BWM AwardsGogo Bears

Meet the Nominees: Best Bear Gogo Dancer

Voting is now open for the second annual Bear World Magazine Awards presented by Bike Athletic in association with Growlr App and the Crown & Anchor.

Take a minute to get to know the nominees for Best Bear Gogo Dancer. Then be sure cast your vote by April 30th!

Salem, Los Angeles

Salem is the poster boy for Club Chub and primarily dances at Precinct DTLA. However, he will soon be taking his act on the road as Club Chub makes its debut in Austin at The Iron Bear.

Getting into gogo dancing: I started gogo dancing back in July of 2023. Prior to gogo dancing I was already performing for Bearlesque of Orange County and one of the other dancers had told me about someone looking for chub gogo dancers. That ended up being Club Chub. It was an opportunity to show that us chubs/super chubs can do it too, especially because I’d never seen chub gogo dancers in the scene.

Describe your dancing style and persona: I don’t feel I have a certain style of dancing, but I guess you can say a signature move would be a body roll. And Salem is definitely the persona, Salem is extra confident, very outgoing, and flirty!

Nao, Tokyo

Nao is a manager at the Eagle Tokyo Blue in addition to being an internationally booked gogo bear. In addition to dancing at parties in Shinjuku such as Bear-Train and Icon he often gets booked in Thailand at events such as the upcoming Bangkok Songkran Bear Week.

Describe your gogo style/ persona: First, I should explain that my style of GOGO varies slightly depending on the region and venue size. In the United States, there is opportunity for performers to dance slowly and sexy for 30 minutes or an hour at the counter of a small club. However, in Asia, dancers usually dance on stage for 10 to 15 minutes (in some regions of China, it is just 5 minutes) as a showcase. Of course, we will make adjustments based on the audience situation, but I usually dance with a hypermasculine/ top vibe.

Getting into the zone while dancing: When I dance, I feel like I’m hunting bears in a cruising space. I’m in a situation that I can be sure that a guy is interested in me because of his gaze, and I’m like, “Oh, you wanna do it with me, right?” But since I’m on stage at that time, I obviously can’t so the closest feeling is, “We’ll hook up when the show is over, so just wait.” When I dance with this in mind, I can create just the right expression. Fortunately, I am a top, so even if I don’t try hard to act it out, it’s already a part of me. I don’t find it difficult.

Ner, New York City

Ner can be seen dancing all over NYC at bear parties parties like Goldiloxx, Bear Milk, and Bears Night Out and Bear Naked amongst many others and has been booked nationally in cities like Nashville and Philly, to name a few.

Describe your gogo style/ persona: My gogo persona can be wrapped up into two words, “that bit*h.” I love that I give other big, hairy boys confidence when they see me on stage in a tiny outfit, throwing it back to Doja cat, and living my gay life to the fullest. I have some tricks up my sleeve when dancing (as I am known to hit a jump split off a stage or bar at any given moment) and dance till my sweat is dripping on the stage. My day job sees the professional pharmacy manager/technician side of me, but on stage, I’m able to free my inner self and just leave it all out there!

Favorite thing about being a gogo bear: Being able to inspire others; as an Arab bear, I needed to see some more representation of Arabic Men in the spotlight, specifically within the NYC bear community. I felt it was up to me to show others that you can be the representation you want to see! You can be whoever you want to be, wear whatever you want to wear; not letting race, weight, “the inner saboteur” or anything get in the way. I’m so happy with how far I have come, I love what I do, and I thank EVERY single person who has supported me. Period.

J-Mo Bear, Phoenix

J-Mo bear can be seen on the gogo box whenever MEGAWOOF! makes its way to Phoenix. He also is a regular performer at BeefDip and Bearland MX.

Describe your dancing style: I’d call my style very old school ’80s (because I am old), so I often use a lot of the urban line dances I learned in my middle- and high-school years – stuff with names like The Cabbage Patch, The Rebop, The Window Wash, The Snake, The Robocop and The Whopp.  I was also a break-dancer when I was much younger, so one of my ‘signature’ moves often involves incorporating some pop-locking, and body waves through my arms, down to my legs and back up to my arms and head.  It would naturally follow that my favorite music to dance to is old school, I love to get hired for a throwback party that features stuff from the ’80s, ’90s and early aughts!  And if I know the song, I will fully lip-sync the entire thing, I can’t help it, hearing those songs in a club setting makes me so happy, and that is a feeling that I love to communicate through dancing, it’s one of the reasons you will often find me grooving with a huge smile!

Tell us about your gogo persona: I’m someone who is always fascinated by shiny things, bright colors, and anything that lights up.. so I’d have to say my gogo persona is all about being a chubby sparkly dancing light show!  I am constantly on the lookout for new electronic gadgets to incorporate into my looks. I have a lot of harnesses and armbands from Breedwell, laser gloves off of eBay, and various other LED items I’ve gotten from Amazon.  I know sometimes it might be a little much for some people, and I fully admit it is my go-to gimmick, but I just want to give the bears something interesting to look at when I’m out there in the dark.

Hunter Harden, Salt Lake City

Hunter Harden gets booked at bear parties all over the country including Bearracuda, World Bear Weekend and Furball to name a few. He is known for his super furry body and unique costuming which has famously included a bejeweled bear head.

Describe your gogo style/ persona: I would definitely say animalistic because I like to wear an animal hood of some sort and move my body savagely. On the other hand, my movement is also fluid. I just find my own rhythm and beat to dance to so I’m not just doing a step-touch. That’s why I don’t do circuit parties much anymore. A lot depends on the DJ. The same continuous beat makes it a boring dance routine in my opinion.

Favorite thing about being a gogo bear: I would have to say it’s the confidence and opportunities it’s given me. I have struggled with my own confidence for a long time and dancing makes me feel better.  I hope others can see and feel the fun I’m having while dancing.

Juicy Jay, New York City

Juicy Jay tells us he will dance anywhere he is welcome and his body is celebrated but his home bars are Rockbar, The Deep End, Ty’s and Phoenix Bar but you can catch him all over NYC.

Describe you gogo style/ persona: My gogo style I would say depends on the party but I like to look good, and show off my best ASSets. Just being this thick, beefy cuddly dude in skimpy clothing is my style. Owning my presence.

Favorite thing about being a gogo bear: My favorite thing about Gogo is the attention, if I’m honest. Being a Gogo has opened so many avenues for me. I’m forever grateful for the opportunities to just show off my non traditional body by society standards and for it to be celebrated. Especially when most of my life I was looked at differently for being a bigger boy. The confidence that I feel now when I’m up on the box or stage is unmatched. You can’t tell me shit now! LOL That’s honestly thanks to my fuller figure brothers and sisters, supporting me and being people I look up too. 

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