Press Release 2019
Jan. 1st, 2019
Contact: Christopher S. Caldwell, Executive Director
-- What The Punk Fest 2019 announces early-bird registration for historic 3 day 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s Street Dance Festival. LGBTQIA Icons, parties, performances, workshops, battles, and more! Fort Lauderdale, FL --
What The Punk Fest offers its three-day 2019 programming from June 28 through June 30th in Broward County, FL’s vivacious FAT Village Arts District. This event is about freedom of expression as much as it is about the preservation of gay underground dances and culture. Among the locals impacted by HIV/AIDS—the population WTP supports—are largely young LGBTQIA people of color who are members of the ballroom scene, and/or underground street dance scene. WTP emerges out of the vital need for allies and "support systems” within those communities.
WTP has launched an LGBTQIA safe space initiative. We are under the shared belief that community and performative expression can save lives. WTP curates weekly, monthly, and youth led initiatives, as well as a culminating annual festival.
● Whacking Wednesdays, the weekly component of our LGBTQIA “Safe Space Initiative” encourages ALL ages, genders, sexualities, races to connect in a community dance class in “Club Styles” followed by an open floor cypher with a street styles DJ.
● WTPunk Hosted Club Nights are the monthly component of our LGBTQIA. Once a month the locals we support and beyond are invited to join WTPunk teachers and crew for a night of equality, community, and self-expression at the birthplace of these
American classic dance styles, "The Club.”
● Youth Kiki’s/Balls is a youth-led component of our LGBT. Each “Ball” offers a vital platform for uninhibited self-expression, exploration, and social connection within the diverse population that WTPunk supports. For more information or to donate please visit www.wtpunk.com
● The culminating event, WTP Fest weekend, is scheduled in memorial of the Stonewall Riots that are described as the start of the Trans and Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Each day of the festival is packed with a smorgasbord of lectures, classes, performances, cyphers, and so much more by LGBT icons, dance pioneers, and internationally acclaimed artists, and community activists.
WTP provides thousands of students around the globe an opportunity to convene for Florida’s first and only international dance festival dedicated to the preservation of 60s, 70s, and 80s underground music and dance cultures. WTP also serves to honor dances born from the LGBTQIA community by offering a global platform to learn the rich history behind the culture, the people, their struggle, and their impact on the arts and society as we know it today.
Formerly known as Soul Train Experience, now in its 2nd year, What The Punk Fest’s impact can already be seen, felt and heard. What the Punk (WTP) is Florida's ONLY LGBT centric street dance festival with the mission of being a reliable “safe haven” for the community to connect, learn their history, express personal growth and DANCE! WTP also provides year-round programming in addition to the annual festival, such as lecture demonstrations at LGBT youth centers, youth balls, classes, cyphers, movie nights and more.
The WTP Fest program includes special master classes taught by internationally renowned dance pioneers in residence at What The Punk Fest such as Viktor Manoel and Archie Burnett. In addition, dance enthusiasts and students can purchase tickets to select festival performances on the Revival Stage. Performances by House of Ninja, Ovations Global Network, and more...
Viktor Manoel is the world's last living pioneer of the American dance classic originally known as Punking. Now referred to as Whacking/Waacking, WTP serves as a rare and bonafide resource for education and preservation the style— how it’s done, and how to teach it.
Archie Burnett is the International Father of the House of Ninja. As a sought-after Ambassador of Urban dance styles, Archie is also the person responsible for pioneering the Vogue Culture in Europe.
On Friday, June 28, the WTP festival will launch with visiting Dance Icons who will chat with DJs from all over about the history behind their respective styles, the dancers and their relationship to the DJ, the music, and Hip-Hop culture. The chat will segue into What The Punk Fests 2019 Soul Cypher, a 60’s, 70’s, 80’s & today dance party open to dance and music enthusiasts of ALL ages! It is a gender blender featuring amazing DJs, cyphers, celebrity appearances, performances, giveaways and more! All proceeds from this event go to benefit WTPunk’s Youth Ball series.
The weekend continues Saturday with a Historical Lecture Demonstration hosted by General Provision, Downtown. Following that, participants will split up for the Whack Teacher Training. Aspiring teachers have an opportunity to learn how to teach Punking/Whacking from the last living pioneer for the style, Viktor Manoel.
The final day of the festival is packed with a FULL day of community workshops and masterclasses. Students and beginner-professionals can participate in Punking/Whacking | Vogue | House | Choreography | Battle Etiquette and more!
Culminating the program, WTP will stage a community Flash Mob event as part of the worlds first Punk & Vogue Sister Styles Gala. The performance will be used to produce a video and will be released as a community activism project for HIV awareness in a final nod to the historic Stonewall Riot anniversary weekend. For details on events including dress codes/themes, and categories for battles please visit www.WTPunk.com Florida's International What The Punk Fest is supported in part by Ovations Global Network Inc, General Provision Fort Lauderdale, FAT Village Arts District, House of Ninja (HON), and the International House of Artistic Punking.