Madonna may have brought voguing into the mainstream with her 1990 hit song Vogue, but the dance tradition had been around long before the Queen of Pop ever took notice. It dates all the way back to the 1960s when voguing first arose in ballrooms across Harlem. Over the decades it became a popular form of dance and self-expression used by queer people of color in urban communities.
French photographer Frédéric Nauczyciel’s became fascinated by the voguers he met while on a trip to Baltimore in 2011. So he decided to do a photo series featuring them.
“They invent themselves. They decide who they want to be. They can twist very easily from masculine to feminine, from nice to mean,” he told Slate. “I think it’s very brave, very courageous.”
Scroll down to see just a few of Nayczyciel’s photographs, and check out more of his work at his website.