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Fabulous costumes and athletic dance moves at 'Academy Awards' for gay dance community

Drew Katchen / msnbc.com

In the "Fashion of the World" category, contestants are encouraged to take their inspiration from cultures around the globe and make something truly "bizarre."

Drew Katchen / msnbc.com

A performer walks in the "Butch Queen European Runway" competition. In this category, contestants look to "the future and outer space" for inspiration.

Drew Katchen / msnbc.com

Two dancers face off in a 'vogue' battle.

Voguing, drag queens and “bizarre” costume competitions are all part of a vibrant dance scene in the gay community where performers battle it out in competitions known as "balls.” The Latex Ball, held in New York City every year and sponsored by the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, is considered the Academy Awards for this community, and msnbc.com had a front-row seat.

More photos in our slideshow.

More about the annual event.

Watch video from the event below:

Voguing battles, drag queens and "bizarre" costume competitions are all part of a vibrant dance scene in the gay community. Beyond the surface, however, this scene is also about acceptance and family-like support. Msnbc.com's Brooke Sopelsa reports.