This just in from Karen, my fabulous Gypsy Caravan dancer, over many years of transitions and life changes–marriage, moving, job changes, health issues, enormous amounts of laughter, hula hooping and poi slinging, tomato canning and cheese making, wine drinking, and show tune belting…she rocks my world… and she loves this dance we call Tribal Bellydance… read a little of her story!
Photo: Pete Giovale
Where does one begin? I suppose the beginning might have never happened at all, except for one chilly winter night when a friend coaxed me to go see this amazing group perform at a local restaurant. I had never seen anything like Gypsy Caravan and it’s still etched in my memory as if it were two days ago and not two decades later. It was if the women were communicating with the musicians and each other in a wordless rhythm of sway and song. It was simply mesmerizing and I never quite got it out of my system.
That is how this dance is for me. It never leaves. It’s a constant companion, a focal point for a creative spirit, and a mirror of my unplanned life…Improv.
Paulette is a gifted teacher and mentor who is often in deep thought, of how to structure a move or formation, what to do to make it really special and beautiful. I try to stay quiet and wait for direction. It’s hard but it’s worth it. I learn and drill moves and learn and drill moves until they are ingrained in me like a language, and only then does the language become fluent and beautiful when we as dancers share it. The work is joyful.
You know, I left the dance a few years ago and although the rest was welcome it really gave me some perspective on how much the dance and Gypsy Caravan means to me. It keeps my body and mind strong, friendships and community intact, and the joy of performing alive. The tribal experience of Gypsy Caravan is remarkable and being able to dance with others whom you’ve never even met is mind blowing.
The power of the dance and the web of community continue to surprise me. Although many of us are not in each others immediate lives, we are still bonded by what we do and what is important to us, which is evident in many ways.
My daily mantra…
Keep the body strong. Cross-train, do yoga, lift weights, body in motion. Our bodies are what give us the ability to do this and laugh in the face of age.
Love what we’re doing. It is the path to happiness and more importantly content.
Respect our Founders and Teachers, it is their living and passion. We want them to be healthy. They are not getting rich off of us.
Strive to let our young see our joy and not our frustrations. They are the carriers of the torch.
Isn’t she awesome? Here are a few faces of Karen over the years… only a few!
photo: Kaizen NW
Karen as Julia Child!
ha…she can be hysterically funny! and what fun she is to dance with…
Thank you Karen for your thoughtful and insightful words…
and a little side note… we just found about 15 Caravan Rhythms CDs in storage… the actual CD has been sold out for awhile, but now you can still get a copy… act fast!
go to the link below to get your! Woo hoo…
as always, thanks for being part of the growing community of fun, health, love, and life!