Last Updated: 09 Jun, 2023 | Views: 238
Other Profession(s): Choreographer
Famous For: Grandfather of Vogue (Invent dance form)
Willi Ninja, born as William Roscoe Leake, was an influential figure in the voguing and ballroom scene. He was born on April 12, 1961, in Flushing, Queens, New York City. Willi Ninja is considered one of the pioneers and icons of voguing, a highly stylized form of dance that emerged from the LGBTQ+ community in Harlem, New York, in the 1980s.Willi Ninja passed away on September 2, 2006, at the age of 45, due to complications related to AIDS.
Willi Ninja Career:
Willi Ninja Featured in Documentary: (1990): Ninja was also prominently featured in the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning and the 2006 documentary release How Do I Look directed by Wolfgang Busch.
Willi Ninja Work in TV Series & Guest on Show: (1991): On August 8, 1991, he was a guest on The Joan Rivers Show alongside some of his Paris Is Burning cast members such as Dorian Corey and Pepper LaBeija.
Willi Ninja Featured Dancer: (1994): Ninja was a featured dancer in many music videos including Malcolm McLaren's "Deep in Vogue" and "I Can't Get No Sleep" by Masters at Work featuring India.
Willi Ninja Opened Modeling Agency: (2004): Willi Ninja opened a modeling agency, Elements of Ninja, in 2004, and made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Willi Ninja Stared in Marlon Riggs: (2005):In the same year, Ninja starred in the Marlon Riggs 9-minute short Anthem as a dancer.
Willi Ninja Death:
Willi Ninja died of AIDS-related heart failure in New York City on September 2, 2006.
Willi Ninja Unknown Facts:
• Ninja is a central figure in LGBTQ studies, gender studies, and performance studies for his nonconforming and transgressive gender expression as an artist.
• His presence is articulated in the book Black Sexualities by Juan Battle and Sandra L. Barnes as one example.