In the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we sat in confinement, scrolling on our phones, awaiting uplifting entertainment. Cue YungBBQ, born Alexis Feacher, a 21-year-old who dresses up as Black cultural figures and dances impromptu. She’s worn costumes inspired by everyone from SisQó, to Diana Ross, to Teyana Taylor, and has millions of eyes on her impressions. This moment has been years in the making, Feacher has been taking dance classes since she was a child.
“I’ve done ballet, modern, jazz and also hip-hop,” Feacher says before pausing for a moment. “But for hip-hop, it was kind of hard to take classes, being where I’m from.” She was raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, a town with a history marred by Jim Crow, but gilded in a sense of community by Black circles. “Most of the dance they had here was majorette,” Feacher shares.
Her memories of her younger years are filled with cartoons and the sounds of popular Black music. Her social media presence is inviting and routinely comedic, like that of a cast member of Nickelodeon’s All That. Perhaps it’s easiest to explain if you consider her mini performances skits, complete with characters and costumes.
“The outfits, I usually go on YouTube and I would look up what I’m supposed to wear as the artist I’m gonna be,” she tells ESSENCE of how she replicates the vintage looks. “I go to Goodwill or sometimes another thrift store and I have my outfits made by…three different [seamstresses] here. It’s certain outfits I know I won’t be able to find in the store but if I can, I’ll go to a thrift store or ask my mom.”
Feacher’s dance sessions caught the attention of Instagram and Facebook, who included her in their inaugural Creator Week. The 3-day-long, invite-only virtual session was to help innovative minds across industries build a community—and a business. For the event, she spoke with InStyle‘s Special Projects Editor, Peyton Dix, in a conversation she calls “a blast.”
“When they asked me to do it, I was honestly screaming, inside and out,” Feacher says. I was really happy with the turn out. It felt natural.” She’s big on content creators making digital content that speaks to them, instead of crafting an image out of necessity. In fact, it’s her primary note to those looking to grow an organic following: “Tips that helped me with my following and helped me grow was basically staying true to what you do and what you think is going to make people want to follow you.”
Sound advice from the internet’s favorite choreographer.
Keep up with YungBBQ by following her on Instagram.