What do I mean by that? I have learned so much about myself through the dance world. In a way, Tribal Bellydance has taught me and brought me into a rich lifestyle, full of body awareness, exquisite beauty, and an ever-growing community of teachers, students, and friends. It has given me the ability to use my body as a means of bountiful expression. I have opened myself up to a never-ending list of opportunities, adventures, and because of my workaholic tendencies and strong work ethics, tons of hard work!
Some tribal dancers dance for the pure joy of moving their bodies, some for the enjoyment of costuming, and others for the chance to perform and strut their stuff. I have had not only all of that, but the desire to dig in deeper. Tribal has given me a chance to connect with individuals and groups of (predominantly) women in a soulful way, building on trust, learning how to establishing eye-contact during the dance and outside of the dance, and working on various levels of verbal communication—from new greetings to fun parties, intimate chats to mindful worldy discussion, and even to disagreements about aspects of performance.
I know that there is a place for everyone in this world, and tribal proves that again and again, accepting women of all ages and sizes, backgrounds, and ethnicities. We come together under one roof to dance, supporting each other, teaching and learning from each other, and being the world’s biggest mutual admiration society! I have felt the strong ties that a community can have, and I have also seen communities split into new tribes, sometimes amicably, sometimes not. Life goes on. I try to create community in all that I do—my role is an instigator, a hostess, a channel for others to learn from. I know so many women, even outside of dance, that want to have a close community, one of support, friendship, and helping hands.
The desire to keep dancing this particular style keeps me on my toes, in the moment, and in my body. On the physical level, I must stay in shape, dancing several times weekly, and cross-training. I eat incredibly good foods, as you have read about in past blogs. I try to stay connected to my dancers and friends, which is not always easy, given that I now live out in the middle of nowhere and that I am on the road a lot!
These are only a few of the tribal ideas and qualities I take into my daily life and I relish the chance to continue to study and experience what the dance has to offer. It becomes a meditation of sorts, to learn about myself and others as I continue to dance. I meet more fabulous people, get to have lots of adventures, but I also want and need to spend a lot of time alone, working on myself as a human, not just a dancer.