Today I am pleased to share with you my guest blogger, Hilary Giovale, from Flagstaff, Arizona. I met Hilary years ago when she started studying with me, and I knew right away she was a special woman, and I could see that she would grow into a incredibly talented dancer, with the tribal spirit. Years later, I am proud to have her in my international performing troupe, the Gypsy Caravan Dance Company, as well as having her as one of my personally trained Master Trainers. And how lucky am I? No, not luck, fortunate, to be able to be surrounded by powerful, creative, and amazing women, like Hilary. Here she shares a bit of her journey with you all.
a Rough Start
by Hilary Giovale!
Hilary with Paulette…
In my first session of Teacher Training with Paulette, she told me about the importance of giving students room to grow. She taught me that students need to take classes from other teachers, explore their own development, sometimes become teachers themselves, and sometimes move on. This has not only been a key concept in my own development as a teacher, it is one of the things I love about having Paulette as my teacher. She is there for us, not only allowing our growth but actively encouraging us to step past our self-imposed limits, to be more, seek new skills and challenges, find our dreams and reach them.
Six years ago when I first started training with Paulette I couldn’t have imagined that one day I would be a successful Gypsy Caravan teacher who had founded her own troupe, and who had trained two students to the point where they also were seeking GC teacher training. I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would be part of Gypsy Caravan Dance Company, International, dancing with incredibly accomplished (and fun) dancing sisters from Portland, Italy, Australia and Wisconsin. Six years ago I was just looking for the next best thing to do.
On this path I have never, ever stopped learning! That is one of the joys of being part of the Gypsy Caravan family. There is always room for re-invention of the self. There are always opportunities to expand the practice, the teaching, the refinement and expression of this dance. We solidly learn the foundations of GC style but we have incredible freedom to expand it, evolve it, and exercise our creativity.
It hasn’t all been glamorous; at times it has been messy and confronting. Some of the most valuable learning experiences I’ve had are dancing by myself for hours and hours after a session of Collective Soul or Teacher Training, trying to remember how moves go and then drilling, drilling, drilling and working to get these moves into my body on a deep level before I teach them. I won’t even tell you how pathetic my zils first sounded to my all-alone ears when I was learning how to play them while doing improv! I am amazed when I see how easily my students get things sometimes because there are many things I have struggled with learning over the years.
Hilary, with Carol and Paulette, filming the Gypsy Caravan Online Class #2,
The growth reaches far beyond dance technique too. For me it has included the creation of my own troupe, Serendipity’s Kiss Tribal Bellydance, which is a beautiful group of 6 dancers who genuinely love each other, work out their problems effectively, and function in a reciprocal manner. As part of this process I have had to step into a leadership role, which I wasn’t at all sure I would ever be capable of. And yet, here we are: learning, creating, gelling, ebbing, and flowing together, finding our bliss through this incredible artform.
Now as I embark on my next GC adventure of CS6 and Master Teacher Training I can only imagine what types of growth and evolution the next six years will bring!
~~~~~~~~~Thanks, Hilary, for sharing a bit of your journey with us, and your insightful words…Honored…and goes to show you what you can achieve when you honor your dreams and vision, do the work, make the connections, live your truth, and be super present.
and thanks all of you for being here…
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