Sun. Jul 14th, 2024


Sykes Student Union roared to life on April 12. The excitement was caused by the LGBTQA, which co-hosted the “Dance in The Dark” drag show as a part of Sykes After Dark.  Students packed themselves into the Sykes Ballroom in order to get a glimpse of the action. 

Murray Hill emceed the event. Watch out, Ryan Seacrest-Hill is a contender for “the hardest working man in showbiz.” The fast-talker kept the audience members, contestants, and even the judges on their toes throughout the night. Hill’s wise cracks and borderline inappropriate jabs flowed out of his mouth like clockwork for the duration of the show.

Hill’s antics were outdone only by the performances of the fabulous contestants. Bustin’ Timberfake took the stage first. The smooth operator performed a dance number to Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.” The audience, no doubt delighted by the appearance of the 2006 favorite, sang along and cheered heavily for Timberfake’s performance. 

Midge Wormwood followed Timberfake and chose to dance to the song “Walk Like a Man.” This version of The Four Season’s 1963 hit was actually sung by another delightful drag queen, Divine. Wormwood certainly did Divine proud; the contestant began the routine in men’s clothing and then transitioned into a psychedelic frock, all the while hypnotizing the audience with dance moves worthy of a true queen.

Victor and Alicia graced the stage next. The pair performed a salacious routine to Tom Lehrer’s “The Masochism Tango.” Their whips and ball-gag concerned Hill, who jokingly worried that the pair would get arrested later in the evening. Nonetheless, the audience could not get enough of Victor and Alicia’s dangerous dance routine. 

Bieber Fever rounded out the first half of the show with its performance of “Somebody to Love.” The two performers possessed all of Bieber’s talent, but none of his whiny attitude. Needless to say, the audience was appreciative. The routine received raving reviews.

During intermission, the crowd was treated to performances by two local drag queens: Kirby Shadowes and Shelita Buffet. Both queens were costumed in to-die-for, over-the-top, sequined dresses and makeup that would turn MAC employees green with envy. Shadowes and Buffet got their start in last year’s drag show at WCU, and now both perform professionally in town. After Shadowes’ performance he urged the audience members to “follow your dreams and do whatever makes you happy.” Clearly, this advice has taken Shadowes and Buffet a long way.

Following some karaoke performances from audience members, the drag show resumed. The next performer, Coca Kahlo, took her outfit inspiration from the beautiful Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. A flower crown adorned this queen as she belted out Rihanna’s “Diamonds” to an awe-struck crowd. 

The final duo of the night, The SingLin Sisters, inspired the crowd. “We’re here today to tell you that you’re all beautiful,” they assured, as they segwayed into their rendition of P!nk’s “F***** Perfect.” The heartwarming routine left many audience members with teary eyes and a brightened outlook on life.

Repeat performances were given by both Wormwood and Bieber Fever, who delighted the crowd yet again. After all of the dust settled, the judges deliberated to determine a winner. Out of all the deserving contestants, Wormwood emerged victorious. Professor Lisa Ruchti called the performer, “inspiring,” and one would be hard-pressed to find disagreement with that statement. Wormwood’s confidence and complete self-acceptance infected everyone in attendance. 

Overall, the “Dance in the Dark” drag show was a phenomenal success for the LGBTQA. The organization’s next big event, “LOoSenING Our Minds: A Feminist and Queer Film Festival,” will be held from April 26-27. This festival is a can’t-miss according to Hill, who stated: “Queer, feminists, and free pizza…it doesn’t get more revolutionary than that.”

Molly Herbison is a second-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at

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