Dance Dance Revolution
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Warren called her friend Sara Vargas ’99, who had recently returned to New York City after a stint in Texas doing marketing and public relations for a Japanese watch company. Warren and Vargas had met while working together at the Coffeehaus on campus. They have a variety of uncommon work experience between them—in addition to more traditional jobs, Vargas once managed an exotic bird store and Warren groomed dogs for a summer. Both are calm, organized people, adept at logistics. Vargas and Warren didn’t want to perform, but they decided to put their public relations and event planning skills to use as the group’s producers.
In the meantime, Crandell was busy inviting her network of friends from SLC and elsewhere to participate. (“I’m a social Libra,” she says buoyantly, and one imagines said network to be rather sizeable.) All were professional artists; none had performed burlesque before. Chia-Ti Chiu ’00 was intrigued by the ideas behind the group and welcomed the chance to reconnect with her SLC friends—and with the simple joy of performance. A teaching artist, yoga instructor, and Thai bodywork practitioner by day, Chiu performs intense, hour-long, one-woman shows centered on her poetry, which explores the intricacies of race, class, and gender. She threw herself into burlesque, called herself “Hot-Ti,” and boned up on the art form by attending shows, reading books, and studying DVDs. “In burlesque, I’m expressing myself through my body, just as in poetry, I’m expressing myself through words,” she says.