It's been a minute since Teyana Taylor dropped her own version of the club classic track "Work this Pussy" (like, six months), but now the New York City-born performer is finally back with the video. Following delay after delay (there was a literal now-settled scam of dancers not getting paid, and then some label hold ups), the musician has debuted a "WTP" music video, which she's dubbed a mini-movie, imagining a Cinderella-parody set in the ballroom scene.
Taylor wrote in a post about the video addressing the LGBTQ+ and ballroom community, which she came into when she was 15: "YOU made me feel beautiful. YOU embraced my strong features, YOU embraced my big hair, YOU embraced everything about me like no other and I knew from that day on that YOU would be a home for me and would forever be a part of who I would become." In the post she details how on multiple occasions (namely in her first music video and her episode on My Super Sweet 16) her attempts to feature the community were edited out. But now, with her in the driver's seat (the video credits her as the director), she's calling the shots.
Mykki Blanco, who is featured on the K.T.S.E. track taking the role of commentator, is in the video as the "Fairy C*nt Motha," and Lena Waithe makes an appearance as some sort of manager or talent scout. There's a bevy of other notable names in the footage -- Big Freedia, unlike what Pitchfork wrote in a story, does not appear in the video. Between shots at the "House of Petunia" as well as staged balls in New York and Los Angeles, major players in the ballroom scene make appearances like the icon Dashaun Lanvin, as well as the icon Sinia Alaia. On screen, Jack Mizrahi, another staple of the scene and founding member of the house of Mizrahi plays commentator, a role he knows well.
The video ends with Teyana herself, seemingly living the dream (with her husband Iman Shumpert) recounted by Octavia St. Laurent in the seminal ballroom film Paris Is Burning. The sampling of her voice, paired with the visual cues from the text cards are all borrowed from the film.
Here, we list 13 of the ballroom community members we spotted:
Milan "007" Christopher - He's been on Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood and appears on billboards as a model, but the way he really got his start? Becoming an icon in the ballroom scene. For this video, he served as co-director and even helped in casting.
Shaun Ross from House of Xtravaganza- Many know him as a model who has made cameo appearances on the Tyra Show and in Beyonce videos ("Party" and "Pretty Hurts"), but Shaun definitely cuts up on the floor every now and then as an Xtravaganza
Trace Lysette, overall mother of House of Mizrahi - She's an actress on Transparent and Pose now, but Mother Mizrahi was perfect 10s when it came to walking categories giving face, body, and realness.
Dashaun Wesley, overall father of House of Lanvin - He is one of the most visible people in the ballroom scene today, as both a commentator as well as a dramatic performer, earning his icon status last year.
Jack Mizrahi, founding member of the House of Mizrahi - One of the powerbrokers of ballroom (who boasts an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the scene), he helped to not only found the House of Mizrahi, but keep the scene going with events like Vogue Knights and his long running Rumble Ball series. In addition, he still makes time to appear on shows like Pose and collaborate with people like Jennifer Lopez in addition -- he really needs no introduction, but here we are.
Cameo Balenciaga - Someone asked for a runway diva? Few do it like Cameo whose effects are always ovah.
Sinia Alaia, overall mother of House of Alaia - She is the mother of sexy performance, honestly, an iconic blueprint if there ever was one. And now she's set up to start a new legacy with her very own house in honor of designer Azzedine Alaia
Danielle "007" Polanco - As a voguer who is also a professional dancer, working with the likes of Janet Jackson and Beyonce, Polanco (who learned quite a bit under the "godfather" of voguing Willi Ninja) brings a technical finesse to her moves.
Asia Balenciaga - When you talk about someone who knows how to wake up the room and get the girls on their feet, Asia is certainly one of those. Whenever she hits the floor, you can expect a performance that's the epitome of feminine, with a few antics thrown in.
Lucky West - It's not the most popular performance category but someone has to hold down the Old Way, the original style of voguing. Lucky does it well.
Lee Soulja, overall father of House of Soulja - Lee does more than just walk the bizarre fashion category in ballroom, recreating his wild imagination into stand-out looks, he's also an organizer. His Heritage Ball has become a staple of the New York City ballroom scene.
Montay Mugler- A little modern or contemporary dance mixed with pretty spot on "soft and cunt" vogue fem technique? Sign us up.
Jamari Balmain, west coast father of the House of Balmain - Having opened the west coast chapter of the House of Balmain late last year, Jamari walks both runway and is a voguer. His skills are so in demand he appeared in the Sam Smith "Promises" video and on Lip Sync Battle with Taye Diggs recreating Madonna's "Vogue."
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