As Pride month approaches in June, it seemed only natural to highlight the LGBTQIA+ community. Hip hop and queer dancer, Justine Theizen, shared with us her journey and her projects.
Having started in a small dance school with modern-jazz and jazz lessons, Justine did not feel out of place. It was then that a teacher offered her to integrate the hip-hop class recently opened in the school. It was a huge revelation from the start for her, but also for Yassine Joker, one of the teachers, who spotted her and then offered to join his crew in Brussels.
Following the 1000 Pieces Puzzle training organized by Cindy Claes and her various professional missions, Justine develops her own choreographic style based on her inspirations and objectives as an artist. Her inspirations such as cinema, queer culture, pop culture and hip hop are found in her projects and creations, thanks to this openness to creation and also to cabaret with the Drag King.
After a first creation, Seasons, a piece with the central theme of love and the passion of a homosexual relationship, it is with an All Style Battle “All About Love” – Queer Edition that her wish to bring together hip hop dance communities and Queer ones has been confirmed. Created by the hip-hop community, the battle literally means “a battle” (a fight), except, Justine wanted to highlight its foundations which are love, exchange and sharing.
As a reminder, ‘Queer’ is a global term that encompasses everything outside of heteronormativity, that is, a person whose sexual orientation or identity is outside the heteronormative social model.
About this battle organized during Les Rendez-Vous Get Down on Saturday February 11, 2023, Justine also shares her apprehensions and her reaction to those of the participants and spectators.
“I was afraid of causing more problems than solving them”
Justine told us her doubts about her legitimacy during the organization of this battle. Indeed, there was this fear of offending someone or even that they felt rejected. However, the key word of this event was acceptance. According to many testimonies that the dancer could hear or read, there was a need to organize a battle for the Queer community, where the participants could feel entirely in their place and at ease.
However, Justine was able to go beyond judgments or the outside gaze. The questions of consent and physical contact are still rarely asked during dance events and seem simply obvious to some, except the dancer makes it a point of honor that these themes are clear and posed for the participants and spectators.
“Before excluding ourselves, we must already be recognized”
Despite everything, through this battle, her primary objective being to highlight and make visible the Queer community in hip-hop culture in front of a large audience has been achieved. Nevertheless, in order to establish the most ‘safe’ spaces possible, it remains necessary according to the dancer to control these questions of inclusiveness, consent and acceptance by repeating the experience and thus anchoring ‘safer’ spaces for our generation and beyond.
So follow Justine Theizen‘s news to keep you informed of her next projects and creations on our website, as well as on our social networks and hers.