Performing Families II: The Art of Runway and Step


Saturday, May 4, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Join us for an unforgettable evening of dance and conversation with two award-winning families of choice. The Legendary House of Comme des Garçons, one of New York’s top ballroom organizations, will demonstrate the art of runway walking and discuss the house system’s importance to Black and Latinx LGBTQ youth. Prestige, a competitive step team from New Rochelle will perform and discuss the bonds of step, a form of percussive dance that combines foot-stomps and hand-claps with spoken word. The program will be moderated by Dr. Shante Paradigm Smalls, a professor of Black Literature & Culture at St. John’s University who has published extensively on hip-hop, Black performance, and queer & trans* aesthetics.

FREE for all students and youth

TICKETS AVAILABLE SATURDAY, MAY 4 DURING IN THE GALLERY HOURS 12 to 6pm and 20 minutes prior to showtime.


The Legendary House of Comme Des Garçons is a ballroom organization founded on the principles of fraternity, education, advocacy, and professional growth. The house encourages its members to be progressive women, men and transgendered adults. Opened in 2008, the Househas become a thriving family with a strong track record of grand prize wins in domestic and international ballroom competitions. ​The May 4th program at ArtsWestchester will feature Legendary House of Comme des Garçons’ NYC Mother Aaliyah Garçon, NYC Princess Egypt Garçon, and NYC Prince Leryia Garçon.

Prestige Step Team is an award winning high-school step team in New Rochelle, directed by Karen  Johnson. The team has been competing since its formation over a decade ago.

Shanté Paradigm Smalls, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of English and Black Literature & Culture at St. John’s University. Dr. Smalls teaches and researches Black popular culture in music, film, visual art, genre fiction, and other aesthetic forms. They are currently finishing their first scholarly manuscript, Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City, which won the 2016 CLAGS Fellowship Award for best manuscript in LGBTQ Studies. Dr. Smalls’ writing has appeared in The Black ScholarGL/QWomen & PerformanceCriticismLateralAmerican Behavioral ScientistThe Black Scholar, and the Oxford Handbook of Queerness and Music. They received their Ph.D. in Performance Studies at New York University, and their B.A. in English at Smith College.

Performing Families II is made possible by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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31 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, NY 10601
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Times: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Ticket pricing:

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$10.00 - General Admission

Presenter: ArtsWestchester
Presenter Phone: 914-428-4220
Presenter Website:

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