A passionate troupe of local dancers and choreographers will stage a two-hour extravaganza of belly dancing, the waltz, hip-hop, the tango and theatrical interpretive dance Saturday Oct. 5 at Dimi Espresso Coffee Shop starting at 6 p.m.
“We’re usually a comfy, cozy place — what you expect a coffee house to be, a place to relax with a latte and a pastry and do some quiet reading or work on the laptop,” says Dimi owner Tom Plets. “But sometimes we like to bust out and provide some exciting entertainment.”
Already, Tom’s brother Mark conducts the ballroom dance classes Wednesday afternoons at Dimi. This led to his discovery of Payson’s varied dance community. “We got together with Su von Mazo’s troupe, The Maya Joy Dancers, and then learned of the availability of the Fire Opals from Tucson, and we said, ‘Hey, let’s put on a show!’”
von Mazo, who teaches belly dance at Gila Pueblo Community College, said “not only do we have the always popular cabaret-style — which is most people’s idea of what belly dance is — but I myself am drawn to American tribal style belly dance.”
If shimmying hips and fluttering belly rolls are more your cup of tea, then the Fire Opals from Tucson will provide them. A cabaret-style belly dance troupe with gorgeous costumes and many performances around the Old Pueblo, one of their members, Meena Lynania, recently moved up to Payson. She will soon start dance classes in October at the Payson Healing Arts Center next to Dimi.
From there, it’s a short hop to hip-hop, in the form of Daniel Walling’s rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” He’ll reveal the secret of moonwalking during the between-numbers mini-lessons for the audience.
For the ballroom dance portion of the program, Mark Plets will do a dramatic tango with longtime partner Jennifer Hagen and a romantic waltz set to the music from “Titanic.”
Capping the evening will be the Maya Joy Dancers’ multi-media presentation of their theatrical “Stardust” number. “It’s got fairies, the sun and the moon, Mother Earth and the seed of the Tree of Life,” says von Mazo. “This is an interpretive dance depicting the creation of the universe and the miracle of life.”