Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rollerina - Legendary Queen of Studio 54

On Saturday, April 20th, there was an event that honored New York City's Grand Dame of Drag - Rollerina! In the 1970s and 80s, Rollerina was always spotted roller skating around the streets of Greenwich Village by day and rolling around the dance floors of Studio 54 by night! She wore mod prints, flamboyant hats, crazy eye-glasses, long flowing dresses and often waved a fairy wand! She was one of the City's first celebrity Drag Queens, dating back before Wigstock! Today she no longer roller skates, but she is still going strong! She is a regular at Dance 208, The LGBT Center Dances, the place where her celebration took place. The DJ was Ted Snowdon, who spun classic Disco tunes that were played in the 70s at Studio 54 when Halston, Bianca, Andy and Liza partied the night away. It must have been such a groovy time back then! To pay tribute to Rollerina, I dressed like her. I wore a mod 70s print gown with a matching hat, turquoise necklace and rhinestone cat-eye glasses. Many Other Drag performers also showed up to show their respect and admiration to the legendary Diva and Queen of Studio 54. They included Flotilla DeBarge, Hedda Lettuce, Jacquline Jonee, Brenda Bond, Howie V and more! Film maker Wolfgang Busch, producer of the Drag Documentary How Do I Look? was also there enjoying the party and video taping for more visual footage of Drag Queen culture. Notable Leathermen Bruce-Michael Gelbert (Mr. Fire Island Leather, NY Q News), Sir Angelo Cilia (NYCGMC Butch) and Rob Valan (Leather Night Out) also came to give their birthday wishes! We even had a Rollerina look-alike contest which was won by my dear friend, Fanny Fondue. Fanny looked so much like Rollerina, people said that they were twins separated at birth! Rollerina gave a speech of gratitude about how she moved to NYC from Kentucky and how much fun and freedom of expression there was and is in NYC! She was also presented with a birthday cake, red roses and a new fairy wand! She danced to her favorate song, Abba's Dancing Queen with artist David Alverez, who decorated the hall with original retro art. Disco will NEVER die!



















Photos: Clover Honey with Rollerina; Flotilla DeBarge and Clover Honey; Rob Valan (Leather Night Out)

7 comments:

Chip said...

Rollerina is truly a NYC legend. There should be more about her on the internet than there is. The gal is a legend and true icon of her time. Many times she rolled and wisked past me, on some important errand no doubt, with a whoosh and clackety-clack.

neiani4blogger said...

Dear Rollerina,

I hope you will remember me, we met with our common Ice-skating friends way back at Rockefeller Ctr Ice-skating rink. Our group used to meet on Sunday nights during the Ice-skating season.

We also met and chatted numerous times in the village with you in rollerskates of course. How can I forget seeing you in your "fairy" white gown... again on roller skates with wand and rollerina glasses in the yearly Gay pride week... oh... such good memories.

Hope you have a chance to read this. You will not recognize me photo because I came out in 1998.

Much LOVE... AFFECTION to my dear Rollerina from Kentucky.

(((HUGZ))) undt (((KISS KISS)))

Your loving Sis,
neiani

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