Sunday Dance to Word- memories and change

Ah yes…still reading through my archives… I am loving it… knowing where I have been, and seeing where I am now…one never knows exactly, do we, where we will end up, or how a situation will unfold… But this was from a Caravan Trails newsletter, March 2011… Can you jot down your reactions again? Let yourself read and write and feel and release?

Think about where you were two years ago… and how life has unfolded for you since then…Share your words if you like!


Seems the world is in a torrent of chaos these days, and my prayers go out to all. May we pass on healing wishes to all in need.

Whether it be an elemental catastrophe as in Japan, or the emotional trauma of a relationship, life is never easy, but always a learning experience. We can use that experience to reach into the gut of our existence. We can create from that lesson, that change. That is why we are artists, dancers, writers, photographers, whatever our art form be.

 Life within a dance troupe…an intimate, creative, trying, emotional, joyous, soulful, time-consuming, event in one’s life.  It can be these and so many other things for a dancer. What happens when it becomes difficult to continue? A student/friend wrote me a about the troupe problems she was having, and was perplexed on how to handle a dancer within her troupe.

 She writes:

I have 10 women in my troupe. We have one person who has been causing

issues for the last year. In short, she’s a know-it-all, seems oblivious

to the needs and feelings of the group, and alienates and frustrates

everyone. Lately her travel/work schedule has been so busy that her

dancing has suffered and she can’t dance with the rest of us effectively.

A year ago, we lost a group member who couldn’t stand to be in the same

room with her anymore.


Although this has been going on for a year, people have been bearing the

brunt of it silently (all of them trying to take personal ownership for

their emotional responses and not gossip, bless them) so I didn’t really

understand the extent of the damage caused by this person. Now people

have started talking with me openly and I realize I must do something.


The answer in my heart is that I have to ask her to leave.


But the nagging voice in my head says that’s not fair, it’s mean, that as

the teacher I should try harder to help her grow, that I should help

facilitate open communication between her and everyone else and not burn



But the truth is I’m exhausted and totally fed up with this person myself

so I know I don’t have it in me to do any of these things.


I guess my question is: how do you know when it’s time to let someone go?


Each situation is so individual, so all I could do was ask her what her gut said to her, and what she truly wanted from her troupe. You can already hear it in her words, but to face the task head on can be painful. It is never easy being the leader, the director, having to make final decisions, to make a call about a member of the troupe that is posing a problem. What is a dance troupe after all? Is it a party, a gal gathering, a professional performance group? It can be any of those things and so much more, but you need to be clear from the beginning what it is and what you expect from your fellow dancemates. And what you want to get out of being in or directing a troupe.

What would you have done in that situation? It is clear to me what she needs to do, but she has to make that call for herself, and then feel good about it.

 My universal friend Mike said to me today,

First, choose from the options that thrill you.

Then, choose the ones that also teach you.

And from these, Paulette, choose the scariest.

So, be clear, and live the life that you want, and the one that feeds you. Don’t sette. I have always said that to myself. Don’t settle. Yet there have been times when I have done just that in my life and in my dance world, with my dance studio, my troupe, my students, and myself. It may have felt easier at the time, or I was too tired to continue, or I did not want to hurt someone. Ah, so many reasons. And you know what? It always comes back at you. And it only hurts you in the end. So go get what you want. Be the dancer, the leader, the artist that you want to be. Work hard, and love what you do…What have you got to lose?

And for the most part, I have always chosen the scariest. Taken that step into the darkness or the uncertainty, sometimes foolishly, sometimes smartly, but always with my heart and soul. You?

One of my fav bloggers, Chris Guillebeau, writes:

The external rewards for pursuing a dream may or may not arrive, but regardless, you should feel proud of doing so. The first steps are more important than the later ones, because they’ll provide inspiration and security for everything that comes later. Just keep walking!

 Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal.

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau


Another soul-felt and heart exploring journey through tribal bellydance. I am always and continuously amazed, honored, and touched by your experiences, words, and your dance!

Anyone else want to jump in? Would love to read what you think, about this or anything!

Thanks for connecting…


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