Meet the Global Caravan Dancers, International
Hi, I am Richelle Spencer from Fremantle Western Australia. My absolute passion is Global Caravan Dance.
It truly defines ’me’ and my life.
It’s so healing, ritualistic, deeply connective & brings me so much joy.
This dance is so much more than steps….
It’s a lifestyle.
It’s about the journey…
Its more than collecting the accouterments of the dance, the gorgeous colorful costuming, jewelry, artifacts…which in itself is so fun and a huge part of who we are and what we do…we become beautiful bower birds, collecting treasures that make our hearts happy and our bodies gorgeously adorned…….
To me its about sharing sistahood, making music & magick, co-creating art, uniting woman of all cultures, races, shapes & sizes, sharing and weaving together the phases of the divine feminine: the dreamy, bold, maiden the nurturing, patient, mother, the powerful, transitioning, enchantress and the wise, sacred, crone…. transitioning, accepting and standing in our power.
When we gather and dance these earthy moves that our ancestors did before us, which have such beautiful sacred geometry crafted into them, we can feel the sense of connection…. of community… of tribe….
We begin, we end, each dance class in circle, a safe, supportive place of equality, so uplifting, bringing joy, encouragement, and creating positive energy.
We dance together sharing a common vocabulary of moves danced improvisationally…giving into ego, being immersed in the moment, allowing flow, synchronicity and happiness to shine through.
We dance for each other, showing support, holding space, and feeling beautiful.
I am blessed to regularly teach many different classes at a local Community Hall in Fremantle from Tribal Grooves, to GC beginners, intermediate, advanced, troupe and lead a Caravan Project.
I really enjoy performing with my dance troupes at local events and encouraging other like-minded women to join our tribe our circle of dance.
I have also created Dance Sanctuary ~ monthly workshops for women, focusing on dance as Ritual, studying in depth the goddess archetypes, inviting women to step into their power and walk or dance the earth like the goddess they are.
I also co-facilitate Red Tent Temple: a place where we gather on the new moon to honor ourselves, each other, and natures cycles as we set our intentions for the new lunar month.
I feel my calling is to be a conduit: assisting to connect women, speaking their language, helping them to find & remember themselves, returning to the sacred feminine & their own divinity, creating sistahood built on love and trust.
Paulette’s dream was to connect women all over the world together: “hand to hand, hip to hip, heart to heart” sharing the beauty of this dance style with earthy grounded feet, swaying hips, bodies shimmying….movements that totally fill and fuel our bodies, minds, and spirits.
This is why I teach GCTB style… why I followed my heart.. followed my dreams… studied hard….and now have a dance family that spans the globe.
When women hold each other with respect, with love with support it opens doorways, pathways and surprises us with glorious, creative possibilities.
Women have been suppressed by the masculine for too long and I acknowledge that we all need to maintain a healthy balance within our masculine & feminine energy… so I ask these gorgeous women to search deep into their hearts and souls to find what they truly desire, to step into their power, into their hearts and do what makes them feel truly happy.
Dress in whatever makes you feel amazing, wear the red lipstick, wear gorgeous ethnic jewelry, layer up all the colorful mish-mashed patterned clothes to cover our curvaceous bodies, adorn ourselves with scarves, bindi’s, flowers, feathers…. whatever makes you feel beautiful, show us your passionate, determined soul and most importantly shine your light bright.
Dance makes me happy, fills my heart with love and joy, grounds me to Mumma earth & connects me to other beautiful like-minded soul sistas.
Nina Martinez–Goddess Central!
Who am I as a dancer?
Over the past 25 years of dance, many things have changed on my dance journey, however the one thing that is a constant is finding joy in my dance.
As a woman, I need to be able to express myself through movement, hold connections with sister dancers in my circle. To be the best dancer you can requires daily practice, toning the body, pushing yourself to learn more, taking time to rest. Dance has become an integral part of my lifestyle.
I know how to use my dancer’s body intuitively, to make magic from energy, evoke mystery from ancient wisdom, and acknowledge body as temple.
Growing older dance makes me feel young!
What does it mean to be part of Global Caravan Dance?
GC has been part of my life since 2005: my spirit is interwoven with the beauty of movement, the metamorphosis of technique to create art.
To be invited as a troupe member, master teacher, has held much honor.
Meeting the incredible women of GC over the years has set a benchmark of excellence and inspiration, and of the sisterhood that binds us together.
Meeting Paulette changed my life path. Being part of this dance community has boosted my confidence. There is a certain goddess empowerment, a lifting of the heart and mind to another level, the understanding that this is the purpose in my life.
To be more than I thought I could be.
Being able to share my skills and knowledge, to help establish other women to become Global Caravan teachers leading their groups, has made me very proud.
As our circles have flourished, technique and style expanded, we are creating our own GC dance culture. Unique and wonderful!
FB: Temple Goddess Bazaar / @nina.templerain
Sherry Coffey…intoxicated with the dance
There’s something intoxicating about dance, feeling the music and letting it come out in expressive movement. The whole organism is involved; the ears to listen, the brain to process, the body from toes to fingertips to engage. And yet when the flow happens, we think of none of these things, being in the moment but yet transcending time.
Currently residing in Fort Myers, a small city in SW Florida (USA), you will find me most days of the week dancing. In addition to Global Caravan Tribal Bellydance, I am also known for raks sharki and Polynesian dance. Although I love to perform and worked as a professional bellydancer for 15 years, my main calling these days is as a teacher, troupe director and event promoter.
Not long after I started teaching (20-plus years ago!) I decided to expand my horizons and began the study of Tribal Bellydance via DVD, as that was the only method available to me at the time. Eagerly learning to dance for the first time many years ago at the University of Washington in Seattle, I was very tuned into the US West Coast style of dance and Paulette’s format appealed to me. Several years later I was fortunate to attend my first in-person workshop with Paulette in Florida and was astounded that I could truly do this dance. This revelation led to many trips to Oregon to study directly with Paulette, and in 2009 I became one of the earliest certified GCTB teachers outside of Portland. In my journeys, I met amazing people and could not help but be impressed by the devotion of dancers from all over the world.
Now after much more study, certifications and hard work, I am so happy to be able to share this fabulous dance with incredible women through multiple levels of weekly classes as well as through workshops that connect even more dancers in my role as Director of Caravan Project SW Florida. I have been blessed to contribute to our community in many capacities including instructor at Tribal festivals, and having previously sponsored many events myself, I was extremely honored to be asked to host the 2017 GCTB Tribal Quest Summit in Florida, and then help organize the 2019 Summit in Hawaii. What an amazing experience, getting to re-connect with many dancers from around the globe and meeting new ones, all with the goal of dancing together!
It is certainly a thrill to now be a member of the famous Global Caravan Dance Company, with the passion and dedication brought by these wonderous women, past and present, to our dance. I thank Paulette from the bottom of my heart for creating this dance that we love, her vision for sharing it and for allowing me to be a part of it!
Deirdre MacDonald — grounding and challenging
I’m Deirdre, living in Scotland, and a world citizen, I am open to experiencing the beauty and wonder of life. Global Caravan has been a life companion for me since 1999, helping me develop and keep connected in my mind, body, and spirit and across our global dance village. Global Caravan keeps evolving and yet still retaining the core beauty of connectedness, artistry, joy, and movement.
I love gaining and giving support to local, national and international dance circles. It’s a joyful business through teaching, a mind and body workout, and energizes me in all aspects of life, always learning, and enabling me to survive lockdowns, and many life stages and ages. Understanding that there is a deep connection with so many other amazing dancers and teachers having your back is a blessing and fills me with delight and gratitude.
And as a Master Teacher, I have been honored since 2014 to be passing on the spirit, knowledge, coaching, support, leading the what and the how of Global Caravan. I stand with incredible women and am inspired by Paulette as part of the Dance Company. I enjoy building our network of support, creativity, and dance with pride, building more joy in overseeing the Caravan Projects worldwide as well as directing the UK Project.
Allie Joseph…building commmunity
Allie has over 19 years experience in bellydance and 9 of those years have been dedicated to the style Global Caravan Dance. She also has a strong background in Cabaret & Egyptian and started getting into fusion a few years back.
Her love for this dance form has grown over the years and it has captured her true being and set her soul on fire! She has a solid background as a fitness instructor that started back in 1984 and was already spreading confidence and joy through exercise for women. Being an Aries full of fire! She has always had a can-do attitude and is very passionate about sharing and helping others. She also took tap and sang with a troupe. Performing and singing has always been part of her life. Growing up Allie tumbled her way through grade school and high school and has always had a firm understanding of how the body moves and what muscles are initiated in the movement.
Global Caravan was such a fresh change to her dance because it not only taught her about the dance style but it is also about lifestyle. She has learned that your dreams can come true and you can do what you love! She has always been a dreamer as she has been told many times throughout her life.
Giving back to her students is a big part of her journey and classes. Helping her students fall in love with themselves and giving them the strength and confidence through the gift of dance.
Throughout her adult life, she tried to live the traditional life focusing on a career in business but found herself stressed and unhappy longing for more. She realized she was not a traditionalist, yes somewhat very much a dreamer and she felt she had to go after her dreams. The last 9 years have been a whirlwind of a ride and she has accomplished so much! Even what most thought would be impossible where she lives. So many times she heard that if you’re not in a big city, you will never make it.
Allie is currently a certified GC teacher level 3, Collective Soul level 3, Tribal Grooves Master Teacher, Master Teacher Level 3, and a Principal Teacher and is part of Global Caravan International Troupe.
Her desire is to offer her students a safe, open, loving space to share, explore and connect while learning, growing, and transforming together. She believes in giving all of her students the opportunity to lead, share and become their own and have the ability to go after their own desires and dreams.
Misha Cain Nell…it all comes back to tribal
Misha is a GC Master Teacher & Leader based in sunny Sarasota, Florida, USA. A weaver of the wild, Misha is known for her ability to tap into the Divine and bring an element of mystery, magic, and mischief to her dance performances, dance classes, and workshop offerings.
Certified in both group improv and solo bellydance formats, Misha’s bellydance lineage is firmly rooted in classical Egyptian, Turkish, and American Cabaret dance. She brings a deep understanding of the history, cultures, and traditions of the many different styles which inspire the GC format. Her greatest joy is traveling the world teaching people of all ages, shapes, and sizes to open their hearts to dance and learn to move with joy and celebration, discovering the beauty of their bodies through dance and movement.
Adeptly skilled at shapeshifting, Misha thoroughly enjoys teaching others to embrace the diversity and excitement of life. One moment she brings forth gentle healing and illumination as a certified Herbalist or as an Usui Reiki Master and a traditional healer…the next she’s shaking things up with a smile and a shimmy.
Misha directs two bellydance-based dance troupes, Troupe ShimmyBOOM! and Caravan Project Florida. Believing that everyone has a space in the circle, Misha holds a space that is inclusive for Folx of all manifestations. While her personal dance is Divinely Feminine, her tribe is an encouraging and transformative place for all Folx to find their own incredible magic through dance.
When she’s not dancing, Misha works as an environmental enchantress, intuitive artist, and herbalist. She is thoroughly embracing a lifelong love of nature and increasingly stepping forward as a Plant Priestess and practicing herbalist, seeing clients regularly at Cypress Pillar Healing Arts Center, which she co-manages with her husband.
Angie Neylan Wimmer…
Creating connections through expression.
It starts with stillness. The quiet between the heartbeat.
Then the inhale.
Pulling up through the breath of the earth into our feet, knees, hips, belly, heart. Expanding into our arms fingers, throat, brow. Radiating out to light the universe beyond. We exhale and BECOME.
Creative movement has always been a keystone in keeping me centered. Its embrace holds true whether in my dance or artwork. I’m in love with the idea that a simple gesture can connect people together. We build the layers of our life stories into our body’s movements and harness the strength within. This strength creates beauty that builds an experience that marks a shared moment in time between us.
Angie holds a BFA from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She’s been a dance enthusiast for as long as she can remember. She resides New England as one of the key figures of its Bellydance community for over two decades. She is the founder/director of Blue Moon Caravan and the director of Caravan Project Southern New England. As the region’s Global Caravan Tribal Bellydance Master Teacher, she is helping grow the seeds of this creatively expressive dance form. In addition to dance, she’s an oncology nurse, paints, weaves, makes art yarn, cuddles her dachshund Cyrus and enjoys life with her husband Bob.
Cinzia DiCioccio…philosophy of life
I am Tribal Bellydance Artist and Yoga Teacher.
I joined Global/Gypsy Caravan Dance Company in 2011 after a long preparation with my teacher and friend Paulette Rees-Denis.
Since when I met Paulette in 2005, I was fascinated by her vision of GC Tribal Bellydance®. I loved the idea of being together, sharing the dance with other women, being part of “something” all together.
Soon I decided that Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® was my destiny. I started to study seriously through Paulette’s certification program. Especially during CS 3 and CS4, dancing with dancers that I have never met before, I understood the power of Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance®, its subtle body language, the secret deep connection we were able to build. It was a revelation to me.
After many years of practice and after two years in Gypsy Caravan Dance Company I still feel the same happiness each time I dance with my Sisters. Sometimes we meet all together after a long time but one dance is enough to re-create the magic.
Global Caravan Tribal Bellydance® is more than a dance, it becomes a philosophy of life. Through my personal experience, I can say that this dance offers a broader vision of life to live peacefully and responsibly in everyday relationships.
When we dance everyone always has a dual role: leader and follower. Being a leader means taking responsibility, leading the group in respect of the elements who compose it, trying to create unity, synchronicity, and well-being among each other. Being a follower means having confidence in the leader, not to challenge their decisions, but to let go of ego, and follow them with commitment and serenity. When I dance with my Sisters I forget who I am, I am entranced, My being is in full, cheerful, and complete harmony with those whom I am dancing with, in that time and space.
Global Caravan Tribal Bellydance® to me is very similar to the Yoga philosophy of life: being part of a Whole where each particle and each living creature has its own importance because it contributes to the harmony of the Whole.
Besides being a dancer I am also a dance and yoga instructor; my mission is to teach people to feel good, physically, mentally and spiritually. I think it is very important to offer tools like nutrition advice, breathing and relaxation techniques, exercise routines, affirmations and positive thinking to keep the whole human being with a good vital energy.
Working with Paulette has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and as a teacher and I feel grateful to be part of this project and contribute to it.
Sienna Krzemien…discovering the richness of a dancers life…
Hi I am Sienna from Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia. Dancing has brought a multi-level of richness into my life. In my head I think of it like cake, that layered sponge with cream in between, maybe a little jam, and a thick, rich creamy topping – so delicious and indulgent! In life the foundation of the cake is food, shelter, clothing and love, but when you have all of those layers stacked up, what does a creative women desire?
Dancing has gifted me with a platform to immerse myself into, and through participation, I reap boundless rewards.
I love the challenge of trying to develop mastery of all of the moves and the mind break I get from being focused and present in the moment. I relish in the variety of the Eastern-inspired costumes, particularly vintage pieces that are exquisitely beautiful and imperfect, and also learning to lead with confidence. I delight in striving to perform in an engaging way that also communicates the joy, freedom, and emotions felt while dancing and the supportive community who are bonded in a shared passion. I adore the ethnic beats that speak to the inner body rhythm, that beckons me to move in a feminine and powerful way, music that can inspires whole combinations or group patterns of dance, and the spice of adding zills, baskets, skirts, and swords. Can you tell I love a lot of things about this dance! Its cream, jam, and sparkles on top…..
My journey with bellydance started with Nina Martinez while living in Innisfail in 2002. I later moved to Cairns and, feeling I was losing touch with the dance and the community, I jumped into teaching in 2007. Now in 2021, I look back on what has been years of devotion to the format and creating connections within the dance community. I have had the freedom to progress at my own pace, I am proud of what I have achieved so far, but more importantly, as I deepen my commitment and energies to this dance, I am excited about what is coming in the future.
Being invited to be part of the Global Caravan Dance Company International is both an honor and a privilege, with much thanks and gratitude to Paulette for the invitation and to all of the dance company members for embracing me with open hearts and open arms. I am forever inspired by the dance circles that exist across the world, the variety, the strength, the passion, the vulnerability, the creativity and I am eternally grateful to be a part of something so special and amazing.
Dance has been my one constant through the ups and downs of life.
Amanda Richardson — pure amazingness
Now living in Portland Oregon, Amanda has been bellydancing since 2002 and with Paulette since 2003 first running troupes Rakshanda and Stellamani in Wisconsin and now Instar Arts in Portland. She has been performing with Paulette in Gypsy Caravan now Global Caravan for 10 years.
Amanda is a Level 3 Master Teacher in Global Caravan Format . She also studies and performs Odissi as well as Kathak (ISTD certified), Barathnatyam, Bhangrah and German Folk Dances.
What do I love about GC? The women who are drawn to this dance are pure amazingness. Their hearts, souls, energy are blissful to be around. Dancing with them is like filling my body and soul with water when it is thirsty beyond draught. When I dance all other things leave my mind and I am in the present moment only, with these lovely creatures, sending light, love, and support to the universe. The movements seem to remove negativity and stress my body holds within it. Sometimes I get to be in control of the dance and lead others in this release and sometimes I am free to let go and be lead without care. It is support we as women need so desperately. Support in leading without fear and freedom in following knowing others will follow. So many societies ask us to conform. Here we are conforming with freedom, artistic with tools and skill. Yet it is still free to allow you to be unique and different with a million (well maybe not that many) moves, formations, styles no two troupes look alike. That’s why it speaks to so many.
This format of dance is pure magic. Dancing in a circle with other women creates this uplifting, supportive energy and gives its dancers a sense of connection. Something we all need. Even if it’s just one hour a week it’s something we can do to take care of ourselves, the other women in our circle, and our community. In times of uncertainty creating a positive energy and giving that to the world is a great gift.
As a mother of 2 very small children with a full-time job I know how difficult it can be to make time for yourself. I promise that taking just a few minutes or an hour every week to be with us online or in a studio with the many lovely GCDC certified teachers can make an amazing impact on your life mentally and physically. Taking care of ourselves first makes us better mothers, wives, workers, contributors, athletes, yogi, friends, partners. If you feel you can’t find the time for yourselves, find the time to be better for the ones you love.
Jamie Sprague…bringing me back to myself
I have enjoyed dancing in some fashion, from tap and jazz to salsa and swing, for most of my life and joyfully embraced the Global Caravan Tribal Bellydance style close to 20 years ago. I must admit, I was drawn to the costumes first – color! pattern! bangles and jewels! – but fell in love with the moves, the community, and how my body feels dancing this art form. My dance grounds me when I’m off course, and it brings me back to myself and this body that I love in a way nothing else can. Bellydance makes me feel confident and beautiful, full of energy and life.
As a member of Global Caravan Dance Company, International I’ve performed in Florida, Rhode Island, and Hawaii, as well as in the Pacific Northwest at McMenamin’s Edgefield Oktoberfest, Jamballah Northwest, Tribal & Improv Fest Boise, Art in the Pearl, and some really fun private events. I’m also a Tribal Grooves certified teacher.
I live in Newberg, Oregon with my husband, son, three dogs, a bunch of hummingbirds, and a herd of deer, spending time in my studio dancing and making art whenever possible. Or dancing in the kitchen when the mood strikes, and the music is just right.
One of my earliest memories is wiggling my hips in the backyard at a neighbor’s garden party; I must have been 4 or 5. Now I wiggle my hips whenever I can with an amazing group of women, my Global Caravan Tribe. Thank you, ladies, for this priceless gift!
Christine Haviland — the Sisterhood
My Global Caravan journey started in 2002 meeting and dancing with Paulette and her husband and musician, Jeff Rees, in Auckland, New Zealand. I already knew I loved the dance but the feeling of Dance connection was intriguing and I wanted to know what else it had to offer.
In 2009 I made the decision to go to Adelaide, Australia, I gained Gypsy Caravan’s Collective Soul Certification Level 1 AND Teacher Training Level 1.
Since then I have continued my role in this Sisterhood. I’ve explored my passion for our Dance which has also fueled my creativity, enabling me to create my own range of Tribal Headpieces and accessories.
I am proud to say I am part of GCDC, Int, Director of Caravan Project Auckland and NZ, student at CS level 7, Certified teacher Tribal Grooves™ in Level 1, (first in NZ) and most recently GCTB Master Teacher Level 1. In this newest role I am excited to be able to take the Dance across NZ!
My life circle embraces Family, Friends, Dance, creativity, Health & Fitness, uniting life, work, and dance balance which feeds my contentment. I enjoy the Self-awareness and healthy mindset that evolves. Being involved and sharing with others as they bloom as women and dancers is so rewarding and I feel honored to be part of that.
GC is so much more than just a Dance. There is such an intense surge of energy created in the circle when we dance, that connection is palpable to both dancers and those watching, it’s raw and inviting, a special moment, recreated whenever we dance, however big or small the circle.
It’s definitely a lifestyle choice that weaves its way insidiously through your life embracing and uniting in all areas. That shared experience growing together on so many levels; learning more about ourselves as the woman, the student, teacher, mentor, and dancer within, is nurturing and grounding. We refill, refuel and reconnect each time we gather.
We are forging Roots of the GC tree of Dance … sharing the knowledge and the connection, our growth, our individual journeys and the growth of this Sisterhood. The energy we share is powerful and woven across the Globe, this Dance unites us, I am fortunate to say I have a GC global family and have danced with women all over the world.
We also want to thank all of the past dancers who have graced the stages as well as the studio floor, on the homefront and around the globe, with me. They will be forever etched in my heart and are a big part of our Global/Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® journey…