Tens Across the Board Gives St. Louis’ Ballroom Scene Its Closeup

Producer Maven Logik Lee debuts the film at CAM Friday

Sep 21, 2023 at 11:36 am
click to enlarge Revelers at Maven Logik Lee's TENS at HandleBar. - VERTRELL YATES
Revelers at Maven Logik Lee's TENS at HandleBar.

While St. Louis has had an active ballroom culture for decades, its rising national relevance is owed in large part to the tireless work of 33-year-old producer Maven Logik Lee, who hit the ground running after returning from New York in 2021. “I want to connect our [vogue ball] scene with better venues, new sponsors and more safe spaces,” he told me at the time, and we’ve seen that vision come to life.

One of Lee’s most lauded projects is TENS, a monthly ballroom event that draws hundreds of attendees as well as participants from around the country. “The TENS Experience is an eclectic space that brings ballroom, music and diversity together,” Lee says. 

On Friday, Lee will debut the film he produced, Tens Across the Board, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Directed by Bobby Best of Broady Work Productions, Tens looks into the emerging scene within the ballroom subculture — with an up-close look at how the vibrant event that started in St. Louis has since spread to Kansas City and Dallas. 

“I created it to show folks another way to learn and enjoy ball culture,” Lee says. “I wanted to create something that was authentic, that taught history, but also embraced the future.The film is set for a college tour in October, and then will travel the film festival circuit in the U.S. and Europe.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The film screening is at 7 p.m., with an awards presentation to follow. Tickets are $15.

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