The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Pride Season Drag Show reignites campus life with energetic performances

Leah De La Torre
ViLette Stratton poses during their performance at the Annual Pride Season Drag Show. April 16, 2024

April is often the busiest time of the spring semester as students fight through the final push before summer break. Luckily for New Mexico State University, LGBT+ programs presented the Annual Pride Season Drag Show on April 16 to help students take the edge off through laughter and vibrant performances.

Drag performers included both students and professionals from around the country, some coming as far away as Minnesota. Throughout the two-hour runtime, the Corbett Outdoor Stage was filled with laughter and cheers from the audience as students watched their peers perform.  

The event featured various performances alongside tabling from multiple on-campus and local organizations. Between performances, emcee Sophia Sangwanthong also hosted giveaways for followers of the LGBT+ programs account on Instagram. In addition to providing a place for students to unwind, they also wished to provide resources and community for students on campus. 

“We’re really trying to increase our engagement and presence in the southern part of the state, and I just really want to connect with the student groups here on campus,” said Tatiana Prieto, the ACLU of New Mexico representative present at the show.  

The show was capped off with performances from some of the hired professionals, including the performer Gabriella and ViLette, who would return for the show’s big finale.

After the four hired performers completed their set, Sangwanthong reappeared on stage to begin the next segment of performers consisting entirely of NMSU students. The performances all featured home-made costumes and props, and each set was choreographed by the performers themselves. This resulted in performances as varied as the students behind the high-glam makeup and pop music.  

Mxe. Moody performed a remix of “CPR” and “Misery” by Podcast Dev Bupi on April 16, 2024. (David Castañeda)

One of the first student performers was Audrey De Las Cruces, a freshman at NMSU. As Lizzo’s “Water Me” played, Audrey got the crowd excited for the upcoming performers, dancing through the crowd and collecting tips as the music played out.  

“At first, you’re always a little bit nervous but when you’re just surrounded by people who support you and knowing that there’s adults here and other people supporting you, it just makes it fun,” Audrey De Las Cruces said. “Especially right now dealing with classes and stuff, I’m just sticking to making it fun.” 

Following Audrey De Las Cruces were three performers who channeled existing performances for their acts. Duo LucYfur and Deedee Vil’s performances echoed a scene from the recently released movie Trolls World Tour. The duo wore costumes that were perfect imitations of the film’s villains, as they lip-synced to songs from the film.

Kyoshi performed as Jimmy Cricket to “Better Tomorrow” from Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio. (David Castañeda)

While it may have been hard to follow the drama and energy of this duo, performer Ichigo Candimon certainly gave a performance that the audience would not soon forget. Stepping onto the stage with a bright blue headpiece complete with googly eyes, they began with a song from Sesame Street: “C is for Cookie”. After a few minutes, the song remixed into Melanie Martinez’s “Milk and Cookies”, earning loud cheers and laughter from the crowd. 

More performances followed, each taking on a unique character and form of entertainment. Whether it was channeling Jiminy Cricket or just dancing, the crowd loved each performer as they took the stage, creating a community of students dedicated to supporting their peers up on the stage. 

“My favorite part was seeing the students and getting to see how they all did their own little thing,” said freshman Melanie Zepeda. “I loved all the performances and how each one had their own little personal thing to it.” 

As the show went on, the audience grew as passersby saw the bright lights and energetic music, convincing them to sit down on the grass to pass the time. Nearing the end of the event, the performances were briefly interrupted for a chance for the crowd to participate.  

Joined onstage by coordinators and supporters of the event, NSYNC blasted over the speakers while the audience was encouraged to dance to the music while they handed out shirts. The scene was chaotic and loud with students cheering as shirts arched through the air and landed in waiting hands.  

ViLette Stratton is illuminated by the stage lights during their performance. April 16, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

As Vilette took the stage again to close out the night with the four other drag queens, leaving the audience to stay rapt the entire time. None of the large crowds moved until the bright overhead lights came back on at the conclusion of the event, where the performers were embraced by the crowd.  

“I saw a lot of people stay all the way through- they didn’t get bored, they didn’t get cold, they stayed through from the first performance all the way to the last one and this is the biggest group that I’ve seen hanging out afterwards to talk to the talent,” said Lore Falls, student coordinator of the show. 

As the crowd and performers dispersed into the night, the goal of the event was accomplished. At such a busy and chaotic time in the semester, the drag show provided a sense of community and a much-needed place of joy and laughter amid as the semester ends.  

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About the Contributors
Madeline Nielsen
Madeline Nielsen, Staff Writer
Madeline Nielsen is a freshman at NMSU majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. This is her first semester at The Round Up as a writer. She is excited for the learning experiences in Student Media and in college at large. She is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and graduated from St. Michael’s High School in 2023. In High School, she participated in creative writing and theater, and is excited to continue working with all facets of student media in college. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and painting.
Leah De La Torre
Leah De La Torre, Multimedia Specialist
Leah De La Torre is entering her second year at The Round Up as a multimedia specialist. She will be majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. De La Torre has been making videos with her family and friends since she was in elementary school, and her love for the camera continued through high school as she became a member of the video and broadcast team. There, not only did she learn more about photography and video making but gained an interest in journalism. Her other interests include playing the cello, sewing, and listening to her favorite music artists like Her’s and The Strokes. Working for The Round Up, she hopes to continue doing what she loves, being behind the camera and contributing to making and telling stories about her community.
David Castañeda
David Castañeda, Multimedia Director
David Castañeda is starting his second year here at The Round Up, this being his first year as Multimedia Director. This is his second year at New Mexico State University and is majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. He was born and raised in El Paso, Texas as an only child but is extremely happy to be able to call Las Cruces his new home. David has had an affinity for photography since he was in elementary school and has only fallen deeper in love with the art through this job. Though David enjoys nothing more than to be behind a camera he loves to try to explore new hobbies and career options. He’s currently focused on improving his photography at The Round Up and working with the Multimedia Specialists to make the Multimedia team the best it can be. When he isn’t taking photos or editing them on Photoshop, David loves to spend his time with his 3-year-long girlfriend in their apartment where they frequently cuddle up in bed to watch some trash TV and films. On his own, he loves to play the bass and listen to music. His favorite artists are The Strokes and Gorillaz.    

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    StudentMay 1, 2024 at 1:09 AM

    All of the photos go haaard!