We live in a world of amazing diversity—assorted cultures and subcultures, mainstream and avant garde, rich and poor (in so many ways), introverts and extroverts, online and offline communities, green juicers and biggie sizers. We have the opportunity to choose the life we desire, or at least we hope to. We strive, we thrive, we dream and we dance. We create art in whatever form speaks to and from our soul, using words, paint, food, plants, bodies. We yearn for connection with a common thread running through it. We need solitude, but we crave a gathering of like-minded folk. We desire to join a tribe.
What is a tribe?
In general, it is a group of people with a leader. In most cases, they have similar values.
Social Science / Anthropology & Ethnology) a social division of a people, esp. of a preliterate people, defined in terms of common descent, territory, culture, etc.
(Historical Terms) an ethnic or ancestral division of ancient cultures,
Informal often jocular
a. a large number of persons, animals, etc.
b. a specific class or group of persons
c. a family, esp. a large one
What can having a tribe do for you? A tribe validates your voice, the members will follow the lead and help spread their message. A tribe is like a posse, a gathering up of peeps who help you feel relevant and visible, a part of something.
In my Tribal Bellydance world, we refer to our groups, our troupes, as tribes. In the beginning days of my developing this Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance (™) style, some twenty plus years ago, I decided to call this newly evolving and quickly spreading dance Tribal Bellydance, to reflect back on some ancient times of tribes, to honor what had come before, from tribal cultures around the world. Where villages and families would gather and play music and dance, because that is what they did (imagine no computers, phones, TVs!). To bring together the feeling of camaraderie, of the circle where everyone is accepted and important to the big picture, from the older wise folk to the babes in arms. Where folk supported each other, worked on bettering themselves, and celebrated the cycles of life,each day, and each other.
Today, who is my tribe?
My dancing tribe are predominantly women—dancers, movers, shimmiers and shakers, funky and wild, loving creative folk. (And yes, there are men dancers too!) We are folk who sometimes need a nod, a push, some new skills, some kind acknowledgment or a fire-startin’ kick in the booty, a hug and a smile, a new workout to change it up, a sacred space to experiment and to heal. This tribe wants connection and communion, and we desire to make magic together, to raise energy to heal ourselves and each other, to feel great in our bodies, to support each other.
We choose to decorate and adorn ourselves with rich exotic fabrics, jangly bells, heavy amber necklaces, glittery eyeshadow, feathered headdresses—just some of the accoutrements of the dance. Or maybe we just want stretchy pants and tank tops to wear while we dance away the day! We may be pierced and full on tattooed goddesses, or white uniformed 9-5er goddesses, or both.
It is the soul that connects through the dance, the knowing the whole body as a creative vessel and a temple of love. We dance to bleed, we dance to heal. It sets our heart on fire and our blood pumping. We dance to guide us. We dance to help us with our daily work. We dance to laugh and because it feels good.
The dance helps us feel the beautiful sensual creatures that we are. And it connects us with all parts of ourselves-body, mind, spirit. Dancing is finding god, within and without, a moving meditation of different sorts. It keeps us in the moment, to be present and aware.
Through the dance we can push our limits and our body, to know our body as the creative vessel, our temple of love. Because we view our bodies as we move, we see our wholeness or the parts of us that we want to work on. It builds self-acceptance as well as acceptance of all of our diversities. Forgiveness and empowered strength on our tribal journey, with the power of the tribe.
These dancers are global priestesses. Maidens, mothers, crones—we dance on this journey called life. We dance to connect to our goddesshood, to honor those who have come before, and to layout the legacy for those to come after us.
And my role, my soul purpose, well, I am the Tribal Hostess, a leader of sorts, a guide, as I gather the posses and introduce them to this world and to each other. I love to share the tools of the trade. My role is to get you up and moving and feeling and sharing. I see the relationships that are built around the dance, with each other. But still, first and most importantly, with oneself, as we travel on the tribal journey.
And we shall always dance.
**And you, do you have a tribe? What and who makes up your tribe? Share in the comments and tell us about it!
Thanks for being here…