January 21, 2008

The Family is Growing

Well, right after the holidays, you may wonder about the title of this post. After all, most people are making resolutions to lose weight, reduce, minimize and simplify. If you ask Mirage, we've kind of done the opposite! This year we've added on, expanded and although there is the potential of more confusion, the truth is we can't be more excited about the changes in the troupe.

It's a tradition for the group to have an end of semester party where we can let our hair down, share some drinks and food, watch videos of ourselves (really, it's actually quite fun) and talk about the upcoming semester. In December, we also do a little holiday gift exchange which includes everything girly and fun we can imagine. The funny part is we seem to come up with a gift 'theme' each year, without any discussion among the group. Last year, it was body glitter (a precious commodity for dancers) and this year, make-up brushes. So, look out world, we'll be such a neatly coiffed and groomed group!

So in addition to our usual holiday cheer and celebrating we did talk a little business, and made some pretty big decisions for the troupe. We decided to invite not one, not two, but three new members to the troupe, whew! From time to time, people ask how they can become a member and I wish I could give a concrete answer to that question. This really is the only decision we make as a troupe that is unanimous and there really is no set format or time in which we plan for it. It really is an organic decision that we think about and then finally decide in a vote (usually after dessert of course).

The ladies we picked are such a great addition to the troupe, not only in terms of dance style but personality, energy and enthusiasm. The larger troupe numbers will actually allow us to perform at more venues (we've got a lot of really busy ladies) and try some new things in our choreographies and shows. And in case you're wondering, we didn't pick them for their hair color or height (blonde, brunettes, red head; shorter, medium, tall), that was just coincidence! So, I'll give everyone a heads up...you don't want to miss Mirage shows this spring! Without further delay, here they are:

Dana Winn

Dana is our California girl turned Texan, who moved here to be closer to her sweetie and fiance (sorry guys, all three of our new girls are taken!). She hails from San Diego where she got her 'hips wet' performing in local restaurants. She has a smile that will melt the audience and a full repertoire of dance movement that I know will dazzle even the most hard-core belly dance enthusiast. She also gets major kudos for dancing with us last December, outside in 30 degree weather. In fact, her whole family gets major brownie points for sticking it out under those conditions. That's what you get when you have a belly dancer in the family, yeah Dana!

Eva Tennessee

Eve...what can I say about this gal? She captured my heart years ago at a dancer debut show when she performed to "Groove is the in Heart". I don't remember anyone else in Mirage history leaping, bounding and dancing across so much of the stage as she did that night. She brings that same energy to everything she does. It seems like the planets were really aligned for her to come join the troupe. I hadn't seen her in quite a while (she was busy with school work!) and ran into her at ABDA's Year and a Day Show. I really wanted her to come dance again with us, and wouldn't you know it...she had decided it was time in her life to take her modern dance/theatre/director background to another level and focus on fusing this with more folkloric belly dance. It's a match made in heaven as far are we're concerned. (P.S. Eve also braved the freezing conditions last December and was brave enough to play zils with the group as well [it had been a while for her]...we learned she truly is fearless).


Last, but certainly not least is Zanjabil (and yes, I did spell it incorrectly in our latest post, sorry)...which is Arabic for Ginger. I've known Ginger for many years now when she first started belly dancing here in Austin. She has an infectious laughter that you just can't forget! We thought we had lost her when she moved to Seattle with her new hubby, but that sweet, southern, sassy gal managed to talk him to returning to Austin. Thanks Billy, we really appreciate it! I admire her quick wit, smart style, and oh my gosh...the shoe collection! I had the pleasure (????) of helping her move once and was frankly astounded by the number of shoes this gal owns. Impeccable taste, lots of glamour and intelligence to boot (she has a Ph.D.). Oh yeah, and she can dance as well!!!! Side note, Ginger would have danced in the cold that night, but remember...she's the smart one who made other plans and was warm, dry and well-fed that evening ;-)

And in case you're wondering what to the call these lovely ladies, I think they've dubbed themselves the Mirage Triad...and I can't wait to see them in action!

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