10 ballroom performers.
10 queer and trans filmmakers.
1 fierce competition.

Watch the full series, including the Grand Finale, now on CBC Gem

CBX: Canadian Ballroom Extravaganza is a new kind of ballroom competition. In this series, 10 stars of the ballroom scene pair up with 10 queer and trans filmmakers to battle each other in five categories: Vogue, Bizarre, Sex Siren, Face and Runway. Instead of “walking the ball,” the teams compete by creating stunning short videos that honour the category conventions while serving something fresh and fab.

What is Ballroom?

Ballroom is a queer pageant tradition started by Black and Latinx trans women in New York City that combines gender-bending performance, fashion and dance. At balls, performers “walk” different categories for a panel of judges vying for the grand prize trophy, cash and glory. But the true heart of ballroom is community. Performers belong to “houses”—chosen families that have long acted as vital support systems for queer and trans people of colour.

Meet the Judges

First, you voted and selected the teams that best embodied each of the ballroom categories: Face, Runway, Bizarre, Vogue and Sex Siren. Your efforts and support sent those teams in front of a panel of esteemed judges, who then debated, evaluated and deliberated which team deserved to take home the grand prize trophy and $5,000 in cash! Time to meet the judges.

  • Miyoko

    Miyoko is the first femme queen in the scene in Canada. Today, she is the Overall Mother of the Kiki House of Siriano, where she gives back to the community through mentorship, training and volunteering.

  • Kimora Amour

    Kimora Amour has been a drag queen and costume designer for 15 years and made it to the top six of Canada’s Drag Race Season 2. She got her start a decade ago in the Kiki ballroom scene and won female figure realness three years in a row. She is Canada’s first-ever female figure bizarre and the current reigning Ms. Opulence.

  • Sammy Raval

    Director and digital artist Sammy Rawal has earned international attention for his original, hyper-stylized approach to image-making, which features bold colours, choreography and innovative visual effects.

    Sammy’s passion for 2SLGBTQ+ rights flourishes in commercial projects such as SoulCycle’s Pride 2021 mixed media collaboration and his acclaimed work for Equinox, “Life’s A Ball,” which Adweek called the most “show-stopping” of 2019 Pride campaigns.

The Categories

Two powerhouse teams battled it out in each of the five categories below, vying for your votes to make it all the way to the grand finale. Meet the teams and check out every breathtaking short film to see what Face, Runway, Bizarre, Vogue and Sex Siren are truly all about.

Ballroom Etiquette

Ballroom legend Twysted Miyake-Mugler, along with cuartababy, lay down the dos and don'ts of attending a ball.

Face

Face: you either have it or you don’t! Find out who serves it better, Team Diamond Eyes (performer Juju and filmmaker Mina Sewell Mancuso) or Team Brava (performer cuartababy and filmmaker Daniel Lastres). Meet the teams and get a glimpse into the vision behind their entries. Prepare to be dazzled.

Team Brava

Shot in the unfettered beauty of Costa Rica, Team Brava’s entry in the Face category imagines an alternate reality, where people, as free as nature, were never subjected to the horrors of colonialism.

Video Credits

Team Diamond Eyes

The mirror’s reflection is mesmerizing — bare, simple, but stunning nonetheless. Inspired by the work of Jean Cocteau and the collaboration between fashions designer Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali, this team’s entry in Face presents a transformation that is the perfect combination of glamour and surrealism.

Video Credits

Voting is Closed

Thanks for voting! Find out who took home the grand prize in the finale on CBC Gem

How to Duckwalk

Twysted Miyake-Mugler walks us through this dreaded but essential element of Vogue.

Runway

Team 27.7 (performer Sileecka and filmmaker Joshua Rille) and Team Gagnon (performer Songbird and filmmaker Kyisha Williams) are fierce competitors in the Runway category. But how will they navigate a behind-the-scenes love story?

Team 27.7

“Aging is a gift and a curse, because the older we get, the more people we lose.” This entry in Runway is a celebration of life and loss. It is an homage to ballroom’s Red Era as well as a tribute to performer Sileecka’s childhood in Jamaica.

Video Credits

Team Gagnon

Time within the cocoon is restrictive and complex, but from those bonds, one’s brightest and best self emerges. Using the city as its runway, Team Gagnon celebrates the Black queer body and the journey of finding success from struggle.

Video Credits

Voting is Closed

Thanks for voting! Find out who took home the grand prize in the finale on CBC Gem

5 Tips on Body Ody Ody Confidence

Ballroom’s SlimThick Monroe gives us her precious tips for exuding body confidence whether walking a runway or just living your life.

Bizarre

This is an East Coast vs West Coast battle! Meet Team Best Served Bold (performer Mookh and filmmaker Adrian Siegel) from Montreal and Bog Beast (performer Ivy and filmmaker Dizzy Ricamara) from Vancouver and learn about their astounding effects.

Team Bog Beast

A startling character represents the destruction of peace. This Bizarre entry reflects on the many natural and man-made crises happening in the world right now, particularly the overwhelming number in British Columbia.

Video Credits

Team Best Served Bold

Titled Margins to Major, this Bizarre entry is a reclamation of queer bodies and queer sexualities as powerful not because we are normal, but because we are deviant. To find each other and revel in shared desire is our greatest strength.

Video Credits

Voting is Closed

Thanks for voting! Find out who took home the grand prize in the finale on CBC Gem

A Ball POV

After two years of lockdown, Ballroom is back and to celebrate CBX attached a camera to a voguer to take us all into the experience.

Vogue

Team Cloak and Dagger (performer Snoopy and filmmaker Onyeka Oduh) and Team Love (performer Alizé and filmmaker Jontae McRory) may approach Vogue from different perspectives, but they both serve all of the essentials.

Team Cloak and Dagger

Team Cloak and Dagger is queering comics with its entry in Vogue. Highly energetic dancing is zapped with bolts of electricity in this personal battle between light and dark.

Video Credits

Team Love

This entry showcases the creative partnership formed when both the director and the performer are dancers. Their entry in Vogue shows an alchemist preparing for battle as a form of prayer for the stars and constellations.

Video Credits

Voting is Closed

Thanks for voting! Find out who took home the grand prize in the finale on CBC Gem

The Meaning of Ballroom

Healing in realtime: CBX performers and creators talk about what ballroom means to them in their lives.

Sex Siren

Creativity abounds in this category where we see Team Ego Death (performer N9ne and filmmaker Alejandra Carranza) and Team Deviance (performer Amiyah and filmmaker Michelle Hanitijo) compete. Look for energy, confidence, boldness and attitude on display in sensual and unexpected ways.

Team Ego Death

In this team’s Sex Siren entry, we see the protagonist confront their alter ego. Will there be rebirth or resurrection and who will prevail?

Video Credits

Team Deviance

Embracing the fantasy world ballroom can provide, this team’s Sex Siren entry is a colourful, dark and sensual exploration of the performer’s world. Trying to escape from the conformist world of work to become your true sexy self certainly sounds like a deviation from the mundane.

Video Credits

Voting is Closed

Thanks for voting! Find out who took home the grand prize in the finale on CBC Gem

Ballroom Glossary

  • Ball

    An event where competitors face off in different categories to win the grand prize.

  • House

    A chosen family with an appointed mother and father.

  • Walk/Walking

    To compete in a category at the ball.

  • Effect

    The outfit a contestant wears while they are competing on the runway.

  • 10s

    Receiving a perfect score from the judges’ panel, allowing the performer to proceed to the battle rounds.

  • Chop

    To receive a less-than-perfect score from the judges’ panel, meaning the performer cannot proceed to the battle rounds.

  • Virgin

    A first-timer who’s never walked or won in any category before.

  • Star

    Someone who is relatively new to the ballroom floor and has made a name for themselves.

  • Statement

    Someone who is more seasoned on the ballroom floor, having been around two or more years. They have made a name for themselves and have won grand prizes in their category (or categories).

  • Legend

    Someone who has been on the ballroom floor for at least seven to 10 years. They are revered by their peers and have contributed to the legacy of their category, having won several grand prizes and “Of The Year” awards.

Series Credits

The Teams

Team 27.7: Sileecka and Joshua Rille
Team Best Served Bold: Adrienne Pan aka Mookh Dali and Adrian Siegel
Team Bog Beast: Ivy Andromeda and Dizzy Ricamara
Team Brava: cuartababy and Daniel Lastres
Team Cloak and Dagger: Onyeka Oduh and Matthew “Snoopy” Cuff
Team Deviance: Amiyah Telfar West and Michelle Hanitijo
Team Diamond Eyes: Mother Juju Telfar and Mina Sewell Mancuso
Team Ego Death: N9ne Margiela and Alejandra Carranza
Team Gagnon: Songbird and Kyisha Williams
Team Love: Alizé “Old Navy” Desrosiers and Jontae McCrory

Producers: Jenn Mason, Sebastiao Dinguana-Silvuilu and Gabrielle Zilkha | Director: Gabrielle Zilkha | Cinematographer: Ashley Iris Gill | Additional Cinematography: Dominic Llanos, Estefanie Cespedes Meza, Ben Rayner, Alexandre Robichaud and Shuqi Yang | Sound Recordists: Eric Taylor, Adam Poirier and Kevin Parker | Production Coordinator: Ariana Longley | Toronto Production Assistants: Kash Shamarc and Viiein Dampier | Wellness Support: Sapphire Woods | Logo Design: Naphtali McKenly | Logo Animation: Simol Albert | Editor: Sam Thomson | Additional Editing by: Roya DelSol, Michelle Hanitijo, Sheenah Jennings, Chrris Lowe, Nicholas Nguyen Huu and Laura Toma Assistant Editor: Michelle Hanitijo | Colour Facility: alter ego | Colourist: James Graham | Producer: Spencer Butt | Re-Recording Mixer: Evan Jerred | CBX Theme Song by: Myst Milano and Twysted Miyake-Mugler | Additional Music by: APM | Grand Prize provided by: Community One Foundation | Special Thanks: Free Society, Radke Films, Laura Acosta, Ted Andreville, Nicholas Beaumont-Gagnon, John Bello, Roderic Chan, E. S. Cheah, Ricky Chen, Joanna Chevalier, Angie Cho, David Choi, Christine Do, Anil Hanasoge, Cedric Laurenty, Jannoy Gordon, Anais Guertin-Lacroix, Alkarim Jadavji, Phillip Mendonca-Vieira, Wade Muir, Danica Olders, Jared Pollack, Joel Rich, Syr Reifsteck, Danah ‘Maldita Siriano 007’ Rosales, Diséiye Thompson, William Ukoh, Aimeric Vlaeminck, Maria Wheeler and Jeffrey Zablonty.


CBC

Web Design and Development: Rebecca Viegas, Jeff Hume and Mike Evans | Digital Producer: Michelle Villagracia | Producer, Unscripted Video: Mercedes Grundy | Copy Editor: Chris Hampton | Publicity: Winston Ma | Manager, Digital Business and Rights: Clara Lee | Senior Producer, CBC Arts: Aaron Leaf | Senior Producer, Unscripted Video: Lucius Dechausay | Managing Editor, Digital, Unscripted Content: Andrew D’Cruz