McGinnis: Miranda’s last danceWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“I have only a couple of years left. I’ll be 28 soon. It’s not, for me, a career, although you can make a career out of this industry. I mean, a lot of people go from dancing, to working at the club, to management. And there is a lot of upward mobility there. I just, personally, don’t want to pursue it.” –”Meet Miranda,” Toledo Free Press Star, July 6, 2010.
The time is now for the dancer known by the stage name Miranda. After seven years of performing at Déjà Vu Showgirls on South Byrne Road, she is finally moving on — a transition she admits is “totally terrifying.”
“It has been such a safe place for me … There is a certain safety in having an alter ego,” she said in a new interview with Toledo Free Press Star. “I don’t go by Miranda outside of [Déjà Vu], but, I mean, it is a very safe place when you have that alter ego. It’s like the theater.”
But the fear hasn’t changed her mind. Her self-imposed time limit is almost up — Miranda will be turning 30 in just a few days. To her, it seems like a decent waypoint to officially close the door on a part of your life.
“It’s not that I look down at dancers that dance past 30. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’ve got it, and you’re still loving what you’re doing, you know, whatever. But for me, it was — I had to make a deadline for myself, and say, ‘I’ve learned everything that I am going to learn. And it’s time for me to be a part of the real world again.’”
Indeed, the real world holds a lot of promise for her these days — promise that, Miranda said, has its roots in her time as a dancer.
“I’m actually going to school, and I’m going to be a lawyer. And that’s really cool. And if it wasn’t for the fact that I danced, I never, ever, ever would have even thought about being a lawyer. That would have never crossed my mind,” she said. “I learned so much confidence. I learned that I’m not a dumb girl. And I never would have learned that had I not had the experience that I had.”
Much of being a dancer, Miranda argued, has nothing to do with being beautiful and everything to do with being able to talk to people. And it was through conversations with her regulars that she began to consider pursuing a law degree — especially a regular who was a fairly high-powered lawyer, himself.
“He looks at me at one point, and he goes, ‘You know, have you ever thought about going into law?’ And I said, ‘You know, I’ve been thinking about going back to school, but I never really thought about what I would be good at.’ And he said, ‘You really should think about something in the legal profession, because you have the mind for it.’”
She’s been attending school for some time now, maintaining a 3.89 GPA, all while still working at the club. Miranda said that it’s actually been a great to work at Déjà Vu while taking classes, as the club’s schedule gives her plenty of chances to hit the books.
“I’m terrified that I’m gonna get into school next semester and I’m not gonna have that free time, I’m actually have to learn to actually manage my time. And that’s a terrifying thought,” she said with a laugh.
She will also have the love and support of her husband — Miranda has been married over two years now, a fact she has never hidden from her regulars at the club.
“I always try to be honest, because it’s just easier to be honest that way,” “There are many girls that play that role too far. And I don’t want a guy to think — I want them to feel that I’m interested in them, but not interested in a way that I want to date them, because I think that goes too far.”
Between her schooling, her prospective career and her marriage, it’s not Miranda’s own future that concerns her the most. Her worry is the future of some of her fellow dancers, since she — in some ways the “den mother” of the group — won’t be there to offer guidance.
“I’m a little scared,” Miranda said. “Just because I had hoped — and this is gonna sound egotistical, and I totally don’t mean it to sound that way — but I hoped there would be somebody that stepped up and do what I do
“I feel that my biggest function is that I’m the girl that says, ‘Hey, this what real life is like. This is what the actual world is like.’ Because there are so many people that get into these dark places, and they can’t see outside of that situation. They don’t know that the rest of the world exists.”
But it’s a world she will gladly face on July 31 — her last day at Déjà Vu. Her last dance. The day “Miranda” will disappear.
“I’ll miss everything about it. I mean, I love the job. I do. I love that place. But, you know, you gotta move on at some point. It’s time.”