Bellyography: Mecha – February 2009

It is fascinating to track an artist’s journey. I have been following Mecha’s belly dance evolution for several years. Besides being a beautiful woman, her performance persona that really caught my eye. I have witnessed her transformation from an unsure beginning student/performer to an elegant, articulate and exciting teacher and soloist. She is a lovely person, inside and out - soft-spoken and gentle. But this tender exterior belies a smoldering sensuality that she harbors, and it becomes very attractive when tapped through her dancing. Combine that with meticulous technique and we have one hot and talented dancer.

Mecha became involved in Middle Eastern dance nine years ago. Her main focus before that was aerobics, jazzercise and working out at the gym. She has never had any previous formal dance training of any kind. “I was big on fitness and in really great shape,? Mecha says, “Then, a good friend of mine wanted me to go with her to take belly dance classes. I honestly had no idea what belly dancing was. It only took one class. I was hooked!?

“When I started lessons, I thought that I would just take the classes. I really didn’t want to perform. A year later, there I was on stage, shaking like a leaf, and getting ready to do just that - perform,? Mecha says, “Even if you [never] perform, I think belly dance classes are positive for women. It is one hour you don’t have to think about your everyday life. It is one hour for you. You can feel beautiful, lose yourself in music and movement and get some fabulous exercise.?

Mecha’s first and only teacher is Thia. Mecha has been a member of Troupes Topaz, Daughters of Isis and Avatar. Mecha is presently a member of Troupe Ultima and a teacher/choreographer for Thia’s Egyptian Dance Center and Troupe Ostara. “Teaching and choreographing dances for Ostara, my performing class, has improved my own dancing so much. As a teacher, I have to work hard on my own technique so that I am teaching my students correctly. I have learned so much since I became a teacher,? she says.

Mecha describes her own solo choreographies as having no real style because she likes them all. She has definitely been inspired by Thia and influenced by Dina and Virginia. “I love Egyptian Cabaret. I love the movement, the costumes and it is so sexy! When I perform a solo, I don’t dance just one style, I break the rules. I just let my body do what it wants to do. I listen to the music and go with it. And I love dancing to live music. Having that connection with the musicians, hearing the live drumming. It is so uplifting to improvise and to just dance,? she says.

You can watch Mecha “just dance? at Belly Dance Spring Fest, March 7 and at Indian Fusion each month.