News from the Desert Stars

The Desert Stars--Clogging with flair!

The Desert Stars–Clogging with flair!

Marilyn Mitchell, Barbara Sullivan, Mary Jo Bellner Swartzberg and Tina Wrbanek

What do a former operating room nurse, a former critical care nurse, a former corporate manager and a former administrator at a medical school have in common? They are the Desert Stars, a tap/clog group located in SaddleBrooke. The Desert Stars practice two times a week from 7:00 until 8:00 a.m. in order to keep their dancing skills honed for their performances, which are held both within and outside of the SaddleBrooke community. The group’s repertoire includes rock and roll, jazz, country, dances of Ireland and old standards. Members and their backgrounds include:

Marilyn Mitchell – Marilyn danced and sang in shows during high school and college. She took a hiatus until she and her husband Elvis moved to SaddleBrooke, at which time she resumed her dancing.

Barbara Sullivan – Barbara has a background in ballet (en pointe), modern jazz and hula! She was a member of a performing Swedish folk dance troupe in college.

Mary Jo Bellner Swartzberg – Prior to moving to SaddleBrooke Mary Jo had two years of adult tap dance lessons and was a member of the Manhattan Dance Company in Toledo, Ohio.

Tina Wrbanek – Tina was a Round Dance (choreographed ballroom dance) leader in the Chicago area for 15 years before moving to SaddleBrooke. After moving she continued her dancing in the Tucson area. Tina’s husband John plays the music for the performances of the Desert Stars and Marilyn’s husband Elvis assists with performance logistics.

The Desert Stars group was established in 1997 by Patsy Chase (often referred to as “Miss Patsy”), who has been a life-long dancer. Patsy owned her own dance studio in Maine for 28 years. She also taught tap dancing at Pima College in Tucson. Currently Patsy is not dancing with the group, but she attends the group’s performances and acts as its M.C.

If you would like the Desert Stars to perform for your organization/club please call Barbara Sullivan at 400-2115.