Arts·The Move

Duckwalk a few miles in Toronto dancer Snoopy's heels and discover the true art of voguing

The latest episode of The Move breaks down a dance that's a lot harder than it looks (and was not, in fact, invented by Madonna).

Let's break down a dance that's a lot harder than it looks (and was not, in fact, invented by Madonna)

Matthew "Snoopy" Cuff is dancing as part of the new CBC Arts series The Move. Over the coming weeks, we will introduce you to six dancers, each of whom will invite you into their routines, providing a deeper understanding of the movements that hold personal significance for them. Watch all released episodes of The Move right here.

For most people, when you hear the word "vogue" the only picture that comes to mind is Madonna. But with origins in the LGTBQ Harlem ballroom scene in the 1960s, vogue dancing had been around decades before Madonna ever canonized it. Outside of a few shining moments, though, the mainstream has largely remained pretty blind to it.

Choreographer and dancer Matthew "Snoopy" Cuff wants to change that.

Watch the video:

"When I'm vogueing I can release this inner Phoenix." 4:51

Matthew is a self-described introvert, who was given the nickname Snoopy by a friend. The moniker played up the fact that Snoopy was quiet, but took over a room with wild abandon when he danced — a trait Matthew realized was inside of him once he entered his first competitive Vogue Ball.

A lot of people — especially in Toronto — haven't seen voguing before.  So when they see it for the first time their reactions are priceless.- Matthew "Snoopy" Cuff, dancer

For Matthew, voguing is about providing a voice to a community that hasn't always been heard — and throwing a little shade in for good measure, of course.

They say you can't truly understand someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. Check out this video to duckwalk a few miles in Snoopy's heels. In it, Matthew takes us through the five components of voguing, breaking down a dance that is definitely a lot harder than it looks.

Watch all the episodes of The Move so far right here.

About the Author

Lucius Dechausay is a video producer at CBC Arts, as well as a freelance illustrator and filmmaker. His short films and animations have been screened at a number of festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs. Most recently he directed KETTLE, which is currently streaming at CBC Short Docs.

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