Mia Monteabaro is adventuresome. Seeking out circumstances that demand a lot and offer profound rewards is a constant theme in her life. When asked what motivates her, Mia notes that she and Drew Tabke, her boyfriend of 10 years and a professional ski racer, moved to Seattle from Utah, because “Life was so easy, so safe there. We wanted challenge.” For herself, it was artistic challenge, which is “hard, scary, and takes time.”
It did take time. Along the road, she worked long hours at various jobs. In recent years, in addition to Whim W’Him, she has put in year and a half at Atlas Pilates in Belltown, getting her Pilates certification, and spent much of her days and evenings on the move, eating meals, thinking and planning all while driving out to Issaquah to teach dance, to Bellevue for Whim W’Him rehearsals, and to Belltown. “I was pretty tired,” she says.
Having a fixed contract with Whim W’Him has simplified Mia’s life. She can concentrate on the work she loves best, dancing with Whim W’Him and teaching Pilates. “I have way more energy now,” she says. “There’s more space for the choreography we’ve learned to sink in.” She loves her fellow Whimmers as well the other Pilates instructors, and her colleagues are the people she most looks up to. Both jobs are more than jobs. They are “what I look forward to being at.” Mia adds, “I’m happy with life now. I like to push myself in new ways—a challenge ahead of me. I like to move my body and be in a place where I can do that.”
Mia also loves the outdoors. “My friends are skiers, surfers, dancers—physical beings,” and she goes hiking and skiing whenever possible. “My days are mostly spent inside, where there are mirrors instead of windows.” And she adds with her engaging smile, “Coming from Santa Barbara, I do love my sunshine.”
When asked what qualities she looks for in her friends, she answers, “An openness in them. I’m attracted to people who have a sense of humor and an expressiveness to them. They are what they are and don’t change it for anyone.”
As to her own best personal characteristics, she says, “I’m a good listener. Honest. Loyal.” She is also equally capable of having great fun and very serious, concentrated attention. And her not so good characteristics? “Second guessing myself. Thinking too much before I put it in action. Worrying too much before doing or saying something.”
Some dancers love most the process of invention, some thrive best on stage, but Mia says, “I like the whole journey.”
“Getting together with people you love and creating something new—even if it’s a reworking. There’s the sense of trial and error, the whole body and mind in it. Diving in head first—seeing where it takes you—challenging body and mind.”
Then there are the delights of moving from studio to stage, “Finally sharing with those you’ve told little stories about mishaps, the things that don’t work, the ups and downs, and inside jokes acquired over the process.”
Of the show itself, she concludes. “It’s never comfortable. All of us have a form of stage fright. You’re putting yourself in a vulnerable situation—it’s exciting.” She pauses and says that being an artist means you’re confronting “something that you thought might be paralyzing and you overcome it—overcoming fear. It may be back the next time, but…”
“Scary” and “exciting”—words that describe what Mia loves about her Whim W’Him life.
And Happy Birthday, Mia!