Red Bull Dance Your Style has been an ongoing competition across major U.S. cities where dancers showcase their unique ways of moving while audience members decide who has the best performance. The winners will compete in the U.S. National Final in Las Vegas for a chance to compete in the World Final in Paris, France in October. When the competition stopped by New Orleans, it was only right that bounce music made an appearance and who better to represent for the culture than the Queen Diva herself, Big Freedia.
Considering bounce music’s rich history and the twerk dancing that accompanies it, you’d think that someone would represent their booty-shaking abilities in the competition. But if you let Big Freedia tell it, twerking requires more skill than you’d imagine.
Before her high energy performance, I talked with the New Orleans native who continues to set the bar for herself even after a successful reality show, a Guinness World Record, and a collaboration with Beyoncé and Drake. Freedia has some major projects in the works and she also has a few thoughts when it comes to gyrators like Odell Beckham Jr. and “Twerk” video stars like City Girls. Similar to past critical comments about Miley Cyrus‘ twerking, Freedia won’t hold her tongue when it comes to the celebrated artform.
Thank you for talking with us, first of all.
So starting off, Odell Beckham Jr. — a New Orleans native — recently did an interview with GQ where he had to address speculation that he was gay, mostly because of videos he’s taken or because of how he always dances with guy friends…
Why? ‘Cause in New Orleans we bounce. The boys show the hustle. All the stuff that Odell do, all the boys do here and you don’t have to question their sexuality because it’s apart of the culture. It’s not like he’s up there shaking his ass, so I don’t see what’s wrong with it.
Were there any men you looked up to growing up who kind of helped you be more free or was it always just a culture thing?
Definitely. I mean, all the guys who danced for DJ Jubilee, they would twerk. They would like really pop like girls and get on their heads and put their legs in the air. They took it to the next level. And I was like man, if these boys can get out here and do it, everybody should feel okay. And the boys had many girlfriends, they had all the h*s behind them (laughter). That’s who gave a lot of inspiration to a lot of us in New Orleans.
Is there anyone currently who would go in your twerk hall of fame?
Everybody loves Megan Thee Stallion. I mean, I haven’t really seen Meg twerk but once on Instagram. But yea she would get the title right now. It sure ain’t the City Girls. I mean they just don’t twerk. They got a hot song but they don’t twerk.
Even with Cardi B in the “Twerk” video?
I mean I love Cardi. She twerks down. Yea, that’s my girl.
Are you interested in doing more T.V. and movies?
Most definitely. I’m working on getting back to my T.V. world. I just went and had a lot of meetings for my new shows that I’m pitching.
If someone was to do the Big Freedia movie, who would you want in your cast? Or who would be the writer and director?
All the best. I mean you know, if it’s something epic like that, you want to have the best of the best. I am working on the Big Freedia stage play so that’s the first thing before we get to the movie.
Any more details you can spill on that?
Amazing cast. I just did a casting call with all the amazing cast. I’m really excited about this. I was in tears crying. I don’t know if you saw it when I posted it on Instagram, but that day I did it, they had me in tears. It was very powerful and it’ll touched a lot of people.
And lastly, how do you feel about Red Bull Dance Your Style coming to New Orleans and what do you look forward to the most tonight?
I mean I love Red Bull. They support everything that I do. They always support music and they’re always pushing music, which is a great thing. And tonight I’m expecting to see some amazing dancers and to have a good time and to turn out.