Tandi Iman Dupree
|Tandi Iman Dupree|
|Born||August 13, 1978
|Died||December 31, 2005|
|Cause of death||complications from AIDS|
|Occupation||drag queen, pageant girl|
Tandi Iman Dupree (August 13, 1978 - December 31, 2005) was an American drag queen, and pageant girl best known for her "Wonder Woman" performance at the 2001 Miss Gay Black America pageant, the video of which went on to become an Internet viral hit with over 1 million YouTube views.
The 2001 Miss Gay Black America pageant
At the 2001 Miss Gay Black America pageant, Dupree and another performance artist danced to a recording of "Holding Out for a Hero" sung by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler. Dupree was dressed as Wonder Woman, whilst her performance partner was dressed as Super Man.
The performance began with Dupree's dancing partner searching for Dupree. After Dupree's partner exited the stage, Dupree made a dramatic entrance : she was dropped from the ceiling, and she landed on stage in a perfect split. The energetic performance included lifts and acrobatics, such as somersaults, and it featured the performance of dips by Dupree and her performance partner. In their dance routine at the pageant, Dupree and her performance partner used dips as a dramatic climax. Dips are common components in the Vogue form of dance in Ballroom culture competitions.
Dupree’s performance at the 2001 Miss Gay Black America pageant has garnered posthumous praise.
Jake Coyle, an entertainment reporter for The Associated Press, described Dupree’s stage entrance at the 2001 pageant as the greatest entrance of all time.
The Dallas Voice expressed admiration for Dupree’s performance at the 2001 pageant, particularly describing her stage entrance the "Best Drag Queen Entrance Ever."
Influence on popular culture
Dupree’s electrefying performance at the 2001 pageant inspired a tribute to Dupree on the hit television series Glee, where a character began her dance performance to Holding Out for a Hero by landing on the floor in a split, a mimic of Dupree's performance at the 2001 pageant. In its review of the Glee episode, Out magazine referred to Dupree's stage entry as an "epic entrance."
Dupree began her dance career in high school when she was co-captain of her majorette squad until graduation. She began competing at N-Cognito nightclub in Memphis, Tennessee, where she created original routines with other dancers in the area. Despite then becoming well known for her drag performances, Dupree was always a pageant girl; traveling from drag club to drag club all over: Texas, Florida, Washington D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia, to promote herself as an artist and as her dream of becoming Miss Gay Black America; Dupree died from complications from AIDS before she achieved her goal.
- Coyle, Jake (January 1, 2008). "A year-end grab bag of strange, bizarre links". The Associated Press.
- "Best Drag Queen Entrance Ever". The Dallas Voice. August 2, 2010.
- Villagomez, Andrew (November 23, 2012). "Glee's Drag Queen-Inspired Performance of 'Holding Out For A Hero'". Out.