Jordan “JordiRoc” Simmons is a freestyle dancer, event organizer and artist from New Jersey now residing in Salt Lake City. Recently, they helped organize the
Black Excellence Party, the purpose of which was for “people of different backgrounds to be able to be in a space and either leave with learning something new, having met somebody new, or creating just a different connection with somebody else,” says Simmons.
Special thanks to
The HERC , Utah’s , where Simmons teaches a hip-hop dance class and who hosted this month’s Hip Hop Education & Resource Center SLUG Style.
features a distinct and unique member of the community and asks them why they do what they do. Exploring more than just clothing, SLUG Style SLUG Style is an attempt to feature the people who give Salt Lake City flavor through personality and panache.
Click images for captions
“I was talking to my partner, and I was like, ‘I have an idea. I just want to throw a party .. .I want to do it in February, a celebration of Black History Month,'” says Simmons. “I went to Black Lives Matter – Salt Lake City with this idea. I was like, ‘This is what I want to do. I’d appreciate any help that you can give.’ And just started reaching out to all my different resources to just pull it together.” Photo: @clancycoop
“I don’t look so much as far as hardships that I may encounter. Because that’s going to be anywhere I go,” says Simmons. “It’s more of, how can I make people more aware here? What can I do for my people, what can I do so that people can be more consciously aware that there are other people within the state that are facing just the same hardships and going through the same stories or struggles, if not worse. So I feel like, me being myself and just representing me everyday, who I am, and walking in my shoes, and my passion and my vision, it’s more about being more of a representation or inspiration for those like me, rather than being upset because I don’t see myself represented as much in this kind of state.” Photo: @clancycoop
“Style is forever changing, and my style has always been forever changing,” says Simmons. “I think the one thing that I can attest to that’s really helped me grow and shape how I dress is learning myself. So I can say, the experience that I’ve had being who I am, the experience I’ve had with growing up where I grew up, and the experience of growing through my identity that I acquire is the biggest thing. I feel like that has helped me cultivate how I dress.” Photo: @clancycoop
“When I was younger, for me the biggest influence was definitely Aaliyah,” says Simmons. “She had that super fly sexiness to her. But then there was also the clothes that she wore. It was just like, there are women that dress with baggier clothes! For me, personally, … when I became more conscious about things I was actually putting on, she was definitely an influence. Even when I just watched music videos. Michael Jackson as well, too.” Photo: @clancycoop
“… being a queer person of color and being here in Utah, it really has helped me soften and be more open to myself as who I truly am,” says Simmons. “Sometimes people mistake me for a boy. Or they’d be like, ‘Oh, your name’s Jordan, oh, you’re a boy. Oh, you dress like that, oh, you’re a boy.’ So I’ve been associated as being a boy from a very young age.” Photo: @clancycoop
“I have my days where I look a little bit more feminine. And it’s really just up to me,” says Simmons. “But I think on a day-to-day basis, on a day scale of how I really dress, the look is more masculine, just because I wear more masculine clothes. I still have feminine demeanor, or masculine demeanor, whichever.” Photo: @clancycoop