Lasseindra Ninja Goes Home
Lasseindra Ninja is finally going home. She left French Guiana many years ago when she Xavier. While away, she spent her time away becoming Lassiendra, Her found family tutored her in the art of voguing and dance battle. Lasseindra took her skills to conquer Paris, mothering her own iconic House of Ninja and launching herself to international fame from the French ballroom scene she co-fostered with Madame Stephie Mizrahi.
Director Audrey Jean-Baptiste wonderfully captures Lasseindra’s return to Guiana to teach voguing dance workshops to LGBTQ+ and straight youth. The society in Guiana is rigidly-gendered so there may very well be problems. Lasseindra’s instruction, wit, vision as well as her defiant demonstration of a successful and happy life authentically lived on her own terms. Her love of dance inspires and empowers her and helps her students to understand self-love, pride, fabulousness, and confidence through the expression of dance.
Director Audrey Jean-Baptiste brings us a heartwarming story of a queer French Guiana kid who made it possible to be his true self. Leaving behind his biological family, he went to New York and quickly found a new queer adopted family in the city’s underground ballroom scene. She came home some 13 years later as Lasseindra Ninja. She was recognized as a star.
The movie starts then with Lasseindra’s first trip home in order to help young queer and straight teenagers by tutoring them in the art of voguing. She leads these workshops with good humor and a passionate understanding of the limited opportunities that her students have in this very conservative country. Her pupils are overjoyed about this one chance to develop some skills in this dance art form that they take too with big grins on their faces. Lasseindra encourages them to develop their own unique style and attitude and there is no holding back in their part. The kids admire and her respect both her and her teaching.
The film ends with them all being able to show off their newly acquired skills and talents to their friends and the local community. Their dancing is wonderful and their faces glow. She has empowered these kids to be able to face the world with their new found confidence.