of eight and that is eternity,” she said. “Every single move has to flow into the other like the eternal move that never stops moving. I was really inspired by that concept.”
WATCH VOGUE LEGENDS ON THE INTERNET
Whether you want to learn how to dance like them or not, watching legendary vogue dancers on YouTube can be completely addictive. In the interview for Beats 1, twigs admitted to watching clips of these dancers in order to perfect her style and keep focus, saying: “In the beginning, I felt like I was unravelling a little bit… landing in New York and finding something that I felt like I could hold on to to keep me sane… I could look at vogue legends on the internet. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can always have that as a centre.” We reckon watching Paris is Burning icon Willi Ninja (above) make those inimitable sharp shapes with his body should be mandatory viewing.
PRACTICE YOUR FIGURE 8 IN THE MIRROR
Just like singing in the shower, your “Figure 8” is best practiced at home alone before bringing it to the dancefloor, or wherever you decide to unexpectedly start voguing. This is according to FKA twigs, who says she would “practice her figure 8s in the mirror in a hotel room and listen to vogue music.” Although instead of listening to vogue music, why don’t you just crank FKA twigs’ “Figure 8” up full blast?
Read our exclusive interview and cover shoot with FKA twigs here