Fusion in the Forest – a biased review!

It rocked.

The end.

Of course there is much, MUCH more to tell you about it… especially for those that couldn’t/didn’t attend. I can honestly say that if you weren’t at the show, you missed out!

Let me start at the beginning… About 3 years ago, Frieda (the owner and leader of Maya Troupe) had an idea. An idea to do a 3 night belly dance extravaganza. So she started saving up, every little bit of “extra” money the studio got, she put away into our account. Around the middle of last year, she began talking about it as a reality – we discussed a potential venue, and starting our scouting! We eventually decided to use Helderberg Farm – an amazingly beautiful farm in Stellenbosch, the winelands of the Cape. I used to work in the kiosk on the farm, so I knew the owners quite well, and we set up a meeting with them and starting discussing what we’d like to do. They were over the moon! It was to be the first event of this form to be held on the farm.

Fast forward 3 months, and the new year had started, and we were in full swing with our preparations for the show.


We brought in Craig from Flames Inc to teach us to fire dance – with poi as well as fire fans. We started out with MANY, MANY bruises and more bruised egos! Fire dancing practice really took my ego down a couple of notches – I was so miserable about 10 minutes before classes ended because I just COULDN’T get it right and then suddenly I’d get the move right just before class ended. It sounds horrible, but it’s been a while since I’ve done something I’m THAT bad at!!

One weekend, before the show, we all went to the beach and fire danced there, right by the water. Craig came along with us to make sure we didn’t burn the place down – we had quite a crowd and it was great for advertising the show. We also invited our drum players along to set an atmosphere for us.

Craig blowing fire

Fire Fans

Leoni doing her thang with fire!


We had 10 dances in our show, and I was in 9 of those 10 dances. It was absolutely thrilling to be a part of every single little piece, to see it grow from an idea to a full formed production on stage! I could give you a run-through of every single dance we did, along with music and how each dance went, but that would probably bore you senseless. So I’ll keep it short. There were stuff ups, of course. Doing the wrong move at the wrong time, people still having their pants tied up when they’re on the stage (Yes, Leoni!) as well as people setting themselves on fire (Cheri!!). The biggest mistake that happened was the music was too soft for one of the dances – a dance where the first beat is a move. But we got over that quickly, and nobody in the audience really noticed {or they were too polite to say that they noticed!}

During our finale, I think I had the most fun. Leoni and I partnered up and did a short ATS piece, then our UV poi piece. After that, we did a cheeky little improv piece (first improv on stage for me!) where we “dueled” each other. It was soooo much fun and I actually can’t wait to do something like that again.

I am so inspired by this show, I feel like everybody has come into their own with it and really let go and just ENJOYED the dancing, which is so important. I feel like we smiled more, enjoyed it more, and just let go.

Hopefully soon, I will be compiling a “show reel” for this show, and to showcase what Maya can really do!  Here are a couple of photos taken by our photographer, Steph Bekker!


  1. Wow wow wow stunning pics! Cant believe that duet duel thing you did at the end was improv- it was AWESOME! And a great show- well done to you all!

    1. Thanks Rox! Doing the improv was a little scary – first time and all – but sooooo much fun when you have somebody to play off of! Definitely going to try and do something like that again!

  2. Totally agree with Foxy. Loved the show. The improv was really cheeky and gave the piece an edge. More shows please. The Helderberg area is in need of shows like this

  3. I attended the show and was amazed by your talents. You ladies really entertained us and we think you’re all awesome. Thanks for a great show and super venue.

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