Over the past month I have had the great opportunity to take my dance half way around the globe–Australia and New Zealand–teaching, performing, sharing. I have taught amazing women so many aspects of our dance, this dance we love with our heart, soul, and bodies. I am blessed to see so many women blossom into their beauty, on so many different levels. Living their dreams. Feeling great. Making connections. Establishing communities for passion, fun, creativity, love.
Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance
I have met women of all ages and sizes, backgrounds and cultures, with varying accents and desires, who share the passion and dedication to our dance, and all the styles combined, and all it represents– not just the dance, but community, support, love, fun, self-love and self-care, creativity, movement, wellness, health, encouragement and compassion, spiritual, physical and emotional awareness.
We all have varying degrees of all of these components. Which is awe-inspiring.
This trip, and over the years, I have also heard stories of dance heartaches and mini-divorces, body un-love, friendship separations, lack of confidence, self-hedonism, physical dilemmas, feelings of being left out, not achieving the level of something you want, rudeness and unprofessionalism, non-communication. Whoa…life happens, people change, step away, step into, revolt, replenish, shift, try something else, whatever they need to do. It is their stuff…no one else’s. This I have learned. Nothing is forever.
Gratitude in the making… What do you have now?
With reflection, I have thought so much about what makes a GC tribal dancer, and of course, what doesn’t.What is it I bring to the dance and what does it brings to me, my body, heart, and soul? I have been a witness, a shoulder, a coach, even a scapegoat and a punching bag to these ideas and these dancers, many times over.
I know who I want to dance with and why. I can see who has the true tribal spirit when I meet you, and subsequently by your actions. I can see it in your eyes before you know! There is a glimmer, a curiousity, an open heart, a body that is willing, a need to be filled, a love to be shared, a creative spirit that wants to break open.
What is it you bring to your dance? What do you desire from your dance? Who do you want to dance with?
Why is the question of the year. Lately I feel like a 2 year old…
Why? Why? Why?
I ask my dancers, my students, my teachers in training, my Master Teachers. Why do you want this? Why do you do what you do?
I am asking all of you, now…what, why, how, when… how has this dance affected you? How has your life changed because of it? How do you feel about yourself? Your body? What have you taken away from it? What do you bring to it? Why do you dance?
What holds you back?
Why this style?
When is your time?
How do you give to it, the dance, to allow it to prosper? To retain integrity? To bring love? What makes your bells ring and your zils click?
I asked my Gypsy Caravan Dance Company members to share some thoughts.
Karen and Amanda
Karen Hunt (USA) of Gypsy Caravan says:
GCTB has nurtured a community that hasn’t be replicated elsewhere in my life’s journey. Collaborative art/Artists/creating, memorable experiences, lifelong friends.
Amanda Richardson delightfully adds this to our mix:
It’s about building up and supporting. Being a good leader in life and in the group and a good follower. I’m not talking about leading dance moves but taking the lead and knowing when to be lead. It’s about trust in the other dancers in the group to lead you or to support you as you lead. It’s about compassion and building an energy together. It’s a creative release and about putting beauty in the world. That beauty makes the world a better place, that energy heals the world. It’s how to recharge and replenish and take risks without fear.
There’s a sense of worth that comes with creative beauty. A pre designed set of movements that are already beautiful and work is like the crayons in your box. Already existing beautiful colors to inspire you, and the freedom to make your own artwork or place your own signature.
Richelle (Australia) of GC says:
GCTB — this dance is about a lifestyle for me, being whole, well, happy, strong and fit, feeling the need to take care of yourself ….we all deserve down time, to eat good food, and the self-discipline to take care of ourselves. I feel you tread a little lighter on the earth, you donate or volunteer, you reuse recycle up cycle, you laugh more, your self-awareness helps you to do the job you love, and to do your work with passion and pride. You spend more quality time with friends and family, you take the time to study and practice deeper. to create art and create community. Through dancing you becoming better at everything, better posture, deeper breathing, more confidence, stronger in your body, more grounded on the earth and more beautiful! Blessed be x
Nina Martinez, also of Australia, says:
The GCTB format has shaped the dancer I am. The discipline of learning, the freedom to create beauty and the support of the global community make me feel whole and blessed. without dance I would be an empty shell. Dance fills me up, gives me purpose.
Deirdre Macdonald, from Scotland,writes:
For me as a GC Dancer the tribal spirit philosophy goes way beyond technique and has shaped the person, dancer and teacher I’ve become over the years. I’ve become more purposeful and aware and intentional about how I go about my practice, interactions, preparedness for class, rehearsals, performances, and non-dance relationships and activities too. I’ve never been one to participate in dramas anywhere but this style nurtures support and clarity about the integrity in working with yourself and others. The training and support has helped me and allows me to be, has given me confidence, and a super global sisterhood network and self- belief and the opportunity to find creativity and make use and share talents and energy. It’s a two way energy that does refill and refuel regularly!
We are all on our own journeys, we are all individuals, we all desire similar things, yet different things. That is the beauty of what we do, and what we bring to the dance, and to our own lives.
**Here is the beginning of the gypsy tribal dancer’s manifesto:
The gypsy caravan tribal bellydancer:
Has copious amounts of Love for herself and to share…
Speaks her truth with tenderness and heartfelt wisdom
Desires to continue learning and growing as a dancer and a human
Is an open-hearted woman
Has full on body awareness, and the desire to make her body what she wants it to be, so that it dances with her and allows her to feel great.
Connects with her own soul
Loves being in her skin
Encourages and supports with her whole soul
Communicates her desires with open hearted wonder
Listens to her heart
Feels the goddess within and without
Puts in the effort and time
Is a disciple of her dreams
Does the work
Dances her talk
Takes great care of herself
Knows her skills
Says hello and how are you with interest
Is be in alignment with herself
Has true perception — can look at herself, her abilities, her desires with truth
Asks for what she wants without comparing herself to others
Walks in beauty
Shimmers and glows
Feels and exudes the positive flow
Tunes in to herself
Turns on to life
Shares the love
Has compassion for all living beings
Blooms where she is planted!
This is the beginning… I would love to hear from you… tell me your story, your experiences, your What and your WHY….
let’s continue this conversation…this is RICH and JUICY….share in the comments or PM me!
many thanks for all you do and bring to the world!