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House of Enigma
a mystery or riddle; someone or something that is not easily explained or understood

[Mid-16th century. Via Latin aenigma from Greek ainigma,
from, ultimately, ainos fable.]

from Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P) 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


After serving four years as a member of the House of Avant-Garde (Chicago's first Ball Culture House), Aaron "Binky" Avant-Garde informed his "house parents" (Wardell and Chanale) that he was ready to start his own group. With blessings and good wishes, the birth of the House of Enigma was announced at Avant-Garde's "Fantasy Ball", Oct 25, 1992.

On November 13, 1992, Father Aaron "Fumamachu" Enigma co-sponsored a "house warming" party along with former Avant-Gardian Kenny "Kavon" Élan (currently the Father of the Chicago Chapter of Ultra-Omni), who was also debutting his new House of Élan. The event allowed these sister houses to celebrate a new chapter in the expansion of the Chicago ball circuit.

During this time, Aaron was also publishing "CUT" Magazine, seeking to give the Chicago ball community a sense of connection with the east coast scene. Originally started as the Avant-Garde house newsletter on June 1992, the last issue was published in July/August 1993.

The House of Enigma has set an example by successfully sponsoring balls (talent/fashion pageants) for the Chicago ball community. Aaron Enigma drew from his experience as ball coordinator for the House of Avant-Garde, starting with "The Unity Ball" on December 1, 1991. The first Enigma event, "The Wrecking Ball", took place December 17, 1993. "The Goof Ball" on May 16, 1994 took the ball scene to a more mainstream audience of Chicago party folk. The most recent live event to date was "The Zodiac Ball" on August 23, 1998, which drew attendance from across state lines, helping to keep the Chicago Ballroom Scene on the map. The latest endeavors in mid-2002 include the creation of a web group network called "House Of Balls" (event posts, knowledge and history), and the creation of "eBall" (a web-based competion), both seeking to build bridges and unify an ever-expanding house ball culture.

Members of Enigma have participated and competed in balls in Chicago as well as New York. The group's ball category majors are Vogueing (Old Way and New Way), Designers Delight (creating and constructing original fashion designs), and Bizarre (creating original and creative costumes from non-traditional materials).Though not always winning, members have prided themselves on friendly competition as well as professional presentations. To defeat an Enigma, you would have done your homework.

Primarily, Enigma is an art collective, giving its members a sense of support and exchange for executing creative ideas. The House of Enigma's mission is to provide an outlet for cultivating creativity, networking and celebrating individuality.

You can contact Aaron at

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