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‘Return of the Waack’ at RAGE Nightclub

On Nov. 19, I picked up a couple of friends for a night out in Weho (West Hollywood). RAGE Restaurant & Bar on Santa Monica Boulevard, one of the most popular clubs in WeHo, is known for their Friday GAMeBoi nights as well as for being a gay club that is 18 and up. On this particular night, RAGE hosted an event called “Return of the Waack.” For those who are unaware, “waacking” is a dance style that originated from the LGBT community in the many gay clubs of Los Angeles. Most of the music that dancers perform to when waacking includes ‘70s disco, although today many waackers dance to club and EDM (Electronic Dance Music)-influenced disco in order to give waacking a fresh twist. Waacking also incorporates similar elements of vogue dance in the sense that it involves a lot of hand and arm movement.

Upon our arrival, my friends and I noticed that the dance floor was still closed. It was about 11 p.m. when we got there so we assumed that it would have been livelier, but we didn’t expect the entire night to be dedicated to the competition at the club. Nineties music was playing and people were lounging around and having a good time anyway.

Without realizing it, my friends and I went to the upstairs section. Typically, the second floor is open to all, and it usually hosts a hip-hop room. Many of the performers and judges were in the upstairs section, which made the second floor by the DJ a VIP section – and we just walked in.

All of the competitors for the waacking competition put in twenty dollars into a pot. The winner of the competition walks away with all the money, so it was obvious how much work these dancers put in. Not only did the competitors showcase their skills, but the night was also filled with dance groups and other performers like the Jungle Jills and Kumari Suraj, who choreographed a waacking piece for the popular TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Although we were looking for a night full of fun and dancing, the competition ran a little longer than we hoped. We still got to dance, but just not as much as we wanted. Round after round, competitors got eliminated but we left before the final round and the announcement of the winner. Regardless, RAGE hosted an entertaining night considering it took place on a Thursday. The nightclub consistently hosts fun events, so we will definitely go back. My friends and I decided to head out early and end our club night with some Denny’s. 

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Luis Lugo

UC Irvine

Luis is a 4th year at UC Irvine, majoring in Lit. Journalism and minoring in Film and Media Studies. His main interests and hobbies include dance in styles such as ballet, jazz, and hip hop as well as horror movies, dogs, burgers, yoga, tea, and roller coasters !
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