The Collective Soul Experiences… from around the globe…
Little did I know how powerful it would turn out to be, doing my Collective Soul Certification Intensive, online. I have been teaching this 2-3 day Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® intensive for over 15 years, in person, and that alone is mind-boggling to me. How full of love, gratitude, awe, and just wow… that makes me feel, to see my visions of connecting women around the globe with my dance, and this ancient dance. I thought it was quite the idealistic dream back in the early 90’s. And the power of the Law of Attraction, and the power of listening to my intuition and following my truth, having been able to connect with the ancient feminine force, and the tribal energy, and the community desires.
And now have my incredible team of Master Teachers also teaching it around the world. Which excites me to no end. This is such good work. And the growing tribes who are dancing, listening, leading, and following their heart down this path is astounding.
Again this is such good work, good stuff, good studies, the good life. It is about the Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance way. But it is NOT just a tribal bellydance course. It takes us much deeper, as this dance we do become a lifestyle. This dance is a catalyst for living…a tool for living a life full of acknowledged desires, love, passion, community, body and soul awareness, and well being.
I will be the first to say studying with your teacher in person beats all other methods. It is hard to get feedback from a video tape. And I have seen the perils of someone who studies one video, or even one workshops, and then proclaims to be a teacher of that style. Bad news, all the way around. I love hands on, and group interaction.
I had been thinking of offering the Collective Soul and Teacher Training online for some time, and this past fall, because an amazing dancer in Russia, Irina, really wanted to bring my style to Russia, and could not travel to me or my MT’s, I decided to put the course online for her. I wasn’t sure how it would translate online, as this dance is so much about interactions with each other in the class, with sharing words, and dancing together. And once I made the program for her, I put it out there to the rest of my public, and was amazed and thrilled at the response. Dancers who had been waiting to take this course, but could not travel either, signed up. So within just a few short weeks, I had a full house of dancers and we were set to go!
I poured my heart and soul into making it the best course it could be. I made weekly audio and video recordings of meditations, breathing exercises, warm-ups, each of the dance moves broken down, explanations of my history and the history of the dance, and some of my musings on this dance of life. We practiced playing finger cymbals and learned drum rhythms. I gave journaling prompts for writing everyday and diving into dance and life dreams. I believe in whole body wellness. Plus providing a private community chat space was of the ultra necessity.
I’ve had other online courses where I had this private chat space, and a few people would post experiences, but mostly were quiet and introspective. But whoa, not this Collective Soul chat space! Everyone chimed in, to introduce themselves, from all over the globe. And sharing their experiences, difficulties, a-ha revelations, dreams, and day to day life was exhilarating and powerful. I cried so many times at reading what everyone wrote and shared. They also had to make videos to send to me for critique, so there were many techie learning curves hit upon, including computer skills! And yes they were tested at the end of the course too. I have high standards for certification and everyone of these dancers rose to meet them.
And I have continued on with the next Online training, my GCTB Teacher Training Level One, (the CS1 is a prerequisite for), which is in full swing as I write this, and it too, is blowing my mind. The passion, integrity, dedication, commitment, love, and desire has these women bursting out of their own skin and growing in ways I could not have imagined. (More on that course later!)
I have known that this dance is life-changing dance. All dance styles can be so many things, and this style of GC Tribal Bellydance® is so powerful, beautiful, sensual, and reaches down deep into the intuitive past and the contemporary soul to join hearts and bodies to create beautiful art and movement. I KNOW that. But to experience this life-changing course in this way, I honestly did not know if it would translate to an online course, where one would do it alone at home. I have proved myself wrong, and I am so proud, not only of my work, which is my joy, but of all the dancers who have committed themselves, with loyalty, trust, and their own heart and soul, to me, this dance, and their own processes.
These amazing women, who are on their own personal journeys with the dance, their career, their art, and their life, have shared so much, with me and with each other. When someone asks me what I do, I can say so many things, (I travel the globe and teach Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance, I direct an award winning dance troupe and band, I am an author, blogger, and writer) but mostly what I answer is that I am an instigator to guide you to dive into your heart and soul and live the life you want to live, using movement and words as catalysts for personal glory and celebration. And I LOOVVVEEEE connecting you with each other.
I am the Tribal Hostess afterall. My superpower!
Not only have these women in the Collective Soul courses excelled at the dance, but allowing vulnerability and strength, dreams and visions, desires and skills, they have written and shared how the dance and this Collective Soul course has touched them changed, them, allowed them, to grow and be and live in their authenticity and truth.
So I wanted to share some of their experiences with you (and you too can join in–see the new dates below).
Thank you so much Paulette! I am bursting with joy and gratitude. CS1 was absolutely the highlight of my dance year and I love that I’m starting off 2015 as a member of this tribe! Thank you for everything, and much love to everyone in this group too for everything that you shared…What a wonderful experience. Thank you Paulette for all you have taught and given to us. It has been so fantastic! …Misha, Florida
What a wonderful feeling to be certified in COLLECTIVE SOUL LEVEL 1.
This has been the best 5 weeks of 2014 intense soul searching journey — like a magic carpet ride. …Carolyn, Australia
Thank you so very much for this month Its been awesome,! awakening!,questing!exhilarating!remembering loving life! in love with life! loving this ecstatic journey of discovery in dance. …Dee, Australia
I have worked very hard in my life to cease comparing myself with others physically, professionally and otherwise. From listening to this audio I felt good about the confirmation that the first few steps for those of us just starting out (or starting over) are all geared towards giving our bodies the chance to absorb, to let go, breathe and let the movements come naturally, well before we perform or even think of it. From there my thoughts shift to a place I wish they would not linger in, as remember all the simply wonderful times I had dancing regularly with my community of women so many years ago.
I am not dancing by myself. We are all dancing, in different time zones, with different levels of adornment, different music, experience and rhythms. We share the thread of GC Tribal. We share a passion for it. In that, we never dance alone.
We learn to trust our steps and then go out to find those to step with us. Just as the nomadic tribes (from whom some of our steps originated with) did, we can move from tribe to tribe, place to place through the years, finding new ways to move and a new group to move with at any age. The key is to trust yourself and continue to learn, hopefully from a mentor that will facilitate both, such as you do, Paulette….Melinda, Hawaii
There is always a great comfort in knowing somewhere, someone is dancing this dance……you are never alone in spirit, just call out, light a candle, you will feel the tribal ‘heartbeat’. Nina…
It is a blessing to be exposed to so many different variations, I think I’ve finally found one that’s clicked for me. I love the kindness that this style is based in, the emphasis on technique is there but it is with love and joy and support. I love that already, even without really knowing each other, we have created a nurturing, uplifting environment where we cheer each other on. To me that is a huge part of tribal in general but here in GCTS it’s one of the hallmarks of it…the sense of community, the sense of tribe.
My brain answer would be that this is a dance form created with love and laughter by Paulette Rees-Denis, who after herself studying dance carved out her own system that is similar, yet different, from other improvisational tribal styles. The differences occur in the bearing and posture and moves of course, but also the joy that just emanates from this particular style of dance. This is an improvisational dance style, which is fantastic because it means that once we learn the movements and the rhythms we can come together as one big family to dance our joy.
What is Collective Soul?
Before I started this journey, I would have said that Collective Soul is a program through GCTS to learn the different movements of this particular style. I thought that, in either the online form or the real life workshop, this was simply a program to become more familiar with the mechanics of music. Now, though, I realize that it is SO much MORE! Collective Soul is a journey that winds us through the beautiful and amazing WORLD of GCTS …Misha
What is Collective Soul?
One soul at all. A lot of dancers who are on different continents, can feel part of something grand. Bright, individual personality, totally unique, and yet, we are together. Even at the huge distances can feel the support and empathy of those who decided to become a part of GC. We dance together and understand each other without words. Only eyes, feelings, and dance. …Irina, Russia
I am bursting with joy and gratitude. CS1 was absolutely the highlight of my dance year and I love that I’m starting off 2015 as a member of this tribe! GCTS just is simply such a fertile place for dance and growth!
What is Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance ® ?
*I* would probably say for me personally I’m kind of starting to feel like it is HOME. My “from the heart” answer would be that, after taking many different years of workshops. It’s a blissful immersion, a chance to go deeper. For the moves, the rhythms, the knowledge to absorb into muscles, bones, brain, cells, heart. And the opening of the soul too, to the greater wider world of dance. No longer are we singular in whatever dance form we know; we are now part of the group, the family, the beautiful collective of dancers who all sway and move together with one heart and joy and love….Misha
On Collective Soul:
The Collective Soul experience teaches me to balance physical with mental strength and improvement by addressing in both arenas: calm, commitment, sequence, grace, ease and muscle memory. These combine and nurture my desire to excel personally as well as in the larger realm of the dance community. I am learning to live and breathe the formula of GC Tribal.
This soul’s lantern has been lit.
As we learn from the class, more light shines forth collectively until our energy becomes a global bonfire of creativity, sharing through verbal and nonverbal communication and selfless commitment to the art.
What is Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance?
It is Paulette’s legacy and it is my dream to master it.
Gypsy Tribal brings to me the vision of grounded stance; feet in the sand, on the earth or on a patterned rug. Rhythm courses through the body as naturally as a heartbeat; lifting, falling, calling to feel the music and move with it. It is tradition; yet it is reinvented over and over again by Paulette and our global circle. Within the zils video it was mentioned that zils are becoming a sort of “lost art”. We are here to preserve, perpetuate and honor not just the art but the process within that gives us a fuller life. Thus I feel safe in saying that GC Tribal is not just a dance style but a lifestyle.
This group is choosing to live it; what a wonderful feeling! …Melinda
My days are filled with dance now. I’m loving this process – it is nourishing yet challenging. It is wonderful to be able to test my body to see what it can do. Because some of this OH some of it is HARD. That easel stance? OH. It feels foreign and weird but I’m coaxing my body into learning it. Each week, I take at least 1 day to go through the videos, carefully, with just my journal to record technique and notes. First in the week I do the videos on my own, next day I return armed with a journal. I recall what was difficult then look for the answers. They are always there, with even more. Each day a new wonder unfolds. …Misha
I am actually learning more than steps and rhythm; I am learning also to be nice to myself, let go and just dance and marvel in the knowledge that I am able to move like this, whether graceful or off balance from time to time. I am thinking of the sweet quote from Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Buddhist monk): “People usually consider walking on water or thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is… to walk on earth”. When I ease up in my mind critique, I can try harder and enjoy the process more. Yes! …Melinda
I agree completely. part of the process – the journey of allowing yourself to learn – is to let go of the need to be perfect. since after all perfect is the enemy of good lol This time as I learn this I’m seeing so many connections to GCTS and mindfulness. It’s fascinating to me to see dance, now, in this way. Moving meditation indeed! …Misha
My fellow dancer and dear friend Katrina wrote for our Nomadica Tribe..When we get together to practice or perform we gather together, center and say these words.
“We are united through the spirit of dance
We come into this circle as individuals, to create an energy of oneness,
One Tribe, One Nomadica
May we always be mindful of our connection to each other, and to the earth.
With every movement may our energy remain grounded,
Open hearted, united, grounded,
Grateful for each other and each day
May we spread Joy
One Tribe, One Nomadica”
This meditation speak to my heart and embodies how I view this wonderful world of Gypsy Caravan Dance. As we formed, learned, danced, traveled and performed this past year our collective soul merged and empowered us throughout this wonderful year of dance. Dee
What more can I say? My heart swells with their words, and I continue on…
Collective Soul Level Two, Online…Starting April 5th, 2015
Collective Soul Level One, Online… August 2nd, 2015 (new date)
Teacher Training Level Three, Online, starts February 8th (then again November 8th, 2015)!
Teacher Training Level Two, Online, May 31st, 2015
Teacher Training Level One, Online, starts again September 13th, 2015
Collective Soul Levels One and Two — In Person around the Globe!
- Columbus, Ohio with Paulette–March 27-30, 2015, Collective Soul level 1 & Level 2
- Glasgow, Scotland with Deirdre Macdonald– March 19th – 22nd, Collective Soul level 1 & Level 2
- Milan, Italy with Cinzia DiCioccio–April 11-12, Collective Soul Level 1, April 18-19, CS Level 2
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin with Amanda Richardson–April 24th — 27th, Collective Soul Level 1 & Level 2
- Perth, Australia with Nina Martinez – June 2rd – 6th, Collective Soul level 1 & Level 2
- Innisfail, Australia with Nina Martinez — September 2nd–6th, Collective Soul level 1 & Level 2
email firstname.lastname@example.org for info and applications now!