Tribal Trance, water reflections…


Last month we had such a lovely tribal trance dance night, and as I  prepare for this week’s session, I delight in sinking into and reflecting back into that night when we danced with the element of water. Water, for me, is so healing and soothing. One of my favorite outings is to go to the ocean and watch and listen to the waves, sometimes so dipping and peaceful, others so loud, angry and thrashing, with a million ways in between. It can sooth my soul, as I stand and just breathe in the ocean air, overcome with the power of grandmother ocean; there is no way to harness nature, of which I am grateful.

In the classes we are incorporating more writing with the dance, and so  the  first journaling we did after doing some evening pages (which is just freestyle writing to clear the brain) was to write a list of twenty words that had anything to do with water.

pond, raindrops, swirling, thunderstorms, swiftly moving creeks, baths…


What other words stand out to you, as you think about water?

Chelsea shares with us some of those words:

…of my 20 water words (the ones that stood out were)
-rain down
-ripples (this to me means… starting with your inner soul (the first ripple), connecting with friends around you (the 2nd ripple), reaching out to the world/shinning (the 3rd ripple) This is living life from the inside out.


This ripple effect (!) is very poignant; what a wonderful analogy of water and life.

Often dance takes us out of our comfort zone, and sometimes we can get stuck and dance becomes our comfort zone.  I love our trance nights because it can open up the dance for us in ways we cannot do in our structured dance classes. I see fear in many newer dancers as they try to loosen up. I love tribal for it’s structured language, but as a dancer I need to move in other ways, and shake the insides out! Trance dancing give us a great opportunity to use dance and our bodies as tools for healing, or for finding bliss, or whatever it is that you are needing at that moment. I love to see the looks of sheer bliss and peace and openness on the new trance dancer’s faces when we are done with the class, like they have experienced something so different for them; they have found a new source.

Chelsea had never done this type of dancing before, and she writes:

I have been lately dancing more freely by myself at home in the evenings and it brings a lot of centering and joy and passion for me. But that is more scary doing that in a group. So I was most comfortable facing the corner and freely dancing on Friday. At one point I could feel moisture on my hands like water energy and could
really imagine that I was outside in the rain, bare foot with my feet splashing in the water.


Dancing, in all of it’s forms, can be scary.  And so can writing. But our bodies and our voices are to be celebrated. This next trance session will take us into the darkness of winter, with the intention of finding joy in the quiet and dark times, celebrating by writing, chanting, and dancing, possibly finding new ways to release and express ourselves with our bodies and our voices.

Myla Stauber, many of you have read her words in the Anthology or in the past Caravan Trails enewsletters, participates in the trance classes. She is an avid and brilliant writer, and shares a poem about darkness, with redemption in the dance.


Journey In Darkness

Tip the stars toward me, bring closer my true map

Take this ugliness from my soul, my prayer

Lift up my prayer

Let me be better than I think I am

This violence inside this reaction the opposite of what I crave

I cannot rip down the wall to be in the arms of trust

Though I long

For the mother to know me

Know me mother? See me as I am

Take me in your arms again

My mask of violence my animal inside this is not all of me

The lotus inside

The child I can’t hide

As they dance in each other’s arms I am jealous

I admit

I cannot open my mind to these ways

These days

I turn my face away and the ripping

Has begun

To want… more than is my station

And the ultimate knock down is the rise up

All I got is the stars.

*a form of prayer is dance

I cover my eyes and spin

I turn around touch the ground (heard my mama’s voice)

MS 11/29/09


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