The Tribal Lifestyle — What this dance has taught me…

The Tribal Lifestyle — What this dance has taught me—

Connection and Creativity Unleashed..part two!


As I wrote last week, being seen in our daily world these days is what most people deeply desire. We all crave community, a family of some sort, and our Gypsy CaravanTribal Bellydance ® does that for the dancers involved—creating a global tribe both in person and over the internet.

Over the years of teaching, I have found this to be the dominant key that calls out from this dance. The dancers feel the power and connection of being united in the same language, no matter if it is verbal or body spoken. That we dance together to make the whole. That we do become part of something, usually in person, but these days, often connected over the ether waves, like-minded folks gathering together, for pure joy and celebration and love.


“Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance ® is intense, inspiring, strengthening and healing for body and soul. Its power to connect women coming from all over the world has fascinated me. Sharing the Tribal spirit and knowledge is for me a privilege, a way to meet different people and to allow them to feel as individuals within a tribe. Dancing Tribal Bellydance is a meditation for me and also a fun way to express my feelings.

Since I’ve started learning Tribal Bellydance, I’ve grown up not only as a dancer but also as a human being, and for all of this I’m so grateful.

Fiorella from Italy


Feeling at home in your own body, what can be more important, more satisfying? We make movement into art with our bodies as we glide the bodies together in synchronistic movement. We feel the ancient, the history in our own body, the connection of the collective unconscious that this dance evokes. We share women’s history and creative sources through this global dance, and that invokes creative empowerment and connection unlike anything else. The knowing and the not knowing of what has come before, we explore cultures and music, having a taste of the historically exotic, mystical, and magical, as well as the modern and contemporary, and then bringing it home to oneself.


391A5856-deI often ask my students why they dance and to hear them put words to their feelings is empowering and powerful.


Why do I love to dance? I still get that first buzz when I step into costume – whether that’s practice clothes for me, class kit, or performance costuming – that I felt all that time ago in the Majma Festival hall in Paulette’s class. I don’t ever want to lose that feeling of being on top of the world, being in charge of my body, it following the moves I want to make, the shapes I want to create, the distance I travel around the dance floor. It makes me feel good, makes feel I am ‘high’, elated and ecstatic. I can be as graceful and as dainty as I can be, and nobody can tell me any different. Or I can be earthy and stompy, grounded and serious if I choose. That’s why I love to dance.

Wendy from Wales


Learning the dance is full of lessons and challenges, as we can become hyper-critical of ourselves, more than anyone else. Have you experienced this, in yourself or a dance partner? It is easy for many to start off by getting super self-analyzing and use negative self-talk. Falling into that judgement mode, the “I need to prove” mode, can happen quickly when learning something new and different in a room full of other dancers, or even alone in your own home. In our modern day barrage of media telling us how we should look or dress or grow up to be, this moment can be a sacred unraveling of all those societal pressures. How powerful is that when one can let go of that pressure, and step up into their own beauty and knowing and understanding of this part of their journey through life—the experience of total acceptance and love of themself and their own piece of this dance. Because with this dance, there is no need for judgement, just the belief that we are all there to learn and dance together, at whatever pace works for us.

m.06.3karena nd carol

As each student learns by watching and dancing alongside each other, we acknowledge where each of us is in our own dance of the day. The more experienced dancers can dance with a new dancer with much grace and beauty by understanding the levels of experience. They learn this by tapping into their intuitive wisdom, by opening up themselves to share a bit ot the dance, by accepting where each person is on their path and understanding the natural laws of growing into knowing the dance.

This is the philosophy behind the lead and follow nature of our Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® style, and with our enormous assortment (there are hundreds!) of moves and combos, our ever-growing and exciting non-verbal language that we learn, put into our muscle memory, and then pull out and place them together, improvisationally. In the moment– a moving meditation. And this is a beautiful transition to witness, art in the making, as the leader makes the follower look and dance with grace and the follower makes the leader lead with confidence—both ways and full circle.


Why do I love to dance? Why do I love this dance? One of the most profound things about dance and movement is its ability to connect a person to ‘self’. To bring one’s self into being; the present moment; from the head into the body and the pathway that integrates the two. It brings into being creativity, wonderment, grace and beauty and focus our heartfelt values. The depth and breadth of human emotion, of lived experience as well as vision’s for one’s self and each other is embodied. As we embrace the moment, move and give a voice to ourselves we discover that even in our deepest vulnerabilities we are not alone. We stand within a circle, we soar, we fall, we are joyful, we take up space, we are seen and we embrace. We bare witness to the rich tapestry of humanity, our humanity. We give rise to hope, to the truth that ‘we are enough’. We reclaim, we are reborn. All of us have a place of belonging. We are all leaders and followers in the true spirit of leadership, of ‘tribe’. We stand behind, beside and journey ahead. We are co creators and the embodiment of art, of life.

Becky, Australia


In my classes, I try to keep the words flowing with positive vibes. By keeping the class moving, we don’t have time to let negativity get in the way. With the positive encouragement of others, to the constant drilling and review, to meditative breath work and healing movements, the thought patterns change. Thoughts become words become things!


Some of my classes bring writing/journaling into the picture (Tribal Bliss, Dance and Desire). I truly believe we must write, besides dance! Words are our other way of communication, and sharing the experiences we go through because and with the dance is one of the most demonstrative modes of communication. What goes on in our heads becomes real when it is written down, bringing a clarity and beauty to our experiences in an even more profound way. It is not the words of a professional writer, but the thoughts of the dancer that I find revealing, provoking, healing, empowering. And that brings the sharing, the reality of how and what we feel and desire—from the body to the page. (watch for that online course—From the Body to the Page— coming out this fall!)

Dance And Desire Logo Revision 3

With evocative questioning, as also in my Dance and Desire workshops, we get into the deep soul-drenching thoughts, of what we feel when we dance, and what do we want to continue to feel through all aspects of our lives… This is part of the tribal lifestyle—what we learn from dancing and what we bring to the dance. Community is the essence—the sharing, collaborating, teaching, learning, inspiring and being inspired, by those we dance with.

Many thanks for being here…

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this is part two that was originally printed in Zaghareet Magazine… part three next week!

Collective Soul Online, Level One… starting August 2nd! Let’s dance…

Get registered now to join us for our four week adventure with Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance®

Gypsy Caravan Tribal bellydance collective soul buttons-green

Are you ready?

  • For some personal time to move and write, breathe and question, and get your groove on?

This is for you if you

  • Want to be the best dancer you can be? Using Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance!
  • And you desire the physical, spiritual, and emotional connection with yourself that you have been waiting for!
  • Want to improve your body skills, posture, and confidence?
    Want to dig in deep to pursue your dance dreams and desires?
  • Connect with your body, mind, and spirit for a total Tribal experience?
  • Understand the roots of Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® ?
  • Read more here…


And don’t forget to sign up to receive our weekly Dance and Desire blog… and get my free gift, right over there on the right!?


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