Photos: AC Drip’s KiKi Ball Showcases Fashion, Competition, Community

Makeba Bantu, Kenya junior, and Tynayiah George, Detroit junior pose in front of the judges. Both walked in the “runway” category, showcasing walking techniques (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).

On Saturday, AC Drip hosted their annual KiKi Ball with this year’s theme being Pink Panther. Students were encouraged to wear pink and yellow to support the event’s theme. The ball was co-sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (AKA), la Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha sorority and Black Student Alliance.

The ball brought students, faculty and staff to the Science Atrium to experience the ballroom scene firsthand. Dior Love, Chicago senior and AC Drip president, welcomed everyone to the event with an overview of what ballroom is. 

“The Ballroom scene is an LGBTQ+ culture that originated in New York City beginning in the late 1920s,” Love said. “It is known for its support, family orientation/houses and its categories.”

According to Mozart Culture, houses function as alternative families, providing guidance, support and camaraderie for their house “children.” Each house is led by an experienced member of the ballroom scene, known as “mothers” and “fathers.”

Love said she is a member of the House of Pinklady, where she “observes leaders who plan balls,” emphasizing building her peers’ confidence. 

Last year, Love, along with other students, created the House of Forte, an Intentional Learning Community on campus, to “create the same environment that the ballroom scene encourages.” 

Categories in Kiki Balls are specific areas created for performers to express themselves through various themes, skills, clothing and techniques. Students competed in these categories, ending each with a crowned winner. 

For the ball, the House of Forte and AC Drip created ten categories for students to walk and perform in including: “face,” “runway,” “body,” “kiki labels,” “church lady realness,” “twerkathon,” “best dressed,” “cvnt vs. cvnt,” “sneaker vs. sneaker,” “new vogue,” “performance” and “dip 4 dip.”

The judging panel was composed of members of the House of Forte, and guest stars Icon God Mother Monica Juicy Couture, Mother Kira “Del Core” Bodega and Amariah Bodega. During the opening segment of the ball, a selection of judges presented songs and routines while adorned in colorful attire.

Mother Kira “Del Core” Bodega descends the Science Atrium staircase in a bedazzled red coat and matching hat. Bodega, alongside the other guest stars, opened the ball with performances before assuming a position at the judges’ table (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).

AKA President and St. Louis senior, Hollie Ballentine said she felt it was important to co-sponsor the ball because she “fully supports what AC Drip is doing on campus.”

“They are spreading the message of confidence, support and celebration,” Ballentine said. “The KiKi Ball means a chance to be your best self and showcase your talents and skills (in front) of their peers.”

Love said in an article interview during the event that her plan since becoming president has been to “host events that are inclusive for all students and cultures,” adding that this is just one of many to come. 

Lizzy Kelley also contributed to reporting this story.

Atiyah Artis, Albion sophomore, poses for the judges panel for the “body” category. (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Bantu poses with a black fan among her peers. Bantu walked in two categories including “runway” and “best dressed” (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Nieya Singleton-Anderson, Baton Rouge senior, twirls as she walks down the runway. Singleton-Anderson performed during the “church lady realness” category, showcasing her dance moves (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Lauren “Lolo” Reed, Saginaw senior, cheers on Tadaro Riley ‘23 as he vogues during his entrance. Riley, dressed in denim, performed in multiple categories including “dip 4 dip,” “best dressed” and “performance” (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Riley and Joy Curry ‘23 dance during the “twerk-off” category (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Joy Babatunde, Chicago junior, Jakhia Alfred, Milwaukee junior and Bria Jackson, Detroit sophomore, all pose in front of the judges panel. During the “face” category, all three put on their best facial expressions in an effort to win the crown (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Alvin Bonner, Chicago senior, presents his Christian Louboutin shoes to Mother Bodega during the “sneaker vs. sneaker” category (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
About Katherine Simpkins 24 Articles
Katherine Simpkins, aka "Kat", is a senior from Adrian, MI. She is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Educational Studies. Her passion for journalism started at an early age when she picked up her camera and started seeing life from a different perspective. In her free time, you can find Kat snuggled up next to her cat, Phoebe; named after the best "Friends" character. You can contact her at

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