She's a mom with Michael Jackson dance moves and a son who tries to mimic every one of them. Meet Ruthy Inchaustegui, one of the dancers in Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour Cirque Du Soleil®. The show comes to Quicken Loans Arena, Tuesday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 18 at 8:00 p.m. both nights.
Ruthy Inchaustegui, pronounced [in-CHOW-stay-gee (hard g)] has been a fan of Michael Jackson since she was a child growing up in Lima, Peru. I talked with her in June about the North American tour and the joy of motherhood.
How has Michael Jackson influenced you, your dance style? There is no one like Michael. If you take the time to savor every minute of his performance, every stop that he does in between movements is still a movement, is a sound, is a breath, is a look or a point. All these times in between the dance is a connection to a feeling of the person who is watching you. He is perfection in this. To me, this is how he's had the most impact on me.
Ruthy says her son, Intiyafa, now 4-years old, fell in love with Michael Jackson at the tender age of two. "He puts on a full show for me and gets in full character when he hears Michael's music." To have the opportunity to dance in the show, she says, allows her to pay tribute to Michael for the inner child within herself and for her own child.
How big of a fan is your son of Michael Jackson? He is Michael reborn, and I think every kid is. Michael's music has such an effect on kids and that's what happened with my son. The first time he saw Michael on the "This Is It” video, he was glued to that TV. At 2-years old, he became passionate for the King of Pop, dressing like him, doing all the choreography on the video, wearing my glove and putting on his father’s hat. He was Michael--the spinning, the throwing of the hat, even the way Michael would hold his "mic," he was imitating him. Every step he did, Intiyafa was doing it. Mom was SO amazed to see how her son transform into mini King of Pop--even turning the broom into a "mic," climbing on a chair and using that as his stage.
As a parent, Ruthy says striking a balance is challenging, adding that you try everything possible to balance both. She calls "motherhood" an amazing journey--the most challenging job women will ever do. Add entertainer on top of motherhood Ruthy says, and it's a REAL challenge trying to split yourself in two, to try and do both. She hopes her experience inspires other moms.
When Ruthy is not on tour and home as a wife and mother, she strives to treat her body right.
"I'm a huge believer of meditation, yoga and staying healthy, I try my best to eat right. Eating right for me would be eating as much raw organic food I could possibly manage to make. Taking vitamins like vitamin c, b12, fish oils, calcium, and so on. I try to do meditations with my husband in the mornings, before my son wakes up. This helps us to connect as a couple and as parents. Then we are ready for Intiyafa's time and needs. We then drop him off at school and either I go and take a yoga class or I'm off to rehearsals for a show. The same thing goes for my husband, also a performer. I should also mention, we have to take the dog for a walk or park run and then maybe we do some maintenance in the house. We do it all."
Ruthy says when her son gets out of school, she spends time with him, sometimes taking him with her to rehearsals. "When he can't come, he stays with daddy, my sister-in-law or my really close friends. This way, they can get their own playing time. After rehearsal or a show, if it's still early, I get to put my son in bed. One thing I know for sure, it takes a village to raise a child, and I'm so blessed that at times I can count on that."
"My son is going to pre-K school so that helps daddy with some time for his own auditions and projects. Daddy has been a wonderful father and has been taking care of our son while I've been touring the country."
She believes she took on the Michael Jackson tour for a lot of purpose and she's convinced she's met ALL of them. "I wanted to do this for my son, for us as an adventure. It's an opportunity to give back to fans in honor of a great man who had a huge impact on me, my son and anyone else I know--while at the same time, I'm able to save some money for my family's future."
Final thoughts. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share my life and experiences with your readers. As a parent, you probably have the hardest job in the world, and if you are trying to have a career as well, it takes a lot of effort and commitment to do both. But I think that we wouldn't have been given the opportunity to do it if we couldn't handle it. I love seeing my son smile when he sees me dance. He said the cutest thing to me before he turned 4 years old. "Mami I want to dance on stage with you," and I can't wait for that opportunity to come. Dancing on stage has been my passion. I have now been blessed with a son and to see him live out his passion and happiness [on stage with mom] would be the greatest reward of them all.
Something tells me mom and her mini King of Pop son will share the stage sooner than later.
(Editor's note: Beyond dancing, Ruthy has both film and theatre experience and is also trained in martial arts and acrobatics.)