Necto nightclub on an ordinary Friday night is always a great place to begin the weekend with your friends. But this past Friday, January 13th, was no ordinary night. The line to get into the club stretched far around the corner, and a buzz of excitement so tangible you could almost feel the energy radiating off of people, could only mean one thing: Katya was here. Katya Zamolodchikova is a performance artist well versed in the art of drag. Drag is when a person, typically male, dresses as a woman and exaggerate certain characteristics for comic, dramatic or satirical effect. An alumna of two seasons from the hit television series “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Katya has garnered a large fan base from all over the country. She is known for her outlandish and twisted sense of humor, flexibility and ability to personify her character as a high-class “Russian whore.” Recently, she was a contestant on the second All-Stars season of “Drag Race” where she placed as a runner up.

In the past, drag queens have been part of a counterculture movement that disregards traditional gender norms and celebrates individual expression and artistic style. However, after seeing the popularity of Katya’s performance and her large and devoted fan base, it is evident that drag queens have struck a chord in the heart of pop culture. Upon entering the club, a sea of bodies and loud dance music overwhelmed the senses. Usually, Necto’s dance floor is bustling with movement and dancing, but tonight there wasn’t even room to breathe. Everyone was jam packed and facing the stage so that they would not miss a beat when their favorite drag performer took the stage. And when she finally arrived, after what felt like hours of anticipation, she commanded it. When Katya entered for her first performance of the night, it was apparent that she was born for the stage. Wearing her classic red and white tracksuit jacket with the word “Russia” in big letters across her chest and a matching gymnastics uniform underneath, she took charge of the space by performing her part of the hit song “Read U Wrote U” from “Drag Race.” She enthralled the audience and created a state of enthusiasm with her signature brand of acrobatic dance moves. People were singing along to the iconic lyrics, throwing dollar bills at Katya and grooving along with their own moves. Drag creates an environment of acceptance, freedom, self-expression and jubilation, which were all present that night on the dance floor.

After the song was finished and all of the dollar bills collected, Katya sprinkled the crowd with her dark, twisted and witty humor and left the audience to boisterous cheers. She performed a second act at midnight for the brave souls who were dedicated enough to wait around (which ended up being most of the audience), creating mostly the same experience but with a different song and a new stylish outfit. If you missed out on Katya’s performance, do not fret because Necto night club is known for hosting many past contestants of the popular show as often as once a month, and have local drag queens performing every Friday night. Drag is an experience best seen live, so whether you’re a veteran fan or a first time viewer, Necto’s doors are always open to those who want to have a good time and enjoy the exciting art.

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