Known as the “Wonder Woman of Consumption”, Leomi Maldonado boasts of a fascinating biography of collaboration with the likes of Willow Smith and Icona Pop. You also saw her as a judge on the HBO Max show “Legendary”, a dance competition inspired by the world of ballrooms. Ten houses compete against each other in weekly conventional battles, each episode handling a different theme.
For the 35-year-old Bronx-born dancer, the experience of being on the show is fun, but also deeply fulfilling. He longed for the opportunity to “celebrate and perform on a stage of that level” in ballroom culture.
“It’s very important to me to be something I’m a part of,” Maldonado told Popsugar. “I’ve heard from different people [about] How they learned to accept their siblings, or how they learned to accept their children, and how to accept or understand the LGBT community a little more. It’s a success for me. “
Maldonado encountered his first trip to a boys ‘and girls’ club in his local Bronx, through someone who became his first trans counselor. She was fascinated by the art form and was eager to learn more. A few days later, when they meet again, he hands over a VHS tape.
“I went home and I popped it on the VCR,” Maldonado recalls. “I was automatically drawn to the wonder that the ballroom was basically. After that, I started going to after-school LGBTQ + programs. And there I met other victims. And from there, I was introduced to my first home.”
In 2003, he walked his first ball and “got cut” as he puts it, although the experience only exacerbated his passion for his vogue. “I was so excited to get out there and showcase what I learned on my own, and once I was cut, it was like‘ oh, good ’kind of thing for me,” he says. “I didn’t expect to do well anyway, but that didn’t stop me from competing more and coming back from there.”
Maldonado seems to have a tendency to jump in the unknown. He recently joined a team of LGBTQ + community leaders, including Law Roach and Tess Holiday, in a panel discussion for the Metavers Culture series “Dream House”. They discussed identity, selected families, and security and culture in Metaverse.
Below, POPSUGAR teaches him all the lessons of dressing avatars, packing for summer adventures and life in Metavers with Maldonado.