On Saturday, while the rest of the city hid from the heat, the House of Siren brought the fire and put on their werking boots at the Myxtery Kiki Ball at Myx Dance studio. 
Though the kiki scene is generally aimed at up-and-coming performers, this ball had a stunning turn out of local and international competitors with a judging panel from China and Taiwan. 
Doors opened at 4pm and started with a high-octane introduction of the competitors and judges, giving a little taste of the entertainment and a sneak peak of what was to come in the next five consecutive battling hours.
For the first half of the ball, the categories were face, European runway, American runway, femme queen realness, and baby vogue (for those who are new to voguing). 
“The crowd is very hyped today. Maybe I’ve only experienced the Thai ballroom scene, but I think the vibe is different every time,” Sada 007 tells BK, 007 meaning you don’t belong to any particular house.
The face category is when you use face framing hands and gestures to show off, you guessed it, your flawless face. There is nowhere to hide, even under the colored, dim lights; judges and competitors whip out flashlights to clock every pore.
On winning the face category, Sada says, “This is my first time winning the face. I was shocked and happy. I hope they’ll be more people who will acknowledge this community so we get more participants.”
The show went on with waacking, a new category that’s been added to the ball. Voguing stemmed from the 60s ballroom scene created by queer people of color in New York, and waacking flourished from the underground gay clubs of LA in the 70s, also as a means to express identity in a way that LGBTQ+ individuals couldn't in public.
“There are a lot of people who can waack in the House of Siren. Generally, the waack and vogue community are quite close knit. We support each other’s work. In general, waacking will have one big event in December, so I think adding them into the ball makes it a bit more active,” organizer Taeng Mizrahi and Mother of the Kiki House of Siren tells BK.
“Everyone was expressing themselves and showcasing their fullest potential,” says Ploy, a waacker competitor. “I think including waacking added more diversity to the ballroom.”
This sentiment was shared by Azxula Vineyard who performed in the latter half of the ball, including female figure performance as a drag queen, butch queen vogue femme, and finally taking home the grand prize for the body category. 
All performances were back-to-back, a showcase of how gender and sexuality can be a serious topic but it is a playful space where one can jump from category to category in minutes. 
“I have many talents,” Azxula adds. “And I love that the ballroom is a safe space and an opportunity to show it.”
The second part of the ball featured categories that are deconstructions of the voguing elements like arm control, hand performance, and “old way.” When the competition is tight, the judges call for a rematch, just to be certain.
Arriving at the highly anticipated “sex siren” category, Judge Asia Mother Channing Louboutin points out that sex siren is an old category, so the people competing will have stereotypical “porn star body types” and are mostly nude. 
“That’s why I suggested changing the category to sex appeal. This is originally more of a kiki scene category. Because the scene is more for younger people, the organizer won’t let them be naked,” says Judge Asia Mother Channing Louboutin. “People walking sex appeal can wear more clothes and use their body language and body type to interpret what is sexy.”
This was Channing’s first time experiencing and judging the Thai ballroom scene. 
“In Asia the most established scenes are in Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines,” Channing says. “The community is still small but I can see people knowing their category and they did great.”
The night wasn’t just for the pros. Spectators can join the fun. 
“I know about ballroom culture because I’m interested in queer history. I’ve only been to one ball, last year, but it still felt more like a general event. This might be my first official ball, and it was very exciting,” says Raptor, an attendee who is working on Homo Haus, a queer performing arts festival. 
Heading into pride month, Homo Haus will also be collaborating with The House of Siren for the next “Homo Ball” on May 31, 2024. Gird your loins!