The Roaring Divas, the fierce drag performing group of the Roaring Fork Valley, are set to celebrate their first anniversary on April 30th. For one year, they have been organizing, promoting, and dazzling audiences with their joyful and empowering performances, proving that drag is not just an art form, but a vital part of the community.
Bryan Alvarez-Terrazas was struck with inspiration after watching an episode of "We're Here" where the show's hosts brought drag to Grand Junction, Colorado.
“If they can do that in Grand Junction, imagine what we can do here,” he said. “We don't need anyone to come here and do it for us. We can do it our damn selves.”
And so, with a vision and a drive to make it happen, Bryan set out to create the Roaring Divas. He found like-minded performers who shared his passion for drag.
The Roaring Divas were founded, in part, by Zen Fatale and Zaddy Adams. Zen Fatale brought invaluable drag performance experience to the table, while Zaddy's musical expertise proved to be a vital asset. Their combined wisdom and talent set the foundation for the group's success.
Bryan, who has extensive experience in theater acting and public speaking, performs as Ramona Chingona who brings her own unique flair and style to the mix. The Divas seamlessly blend their individual musical niches. Their song selections are carefully chosen to showcase the diverse talents of each member, resulting in a truly unforgettable performance. With each member possessing a different artistic background, the group's first show at TACAW theater on April 30, 2022 was nothing short of spectacular.
The week leading up to the inaugural show was nerve-wracking. How many tickets had they sold only a week out? Only 37. But the Divas remained undaunted. They were determined to put on a spectacular show, no matter how many people were in the audience. And then, the day before the show, they received a flurry of DMs from fans clamoring for more tickets. Bryan called TACAW to inquire about any issues that might be occurring, and instead was met with an unexpected surprise: the show was sold out.
There was an electric excitement in the air, a palpable and contagious sense of joy. “There's something about drag shows, I can't describe it. The level of screaming is unlike any other type of show. there is so much excitement and screaming and happiness.”
“It was very reaffirming for us to wrap up that show and say 'holy shit we just did that.’ Look how special of an event it was to share with the community. From that point forward, we knew we were doing something right, so let's stay on this path and see where that takes us.”
In the year since that first show, the Divas have continued to shine, bringing visibility and joy to the Queer community of the Roaring Fork Valley. For years, the valley had been sorely lacking in Queer visibility and representation, with minimal gay events and celebration. Glenwood Springs, often considered one of the most forward-thinking cities in the valley, had their first pride event only last year. The Divas helped change everything, creating a space for Queer youths and adults to see themselves in a performance and feel proud of who they are.
“I wanted to start the Divas and to do this work because we create those faces and those moments now. Ultimately, I want to become the person that I wish I had seen growing up and give that opportunity to others,” Bryan said.
Through drag, the Divas have discovered new sides of themselves and learned to embrace their inner power and strength. "I never saw myself as a performer until I started doing drag," says Bryan. Bryan chose the drag name Ramona Chingona to ensure that any performance is unapologetically Mexican at all times. And Ramona Chingona eventually turned into an LLC in order to stay true to culture in a white and English-normative culture. "All these different pieces of Bryan culminate together for a drag performance."
As they approach their one-year milestone, the Divas are grateful for the support they have received from their fans both near and far. "People are coming out from Leadville and Avon and even Denver to see us," says Bryan. "We have a presence and we're known outside even the Roaring Fork Valley. It's been amazing to grow our brand and our community while continuing to develop ourselves as performers."
With their unapologetic attitude and fierce talent, the Roaring Divas are not just a performing group, but a movement. A movement of joy, of empowerment, and of love. And they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
“It's time for us to be fearless. It's time for us to feel empowered. It's time for us to show how strong we are. Especially in the Latine community that identifies as Queer, I want to say that to all the Latine Queer folks. Our voices are just as loud and just as powerful.”
Hec is a basketball geek and likes to watch commercials. Ain’t Dead Monthly’s Editor-in-chief.
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