Author Archives: Deirdre

Taking Tribal Global – Shining and Free-styling – with Shelby Barsalou Jones

391A5882-deTaking Tribal Global – with Deirdre Macdonald

Featuring Shining and Free-styling – with Shelby Barsalou Jones

What would I do without the colorful costumes and class camaraderie in dreary Scotland in winter? I’m so happy to have dancing to keep me sane, fit, and smiling! The Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® community both here at home and worldwide, connecting, dancing, growing, and getting into 2016 with gusto!

Someone who has more snowy winters than Scotland is Shelby Barsalou Jones in Vermont, USA who I had the pleasure of meeting and dancing with in August 2014 in Portland. Paulette Rees- Denis invited us to perform with other dancers  who were there for Collective Soul Intensives and Teacher Training in a long varied set of improv to live music from the Caravan Project band! A challenging invitation we couldn’t refuse and loved!  I was drawn to Shelby’s smile, great friendly nature and beautiful dancing. She has many other talents too, so it’s great to have her here to share how GCTB®  is part of her life.


Shelby Barsalou Jones
Sisters of the Silk Road








I began my bellydance adventure in 2000 in Seattle, WA at Bastyr University. Once I moved to Vermont in 2003, I continued learning by studying Gypsy Caravan videos, flying back to the GC studios for a handful of classes and attending East Coast workshops by a variety of teachers, including Paulette. Currently I own a thriving business, Cobra Gymnastics & Dance Center in Rutland, Vermont in the US, and have an adult dance troupe, The Sisterhood of the Silk Road, and a youth group, Troupe Tazelik (as well as a 65 member gymnastics team). With three beautiful children and a new husband and home, my life is brimming with opportunity, progress and love.

As a gymnast and dancer in youth, I excelled at the skills and steps I’d learned, but I didn’t know how to “free-style”. I didn’t feel comfortable improvising a solo within the chorus. I have found that GCTB® style has provided me with the structure I longed for. I have also  found is that when I dance in my own studio with friends and students, it brings a lightness to my body, a sense of freedom. I coach gymnastics over 30 hours a week, so the studio space provides a blank slate, a place where posture and elegance still reside, but freedom of movement and the allowance to be your own expressive self, is expansive.

Also, it was only after after studying Collective Soul Levels 1 thru 4 with Paulette, (Shelby is also a  GCTB® Level 3 Teacher), that I began to understand that her intention for us was to blossom as individuals inside of the GC moves.  When I’m dancing in a group, we share the rhythm of the steps, the rocking of our hips and the sinuous movements of our arms,  yet it’s our hearts and souls that are really shining. The moves are simply vessels for our light to radiate outward from. Sharing this radiance with a group of women, and audience or just my mirror is when I see the full potential of my soul.  

Dance is the hidden language of healing, love and deep communication.

I speak with clarity, but countless times arise when I wish I could answer a question with a dance (like here!).

Shelby in Portland in August 2014 (4th left)
Shelby (4th left) with Gypsy Caravan dancers and Paulette in Portland in August 2014 after performing with Caravan Project Band

IMG_6422By nature, we long for community. The union of GC women across the world resonates deeply within me. The instant familiarity when watching Italian GC youtube video, or arriving in Portland and performing with women I’ve only met the day before; it’s priceless.  I think the simple meditative moments of getting dressed and ready to perform


also draws me to this style. Being together with my ladies, adding one item at a time, and visually becoming the dancer that you carry around inside of you each day is empowering and rewarding.”





AND Shelby is returning to Portland in April to study  Teacher Training Level Four, to be one of the first Certified Teachers’s in Paulette’s new Tribal Grooves dance explosion (see below)! And to attend Paulette’s 23rd Annual Women’s Weekend Retreat … super fabulous!….

thank you Shelby, a great story and an awesome celebration gymnastics photo!

How has dancing tapped into your mind, or body or soul – or all three? And changed your thinking, confidence, your circle?

Let me know if you want to share your story and I’d be delighted to chat…

Yours in dance and shimmies,


Gypsy Caravan Dance Company, writer, coach, and GCTB Certified Master Teacher!

Contact me here:

Leave comments below and share us with your friend!

What’s coming up?


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Collective Soul Levels One and Two and Three—

In Person around the Globe!Gypsy Caravan Tribal bellydance collective soul buttons-green

  • Melbourne, Australia with Nina Martinez
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin with Amanda Richardson–
  • Glasgow, Scotland and the UK with Deirdre Macdonald —
    •  Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland
      May 12-13 Collective Soul One
      May 19-20 Collective Soul Two
      June 4-5    Collective Soul Three


    • Nottingham, England – with hostess Amanda Jowett 
    • Sept 3-4  Collective Soul One, Workshops
    • Forres, northern Scotland- with hostess Caroline Bury 
    • 24-25th September Collective Soul One, workshops
  • Innisfail, Australia with Nina Martinez — 
    • September 5-8 , 2016–Collective Soul Level 1 & 2,
    • plus Tribal in the Tropics–workshops–Sept 10-11, with Paulette!
    • September 12-16, Collective Soul Level 3 and Teacher Training Level 2 with Paulette!
  • Auckland, New Zealand with Paulette, contact hostess Christine,
    • September  17+, 2016 TBA, with Collective Soul Levels One, Two, and Three
  • Turin, Italy with Cinzia DiCioccio and Deirdre Macdonald, March 2016, contact

Join us…Tribal Rocks!


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Deirdre’s Taking Tribal Global – Special places and happy dancing

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Deirdre’s Taking Tribal Global – Amanda Richardson — Feeling the Tribal Magic!

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