The Royal House of LaBeija

Part Two
The First Family of Ballroom
By Karen Giberson and Sophia Strawser
Photographed by Andrew Egan


Yasha LaBeija
Social Media Director
Category: FQ Realness, FQ Face

Yasha LaBeija is just 23 years old and taking the world by storm. With a degree from the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, the actress and filmmaker already has two independent films under her belt; both are receiving high praise. Her short film “Epilogue” was an official selection in the Cannes World Film Festival and nominated for Best Indie Short. Originally hailing from Atlanta, GA, Yasha has been a member of the House of LaBeija for a year-and-a-half and active on the floor for the last eight months. She competed in the FQ Realness category which focuses on the ability to pass as cisgender. Busy with acting, she is currently in the commercial space with hopes to expand to film and television. Signed by Stetts Management, Yasha has worked with Calvin Klein, Google, Mac Cosmetics, and Milk Cosmetics, among others. Handling all social for the House, Yasha documented the ball by keeping up on socials, supporting walkers — which is no small feat considering that she was also walking herself. She is inspirational in her pursuits as an actress, director, and producer. Follow the journey at @yashalabeija on Instagram.

Stephan LaBeija
New York Prince
Category: MF Body

Stephan LaBeija launched his career with an unplanned performance when attending his first ball. While watching the category of Sex Siren, he enthusiastically jumped up and added himself to the mix, even though he wasn’t a member of any house at the time. Having always been a fitness enthusiast, his mentors in the House of LaBeija — who recruited him after his impromptu walk — steered him in the direction of Body instead. With his chiseled and defined physique he’s attended 24 balls, taking home awards in major cities, including NYC and Miami. After beginning to walk in February 2022, Stephan was honored with the title of NYC prince, which is used to elevate members who are rising stars in ballroom. As a prince he works to support the House members almost like a brother — checking in on them personally and professionally, and continuing to represent the House in balls. Follow the journey at @thegodly on Instagram.



Tiffany JuicyFruit LaBeija
Overall Treasurer/Production Manager
Category: OTA Sneaker vs. Sneaker

“I grew up on the mountains of The Poconos in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania and was not exposed to the diverse culture of New York’s underground scene,” Tiffany “JuicyFruit” LaBeija told us. As an inquisitive 8-year-old child, she was enamored by the “Club Kids” who were often on daytime talk shows. One day she found herself watching “Paris is Burning,” a 1990 documentary that chronicles ballroom culture in New York City. It opened her eyes to the world of ballroom. Seventeen years later, she moved to New York where she received two graduate degrees from Long Island University — a masters of arts in media arts/production and a masters of fine arts in screenplay/creative writing. A class assignment to watch “Paris is Burning” reminded her of those curiosities of the underground scene, but it was Marcus, her friend and classmate, who introduced her to The Royal House of LaBeija 11 years later in 2018.

“The moment I was introduced to the House, I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. “I found a place where I could be myself. I feel loved and embraced — we are all a little nuts, but we mesh well. I finally found my tribe.” After a year of working behind the scenes solely on productions for the house, she officially joined as a member in 2019 and is the current overall treasurer/secretary, a role that has her keeping tabs on the House’s international finances. Bringing her organizational skills (from her day job as an administrator at Mt. Sinai Hospital), her production knowledge, and writing skills, she also took on the role of production manager for all NYC gigs. Standing at an overwhelming stature of 4’10, the 41-year-old is also called “Auntie” by some members. She is also known as the gate keeper and secret keeper, and for always having an ear open to listening when needed. Tiffany considers The Royal House of LaBeija her chosen family and has developed strong relationships with the members and is very big on Wellness Wednesday’s check-ins.

Tiffany describes ballroom as a sport. “You practice, repeat and compete. It’s a dream to be a part of an organization that has done so much for Black culture.” Always playing the behind the scenes role which keeps the house moving, she’s admired the balls for years as a spectator. Now, however, she is ready to spread her wings and step into the spotlight to make “a few moments." This is her second solo photo shoot as a member of the house and she plans to walk in her first ball in February 2024. Wearing a kid’s 1.5 size shoe, it’s no surprise she chose the category of Sneaker vs. Sneaker to compete. Follow the journey at @TiffanyLaBeija on Instagram.