Although it wasn't a line that was used in my favorite movie, "Desk Set," I immediately thought to myself, "When in doubt, check The New York Times." I looked up the obituary published by the NYTimes following the passing of Willi Ninja. Willi was a star in the "Ball" community. In fact, The New York Times referred to Willi as the "Grandfather of Vogue" . Here is some more information from that same obituary:
Vogueing had been around for years, but Willi Ninja brought it to a level of visibility and perfection in performance that no one had ever reached before, said Sally Sommer, a professor of dance at Florida State University (See NYTimes obituary tribute for Willi Ninja).
From what I know about Willi from the documentary How Do I Look, I know that he was an inspiration to a lot of people. And it was no doubt through connecting with so many people (including celebrities and personalities) that Willi helped popularize "Vogue" as a dance form. I promise to keep looking for more references to how "Vogue" was popularized.