The House of Escada chapter of Dallas celebrated its one-year anniversary at Margaritas & Music at Lolita’s Mexican Restaurant on Saturday. A live DJ played as people lined up to perform their house ball routines in front of friends, community allies and other house members. The members’ celebration comes a week before the house hosts its very first ball competition on Saturday, April 13.
The House of Escada brings with it both seasoned participants as well as relative newcomers to the House ball scene. Daniel Williams and Michael Gibson, better known to their fellow house members as “Father Danny Escada” and “Ken doll Escada,” respectively, established the House of Escada a year ago. Father Danny is from the Metroplex, and has been a part of House ball culture for roughly five years, while Ken doll hails from Detroit and has been active in it for seven years. One relative newcomer in the house is Daunté Taylor, otherwise known as Daunté Escada, who was recruited via Facebook only a year ago, but won the title “Pretty Boy of the Year” at Dallas Southern Pride in October 2012.
In the House ball culture, members face off in various categories in elaborate dance and runway competitions calls “Balls.” Additionally, they affiliate in cohesive social units that resemble family-like support structures known as “Houses.” Several items in popular culture have their roots in House ball culture. Madonna popularized the concept of “voguing,” while RuPaul’s Drag Race uses items such as “reading” and “shady.” All three of these cross-cultural components as well as House ball culture in general were documented in Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris is Burning.
Daunté says he is looking forward to Escada hosting its first House ball even though the hosting house does not compete. Father Danny is excited because “the who’s-who of the national ballroom scene are coming to compete or judge.” He added that “this ball will be the one that really resonates and puts the Dallas ballroom scene on the map.”
The House of Escada Ball, called the “Mission Possible Ball,” will take place on Saturday, April 13. It will be held at Fiesta Even Center. Doors open at 8 p.m.
More photos below.