Renaissance Woman: Dropping beats, Erasing Stigmas with Michigan's Shane

PHOTO BY BENJI BEAR


Beat boxer. Mental health advocate. Social justice champion. 

These are some of the titles that Mira Shane holds as the bright, uplifting voice on the Michigan women’s lacrosse team.

Shane, a goalie, came to Michigan because she could be more than a lacrosse player.

Fueled by her musical passion, she stars in an a cappella group, 58 Greene, as a vocal percussionist.

Burdened by life’s pressures and expectations — traveling far from her Princeton, N.J., home and feeling isolated as a biracial athlete in a predominantly white sport — she shared her struggles with mental health in a widely released video for the school’s Athletes Connected program.

Shane is the president of Athletes for Community Transformation, which fosters mentorship opportunities for Michigan’s student-athletes. She also took part in the school’s “Expect Respect” public service announcement campaign promoting civil discourse and a diverse campus culture.

“I love to give to others, and I want to show others that it’s good to be authentic,” said Shane, who made eight starts for the Wolverines in 2018 and was named this week's Brine/US Lacrosse Player of the Week. “Help others, but also raise the voice of others that aren’t usually being heard — whether that’s through race and breaking barriers or whether that’s through sports.”







How does one get into vocal percussion and a cappella?

I found a love for singing since kindergarten, and just started making these weird noises one day. I had a lot of bodily fluids coming out, saliva and everything. I stuck with it. On a whim, I joined an a cappella group. I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without being the musician that I am as well.

What is your favorite song to lay a beat down to?

Right now, “Never Forget You,” which is a pop tune. It has some great solos. Recently, we introduced “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. There’s some scat soloing in there that I have been doing with a good friend. That’s just a great, chart-topping song that everyone’s into. Everyone is giving their best, which is why I think I love that one so much.

You shared your mental health story in a very public way. Why did you do that?

To show others that I was struggling, too — that I am struggling. It doesn’t have to be this whole big thing. It can be small things on a bright sunny day. It was healing to do the video in and of itself, and I really hope it was healing for others as well. 

Why are these causes so important to you?

It goes back to who I am. I am biracial. My dad [Max Shane] is black, and my mom [Wendy Wright] is white. Especially as someone who has come across to certain people making assumptions as race, it’s been really important to show love and opportunity

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