The cha cha heels were alive, and the Charles Johnson theater was filled with the laughter of 200 people as the magnificent Shangela Laquifa Wadley slayed the stage March 27.
D.J. Pierce, the man behind the wig, first started performing by his stage name Shangela in 2009. Pierce holds the record as the only drag queen to appear on three seasons of the hit show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Shangela appeared on the second and third seasons of Drag Race, and recently placed in the top four of season three of “RuPaul’s Drag Race Allstars.”
A native of Paris, Texas, Pierce graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University and resides in Los Angeles. He is involved in various charity work and remains a member of the SAG-Aftra Union.
Pierce is also an advocate for AIDS awareness and works to spread the message of those who have AIDS whenever he has a chance.
Pierce has guest-starred on a number of shows including Glee, Bones and 2 Broke Girls, as well as numerous music videos with celebrities, such as Miley Cyrus and countless others. Pierce released his first album in 2011 with the hit single entitled “Call Me Laquifa.”
Shangela was excited to come and perform for the Bearcat community.
“Well, I was so excited to see how diverse and warm the audience was and how ready they were to be entertained,” Shangela said. “I really was excited to see how many people showed up. It is nice to travel to a place that might not have a whole lot of these events, and give them my experience.”
Ty Bears, a sophomore political science major was excited to attend his first drag show.
“I have not been to a drag show before, but I loved this one and I plan on going to another soon,” Bears said.
With over 200 students and community members present for her performance, Shangela was proud to be able to entertain the Maryville community. Even when the music got loud, Shangela’s large personality never missed a beat. Shangela slayed the stage and sissy that walk all over the stage and left the audience gagging in their seats.
“Well, I think it is very important for people to experience things outside of their own community or experience, so the fact that I am able to be a part of that is a gift,” Shangela said.
Bears favorite part of the show was at the very beginning, and he enjoyed the audience interactions.
“I loved the dead drop Shangela did at the very beginning of the show as well the part where she took questions from the audience,” Bears said.
When asked if she had a good time, Shangela had this to say.
“Honey, I turned up, and I had a wonderful time and I can’t wait to come back and perform here again,” Shangela said.
Bears had one final message for Shangela and what he learned by attending this event.
“I really gained a new perspective last night as well as a love for drag," Bears said. "Also, Shangela Laquifa Wadley, please come back."