In New York City, New York, Caroline and Aino share a mirror inside a dressing room. Javier sews his costume for the ball. A young woman kisses him. Chi Chi applies makeup to his chin. While sitting on his bed, the third man says “that a lot of times is walking away, knowing you turned it out…and that you did good.” He adds “it’s better than any trophy, any prize, the love of your public.”
Javier and the young woman share champagne as they work on their outfits. Father Jose explains “the ballroom gives a place of acceptance..but most of all it gives you a place where you can express yourself without limitations or boundaries.” The performers walk to the venue, rolling their luggage.
At the ball, the host says “I hope you are all feeling good because tonight it’s a battle between the House of Sparkle and the House of Spirit. Tonight there will be only one winner. Welcome to the ball!”
Icona Pop perform on the runway as Gisele walks in her sequined dress and boa. The judges give her mostly nine’s. The second contestant, wearing a silver winged suit, dances. The judges him a score of eight. Several performers from House of Spirit dance. The judge pulls one Princess Lockeroo’s ponytail. The judge pours champagne into a second judge’s glass. Marie, wearing a tennis outfit, performs her routine.
Father Jose says “it means everything to me, the house scene, the ballroom scene, it’s a very special scene to me, it’s like my real family, you know.”
Claudia sits on the lap of an audience member. Aino walks on the runway.
Mother Leiomy whips her hair and rotates her body along with it. The judges clap. Claudia opens a bottle of champagne. A trophy is given to Mother Leiomy.
Father Jose says “these people so much effort, so much energy, so much love into everything that they do. It’s a role of creativity and I’ll take all of it all. I’ll take it all.”
A young man pays his cover charge as he walks into the venue. His palms sweat as he finds a chair and sits down. A second young man walks over to him with a bottle of champagne and asks him who is rooting to win the competition. The young man answers “House of Sparkle.” The second young man he’s here to support his partner of almost fifteen years. The first young man fumbles his words as he says it’s his first time here. The second young man invites him to join his friends at another table. The young man nods and takes his glass.
At the second young man’s table, the young man sips his drink while the men talk to one another. One of the men asks him if he has met Father Jose. The young man shakes his head no. The man takes his hand and tells the group they are going to Father Jose’s dressing room.
The man says his first ball was about ten years ago. He was in love with one of the performers who had seen at a bar. He must’ve bought the performer about five drinks until she told him he was cute but still a little too young. The performer introduced him to the leaders of their community and helped him get involved. The young man says he might like to dance one day. The man says he is far braver than him. He prefers to sit and watch. The young man explains he has made some costumes for himself in his spare time. The man jaw drops and says Father Jose will find him something to do in heartbeat.
The man knocks on the door of Father Jose’s dressing room. The man nudges him and tells him it’s going to be fine. The young man takes a deep breath.
Director: N/A Year: 2013