After witnessing an impromptu dance battle up close and personal, I prepared to face the humid Tampa heat and meet up with the Gen-Z social phenom known to the world as Yung BBQ. The viral dancing queen, who’s name literally encompasses her royalty, was dressed in her signature 90s style: a pair of straight-leg jeans, a solid tee, and a denim jacket.
“We got the same hair,” she said before I could even introduce myself. At the time, I was wearing goddess-style passion twists and she was wearing goddess jumbo braids. I could tell from her energy that this would be a candid chit-chat between friends.
Like Yung BBQ, I had also traveled to Tampa specifically for the Red Bull Dance Your Style competition, which took place on April 8th. As a dancer herself, she was excited to see what all the fans of the movement art had to offer. From Orlando-bred choreographer and visual artist Marlee Hightower to Jacksonville-based krumper and hip-hop specialist Shirlz, the content creator expressed her excitement for all of the dancing and Black girl magic that would be taking place at Sparkman Wharf later that weekend.
“I’m just excited to see the different dancers,” she told me during our interview. While she’s always a fan of the Red Bull Dance Your Style competition, she’s particularly a fan of the Tampa qualifier because she has a soft spot in her heart about connecting with what she deems as her “Florida dance community family.” As she glowed with the sheer excitement of the event, including voting with wrist bands colors and picking the winner, Yung BBQ shared a small surprise that she may have lined up.
She added, “We’re just having a great time watching people battle and I’m just excited to be here. Even though I ain’t qualify, I might get out there and battle somebody just because.” While Yung BBQ didn’t end up battling, it was ensured that she had a great time from start to finish of the battle.
Ahead of the Tampa qualifier of Red Bull Dance Your Style, HelloBeautiful caught up with the St. Petersburg, FL native-born Alexis Faecher about the origin of her dance story, what her name means, and how Black women are the epitome of confidence.
HelloBeautiful: How did your dance journey start?
Yung BBQ: My dance journey started when I was younger. I’ve always seen my family dance at different parties, cookouts, and barbecues. I was into different dance academies and schools and I just fell in love with dance. Every day, I’m always dancing, and I know a lot of people see me dance and I’m just like, this is my thing.
HB: What does being Yung BBQ mean to you?
BBQ: There are two different meanings. It’s YungBBQ, as in young, beautiful black queen. A lot of people think Yung BBQ is something with sauce, which it is because I do have the sauce.
HB: How does your love for dance feed your confidence and self-love journey?
BBQ: When I’m dancing, I feel like it’s a better way for me to express myself and who I am because a lot of times dancing serious or even dancing funny, it’s all about who you are when you are dancing. I just feel good when I’m dancing, and I feel [like] me.
HB: When you hear “look good, feel good,” what do you think of?
BBQ: Listen, when you look good, you feel good. I’m not going to lie, if I don’t look like something, I’m not going to go out. If I know that the fit is fire, automatically it’s a 10 [and] my energy is up, but if I know I look a mess, that’s like a zero really, but I can never be a zero. People be like, oh, come out with me somewhere, and I’m like, my hair is not done so I’m not going to be able to really step, but then there’s some points where I’ll throw in a hat and just get out there.
HB: Honey, the fits be fitting. How would you describe your personal style?
BBQ: Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out what my style is, but overall, my style is baggy, like oversized, vintage clothing, baggy jeans. I wear a lot of Nike shoes, oversized graffiti shirts, I wear just big clothes really.
HB: Out of all the costumes that you’ve curated and put together, what have been some of your personal favorites?
BBQ: I love the Jason Derulo video. I love the Jason Derulo shirt because my brother actually painted that the day I did the video. I love The Rain. I love the Go Crazy one I did for Chris Brown. I don’t know why I left this out as if it wasn’t something that was big, I did My Way by Usher and I painted that whole entire jacket myself with my brothers. I’m an artist – I’m all around, for real.
HB: How do you handle the mental and emotional pressure of being a social media influencer?
BBQ: Whenever I’m feeling pressure, I talk to my close family and friends about it, and I don’t let it affect me to the point where I have to say something about it. I deal with it on my own and just try to move past it, that way I can build myself up to make content and just do what I love and do what the people like to see me do.
HB: Oftentimes being a social media influencer includes starting trends, but a lot of social media influencers these days are following trends. How do you make sure to stay true to yourself and be authentic in a world where everybody’s following trends instead of setting them?
BBQ: I do re-watch a lot of my videos. I still want to keep it original. I like to just look at my videos and see what I can elevate from what people were so gravitated towards. A lot of people love when I do wig videos or when I do the outside videos. I figure out what can I do from that, and make it somewhere where it’s like, okay, she’s moving up, but this still is her and this is still original and we know this is YungBBQ, because a lot of people see it and be like, this is YungBBQ for sure, and so that’s what I do.”
As far as trends, some of these trends that come out, I do some of them, but I always mix it up and make it my own. I just threw my own little twist in it so y’all know it’s a YungBBQ original slash the other…” Whoever created the challenge, I’ll do their challenge and give them credit as well.”
HB: What are some of your favorite fashion and beauty hacks that you’ve found on social media?
BBQ: I’ve been trying to do my makeup more often. I know this is probably going to be like, how you did not know this?, but I did not know the difference between setting and baking for the longest. I literally ain’t know, so I was looking up makeup tutorials from different beauty influencers, like Jackie [Aina], or watching Aaliyah [Jay] and I’ve seen them do it. It’s literally like you are baking after you do your concealer, and then you set under your eyes at the end.
Makeup is really crazy, but I just want to be able to do it myself to where I don’t have to wait for someone, or when I don’t have anyone that’s doing it, I can be like, okay, let me pull out my makeup stuff. I like to look at different people who are really into fashion and I’m like, could I pull that off? Or could I really put that on?
HB: What’s the most amazing part about being a Black woman?
BBQ: It’s a style. When you see a Black woman, when I see me in the mirror, I’m like, you really that girl. I’m just really that girl.
HB: How do you use your platform to be authentic and show young beautiful black queens that they can also stand tall in who they are and feel their best?
BBQ: I like to post different stuff because I know there’s a lot of people [who will] look at me and be like, “oh, you’re a big girl dancing”, I’m like, “and yeah, I’m a big girl dancing”, and any other big girl or anybody of any size or shape or skin tone can really get out here and do whatever they want. I just want to tell people that they can be whoever they want to be, just stay consistent. Everybody and anybody is watching, so just be true to yourself, stay confident and consistent.
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Yung BBQ Dishes On Her Personal Style, Love For Dancing & Emerging Makeup Skills was originally published on hellobeautiful.com
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