Tirza's true essence lies somewhere between Doris Day, Shakira and Scheherezade. Gorgeous. Gifted. Sensuous. What's not to love? She is genuinely nice, loyal and a fabulous dancer. Well...duh!...Tirza is the Greek word for pleasant—and our Tirza is that and much, much more.
Photo by James Zink
Tirza is a dancer's dancer. Her incredible talent is obvious. She has been well trained and she seems to have been born to express herself through dance. But there is nothing of the diva about her. She is one of the most sincere and gracious ladies I have ever interviewed. The truth of Tirza is articulated in her earthy, warm and joyous performances. She reaches out to her audiences with infectious energy and invites them to share in her delight; it's very contagious and very, very, sexy! (Not to mention her amazing body that is honed to perfection). She is, after all, a personal trainer and she works out regularly. The results are stunning and well worth the effort.
A native Utahn, Tirza studied ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop as a child. She discovered belly dancing when a co-worker brought a costume to work. Intrigued, she attended a belly dancing show and fell in love with belly dancing.
"I had never heard of belly dancing before then," she explained.
A little over three years ago, Tirza began taking classes with Midnight Mirage. Recognizing her natural talent, she was soon asked to be a member of the award winning, Midnight Mirage Dance Company. Recently, Tirza and Jamileh won first place in the duet category at the Double Crown competition.
"I really love this dance and I like how Midnight Mirage incorporates jazz into their choreography. Their kind of belly dancing fits me perfectly. I love the flow and the formations. I prefer a more Americanized style of belly dancing."
"I truly enjoy my relationship with Jamileh, Calypso and Zephyra; they have become my closest friends," Tirza told me. "There is no leader in our dance company. We all create the dances, and we all have a say in what we do and how. We call it 'dance-ocracy.' Everyone has a voice and a vote. We inspire each other so well, that it has become great fun to make up new dances. If we get stumped, we just move on and come back to it later."
Tirza and Midnight Mirage are on the cutting edge of Danse Orientale, or as they call it, "belly dancing with a twist." As Tirza told me,
"I would love to see our belly dance community keep growing and evolving. All the different aspects—tribal, folkloric, classical Egyptian, fusion—are fabulous. The general public just doesn't know enough about belly dancing. People need to see what a truly beautiful art form it is."
And I couldn't agree more!
You can see Tirza perform solo and with the Midnight Mirage Dance Company at "Mirage in Winter," February 9 & 10, at Totem's. Go to www.midnightmirage.com
for ticket and workshop information.