In the coffee shop from a campout near the river, Julia Fernandez de Maez, a Las Vegas-certified pole dance instructor and formally trained dancer, removed a poster on display with …
In the coffee shop from a campout near the river, Julia Fernandez de Maez, a Las Vegas-certified pole dance instructor and formally trained dancer, removed a poster on display with women in haystacks, cowboy hats, fishnet stockings and cutoffs. "Every one of these women here [pointed at poster] started training with me as a fitness client then turned dancer," she said.
Her business, The Body Shop, will present The Wild Southwest Showgirl Showcase on Saturday (May 4), 7:30 p.m., at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. Tickets are $15. Seating will be limited. There is also a VIP front-row area for $20 a seat.
Performers will take the stage in ranchera boots and other alluring Southwest themed costuming to bring various styles of dance to the stage to fund the Flamenco Academy.
Artistic Director of the show and owner of the Body Shop, Fernandez de Maez and her troupe have been choreographing and training for months, three days a week, to perform pole, burlesque, chair, belly, floor, two-step and line dancing. Special guests include famed flamenco dancer Catalina Rio Fernandez and Norma Grant, bringing her Zumba moves - joining the Southwest Showgirl core troupe of Karin Eberhardt, Jess Fitzgerald, Agnes Artoonian, Miranda Salazar, Scarlett Valintina, Paula Martinez-Mascarenas, Lisa Vigil, Mary Agnes Valencia and Monique Pacheco. The troupe will perform to country western music by artists such as Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton and more.
"These girls out of The Body Shop are taking these things to the next level, just trying to be leaders of the community, inspiring other women to get fit, inspiring other women to step outside their comfort zone, inspiring other women to dance," said Fernandez de Maez.
With Fernandez de Maez' professional training, these women have gone from their weekly practice sessions of giving each other lap dances to unchaining their own sultry routines, gaining confidence and precision.
"These classes are really intended to help women feel comfortable in their skin regardless of their dance background," said Fernandez de Maez. "We use dance as a conduit to helping women rediscover their confidence and promote a positive place to grow, explore and demonstrate all their brilliance."
While the show is intended for entertainment and to showcase the work of the dancers it is also a fundraiser for Taos' own flamenco academy. Julia Fernandez de Maez, in collaboration with her flamenco teacher, Catalina Rio Fernandez, have created a formal flamenco school, the Fernandez de Maez Flamenco Academy. Admission from the show will be directed toward classes at an accessible and affordable rate to families, and that provide performance art opportunities as well as discovering discipline using flamenco.
"We are not just women going out to throw on a show - the money we generate from these shows will get invested back to the community," said Fernandez de Maez.
Aside from bringing accessible flamenco courses to the community, Fernandez de Maez is also passionate about creating cooperation and helping other local businesses flourish. "We're also trying to bring more to the local businesses," she said.There will be local vendors at the event featuring hemp and jewelry, and The Body Shop will be having sign-ups for anyone interested in fitness, dance classes, personal training and nutrition.
The classes she offers at The Body Shop are for anyone in the community to focus on fitness or weight loss, and share the love of dance or just find time to navigate through life's challenges.
"This [The Body Shop and its curriculum] is about community outreach, it's about creating more for the kids, it's also about having more flavor for the adults," she said.
In the 10-act show, the audience can expect a very classical French approach to burlesque, a Turkish-Egyptian style of belly dance, country line dance and two-step influenced from New Mexican caballero culture, as well as Las Vegas-style erotic and pole dance. Fernandez de Maez invites the community to come see the first belly dance to country western music.
Recommended for mature audiences. Fernandez de Maez warns, "There will be some butt cheeks, but no nudity."
For more information, call (505) 240-3687. The Body Shop is located at 129 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos.
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