'RuPaul's Drag Race': Who is ice-skating queen Denali and what is the inspiration behind her drag aesthetic?
With a career as a professional figure skater, much of Denali’s unique drag incorporates ice skating and acrobatic elements
RuPaul's Drag Race officially returns to VH1 on Friday, January 1 at 8 pm! Thirteen new queens will be competing for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” and a cash prize of $100,000. “Competing safely and fiercely, our 13 queens proved that it takes more than a global pandemic to keep a good queen down,” said RuPaul on the Season 13 cast. From the first trailer of the Emmy-winning reality show, it looks like there's going to be a major twist in the first episode itself as thirteen new queens will have to lipsync for the lives in six back-to-back lipsyncs!
While all the 13 queens in the upcoming season are on point with their drag aesthetic we believe that Season 13 ‘Drag Race’ will be as competitive and outstanding as Season 12 redefining drag for the new decade.
One thing that 2020 has taught us is that we should love and protect mother nature and everything that it has given us in abundance and we love it when our queen draws inspiration from nature further promoting the idea. Competing queen Denali is an ice queen from Alaska. With a career as a professional figure skater, much of Denali’s unique drag incorporates ice skating and acrobatic elements. On the ‘Meet the Queens of Season 13!’ YouTube live stream the 28-year old described her drag as, “of the elements” like the “earth” and “environment.”
She further said since growing up in Alaska which is like an untouched land, she was inspired by nature, the ice-cold weather, and all things related to the wintertime in the arctic. She said she likes to present those elements through elevated, high-fashion couture.
Denali defined drag as “taking every single part of me and present it to the world in the most beautiful and outrageous form.” Denali has been doing drag for two and a half years and after drag queen Milk (appeared on the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, and the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All-Stars.) she is the only ice-skater on the show. During the introductory round, she implied she might be better than Milk because she is a “back-flipping ice-skater” and can do “high tricks” and “stunts.” She is also a third-degree black belt in martial arts so other queens better be aware. On her Instagram, we get a glimpse of her stage presence and lipsync abilities.
Season 3 ‘Drag Race’ winner Raja Gemini and Season 2 finalist Raven were impressed with Denali’s look as they reviewed all the season 13 queens during ‘Cast RuVeal’ on the official YouTube page of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’.
They compared her couture to the designs of acclaimed Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen when it came to the shape and symmetry of the dress Denali was wearing and it’s organic feel. They loved the fact that the colors of her hair matched her outfit and both gave it a big ‘Toot’ which is thumbs up in drag language. With the blessings of the veteran queens, we can’t wait to see what Denali pulls on the competition.