Speaking with Dashaun Wesley was one of the most fun and lighthearted interviews I hae been privileged to do. You can see him teaching Channing Tatum how to Vogue in the new movie “Magic Mike XXL” as well as on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” as a contestant.
Wesley is formerly of Vogue Evolution on MTV’s “Americas Best Dance Crew” and has become internationally known in the ballroom vogue scene. He has recently performed with Fergie and FKA twigs and is involved in HIV prevention.
So how long have you been dancing?
I started dancing at a very young age. I don’t even remember. At two…we’re going to stick with two.
Tell me what it was like teaching Channing Tatum how to vogue.
You know what, he was already interested. I think he just wanted to learn more of the basics so it could look good on camera. He was just so dedicated, so that’s what I like about it, plus he had a dance background anyway, so it was so easy.
Is it difficult to teach someone to dance?
Not really. It really depends on if one knows how to move with the music. But if someone has two left feet, it can be kind of difficult. It really just depends if someone knows how to move to the music or if they don’t. That’s how the movement goes on.
I feel like you have to be born with it.
You know what, if you’re born to know how to move with the music it can be an easier thing, but if you’re dedicated you can have it.
Why did you decide to try out for “So You Think You Can Dance”? I mean, I feel like you’re already professional and kind of above that.
I get people asking me that question. It never had my style on there. Nobody has ever vogued on a television show. It wasn’t for me to try to get on the top 20, but it was moreso to showcase that people do the style and get recognized for it. But no one that I’ve ever known has ever auditioned for it. I wasn’t sure, but I had the free time, and I said let me just go for it. I wound up going to Vegas. I was like, “OK, sure.”
What happens after Vegas?
When I was in Vegas it was pretty cool. I have auditioned before, years ago, but they went round after round, and we’re going to see the outcome this Monday.
You also travel internationally and teach in different countries, correct?
Yes, I do. I travel all over the world. I went to Sweden to do major competitions. I teach vogueing classes. It’s really good cause I see different parts of the world.
That’s got to be majorly exciting.
It really is. One thing that I’m grateful about is that I’ve seen everything, different parts of the world, before I hit 30. I’m very proud of that. You understand different cultures, you see different people. The thing I like about it is people are so interested in the style. It was so weird going to Russia. It was such a culture shock when they appreciate what you do.
Russia might have been a little tough.
Oh yeah, it was really weird, because in Russia there are not many people who are darker skinned, African American or just people with darker tones, so they would look at me, and when they saw me they were like, “Who is that darker skinned person? What’s going on?” It’s always a culture shock.
You also put out a DVD about vogue-style dancing.
I had a DVD out in vogue. It’s like I was teaching everybody how to dance, how to vogue, and giving them different elements, but I want to rework it. I looked at it and decided I needed to change it, so I’m editing it over again. I want a good product so people could understand.
I understand you have a part in HIV prevention.
My thing when it comes to prevention, I really want to get back to the same scene that I grew up in. When I was younger I used to service youth and young adults in the LGBTQ community, and it helped me out a lot, because I didn’t understand who I was growing up. Hanging around those people helped me to recognize myself. It taught me how to make better choices. So that’s my way of giving back.
Dashaun, are you gay?
Yes, I am.
So then you’re actual fun also.
Oh, yes! When you meet me you’ll see that I’m the most fun person you will ever meet!
I can tell! So you are a new addition to a crayon box. What color are you?
I like black, so “Bold Black.”
Someone just wrote your biography. What is it titled?
It’s called “Dramatic.”
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I do, but will I ever do it? Maybe not. I feel like I am in love right now.
If you were a porn star what would your name be?
I think I’ll call myself “Drama,” cause there’s gonna be a lot going on.
If I could look into your heart right now, what would I find?
You would find a sensitive, giving and supportive man.
Is there anything else that you would like to promote for yourself?
This will not be out until September, but I’m actually going to be in September’s issue of “Vogue” magazine.
I’m so excited about it!