How Dolly Parton Brought Vogueing to “Christmas on the Square”

Tens, tens, tens across the board!

If we lived in the town of Fullerville, the setting of Netflix’s Christmas on the Square, then you would find us hanging out in one place: the salon owned by Margeline (played by Jenifer Lewis). Judging from the movie’s opening musical number, it seems like the party is always popping, with cute boys dancing and vogueing between giving haircuts and highlights.

“Oh, honey, Debbie snatched me off a plane and said ’You get over here and learn this vogueing,'” Lewis tells NewNowNext, referring to showbiz legend Debbie Allen, who directed and choreographed the musical. “Debbie gave me my break in Hollywood, so when she calls I’m there.”


When asked about the vogue-off in the first number, Lewis attributes that to star and lyricist Dolly Parton, who was “so collaborative and open” to suggestions and changes during filming.

“Dolly was so open to every idea that I had,” Allen adds. “To changing this arrangement or adding a new song. The vogueing… she loved all of that.”

Lewis, who had previously worked with Parton on the classic 1999 movie Jackie’s Back, also gave some behind-the-scenes tidbits, adding that—no surprise—”Dolly was so fun on set.” “She wears pumps this high and at one point she was standing on a box and I said, ’Dolly, sweetie, you can take your shoes off and rest your feet,’ and she turned to me and said, ’Jenifer, you got to keep on your shoes!'”

Keep your shoes on around Jenifer Lewis—you never know when you will be challenged to a vogue-off!

Christmas on the Square hits Netflix on November 22. Check out our exclusive interview with Lewis and Allen in the video below.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."