What may appear to be the Netflix’s version of “Dance Moms” proves to be an enlightening look into the life of a dance teacher and drag superstar.
Netflix’s new docu-series “Dancing Queen” gives “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans the answers they’ve been looking for when it comes to the life of Justin Johnson, known in the drag world as Alyssa Edwards.
The series follows the life of Johnson as he balances expanding the depths of his dance studio, Beyond Belief, while also looking to expand his drag career.
When fans of drag first met Johnson as Alyssa Edwards on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the world instantly gravitated towards the lively personality.
Although Edwards didn’t win the traditional competition reality series, the queen ran away with fans’ love and admiration. From that point on, the Haus of Edwards drag family grew in size.
The Haus of Edwards, created by Alyssa when she started drag, is comprised of other drag artists, make-up artists, designers, performers and friends who support each other’s artistic career endeavors as members of the LGBTQ community.
“Dancing Queen” uses a reality, interview format similar to Dance Moms in the sense that studio scenes focus on the students and the moms and their struggles. However, what I think makes the show so unique is that the students are a side-storyline. The focus is on Johnson and his attempts to mend his family relationships while managing his career.
The most interesting part is the inclusion of Alyssa Edwards as a separate personality or character from Johnson. Alyssa Edwards does separate interviews reacting to moments in the life of Justin Johnson.
Throughout her time in the spotlight, Edwards referenced her dancing ability as a product of her experience in taking classes from a young age and teaching for the Beyond Belief Dance Company.
“Dancing Queen” bridges the gap between Mesquite, Texas and Hollywood and allows fans of Edwards to understand the complexities of running a dance studio and personal brand.
The determination and competitive nature of Johnson is on full display while he is in the studio. It’s easy to see why his alter ego, Alyssa Edwards, was likable in “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and why his career is expanding further with “Dancing Queen.”
While many have rejoiced that the shows delivery and message of heart and family are refreshing, there is no word on whether the series will get a second season.
Due to the open-ended finale on episode eight, the show may end here and leave fans to search through social media to catch up on the lives of Justin Johnson and the students at Beyond Belief. But many hooked fans are hopeful for a possible season two.