Student Center drag show brings color to campus

Jacob Hays, performing as Veronica J. Belle, collects money from attendees Feb. 27 at the Student Center.

Jacob Hays, performing as Veronica J. Belle, collects money from attendees Feb. 27 at the Student Center.

By Luke Nozicka, @lukenozicka

Peyton Kross took the stage Saturday at the Student Center, illuminated by a single spotlight, while friends and fans hollered in excitement. The 18-year-old from Sikeston, Mo., who performs drag under the name Lady Boi, began to sing and dance as people of all ages handed him dollar bills. 

The drag show, an event put on by the Saluki Rainbow Network, Student Center Programs and the Latino Cultural Association, brought a near full-house to the Student Center Ballrooms, where drag kings and queens swayed their bodies to uptempo music.

Some performers arrived nearly four hours before the show began, putting on makeup and getting dressed in a bathroom across the hall from the ballrooms. One of Kross’ friends, Chad Holloway, 23, helped him get ready by tightening his corset and lacing up his high heels.

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“I got into drag just because I was friends with a bunch of drag queens,” said Kross, who has been performing for about seven months. “I tried it one night and looked awful, but I just kept going with it.”

Attendees raved when hostess Julie Socorro, who has been in and out of drag for more than nine years, introduced Da’Veon Coria Burtin, a junior studying theatre who performs as Rain Foxx.  

“It’s an adrenaline rush,” Burtin said before the show. “It’s so much fun — I enjoy entertaining the audience.”

MORE: Don’t call it puppy love, the story of Julie and Alex Socorro

Four amateurs, who all performed for their first time on Saturday, went on halfway through the show. One of them was Janet Schmidt, a sophomore from St. Joseph studying psychology, who, after taking pictures with spectators, described the experience as exhilarating.

Luke Nozicka can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.

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