Monday, 25 April 2011

Of dancing, drumming and delicious dresses!

Wow - what an amazing dancy-drummy weekend we have had! We just couldn't resist blogging to let you know all about it. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin ...

Early Saturday morning saw us packing our dance bags and heading back on our well-trodden pathway over the Pennines to Yorkshire. We - Cayte, Sarah and our lovely friend Janice - were off to Shipley for a bit of Tribal improv with our fantastic teacher, Chris Ogden. However, first things first; the Great Shipley Tea Shop Ritual! No workshop is complete without a pre-fuelling at Interlude, a lovely quirky little 1920s style cafe which just happens to be right around the corner from the dance venue (look at their yummy menus here). Joined by the fabulous - and more than a little warm - Jo (she was fresh from a Roses practice!) we were soon fortified by warm brie and cranberry rolls, cream cakes and ginger beer and were back off up the hill (urrrrrrgh!) to dance.

Aside : The folk who run this cafe are lovely - they have even undertaken to make a special vegan cake ready for Janice's next visit!

Chris' monthly workshops are always a real treat - well sized dancing space complete with kitchen for making brews, Chris' fantastic teaching, Stephen's great drumming and wonderful friendly folk. This month was no exception. After warming up and drilling a variety of moves and cues we had lots of opportunity to practise those in twos and threes; it is always good to have the chance to improvise with different people outside of our own group, not least because - particularly for Sakura where there are just two of us dancing together - we re so aware of one another and how we dance that specific cues tend to become less important and we go more with the flow. This workshop certainly did sharpen up our cues and was lots of fun to boot! Later we got the chance to improvise in larger groups and to perform for one another. Everyone looked so good and so confident - go girls!!

If you're thinking about dipping your toe into tribal improv, these are the workshops for you! They are very non-threatening - but even if you are terrified at the thought of leading, rest assured that we have all been there and that yes, no matter how much improvising we may have done we do all mess it up a bit (or even more than a bit ..) sometimes! The only cure is to actually get out there and DO IT! Once you discover the magic of improv you'll be hooked ..

The next workshop in the series is on June 4th - check out the Facebook page here. Alternatively, details of all forthcoming workshops are up on Chris' Wiggle site here.

Sadly that was the end of Sarah's dancing adventures for the weekend as she was off new-baby-visiting the following day (which wasn't sad at all - she loved it - but you know what I mean). However, at an equally early time, and after a brief foray around Stockport (having come off the motorway at the wrong junction) Cayte arrived at Jo's and we set off - southbound to Nottingham this time - for some slow drilling with the delectable Pauline Qu! Whilst it's a longish journey time-wise it's a particularly enjoyable one through the gorgeous Derbyshire countryside - we felt all renewed and inspired before we'd even arrived (and had spied more than one quaint little pub that we fancied!). Jo was an excellent tour guide pointing out lots of iron-age forts and stately homes - but was quite distraught to spot folk viewing the lovely farmhouse she's had her eye on for ages!

Pauline's 'Slow Moves' workshop is part of her 'Death By' series and as such she really put us through our paces sloooowwwwwly and tortuously, but hey, did it work!! I can now flutter and do a controlled bellyroll as opposed to a quick and hopeful flobadob! We drilled mayas, taxeems and torso rotations at - shall we say - more measured speeds than we could ever have dreamt were possible. Yes, it was hard, hard work but Pauline's fun style of presentation made for a really relaxed atosphere and we all had a great time - we'll be back for more! And my stomach muscles actually feel tighter this morning  (she says, hopefully) . . .

Pauline's workshop was followed by a great two hours of drumming with her lovely husband, Asif. We always love his workshops; he's one of our favourite drumming teachers. He really has the knack of being able to tailor what he teaches to all levels - with basic hits and rythyms for beginners being scaled up and made more challenging for the more experienced, and he provides lots of individual help and support too. Of course the workshop was made even more enjoyable by including my two favourite rhythms - Ayoub and Masmoudi (that one is just my all-time fave!!).

The next 'Death By ' workshop focuses on shimmies, and is once again followed by drumming. You can find details on the BTS website here. Don't miss out - you'll regret it if you do!

And now, finally, on to the crowning glory of the weekend! Several months ago we had spotted Pauline dancing in a rather fabulous Ghawazee dress, which Sakura had been most definitely lusting after!  Having already comissioned velvet tribal pants from her (which are gorgeous!) we took the plunge, grabbed some luscious fabric and put in our orders to the amazing Pauline/Asif Dream Team! And here for your delectation is the finished result! How amazing is that? It really is divine! This one is Cayte's - Sarah has a matching one inequally yummy teal blue. They were going to get their first showing at the Shekinah hafla on May 21st, but we are so taken with them that they may have to have an airing at Lowton hafla the week before! (Cayte has also decided she now NEEDS a tailor's dummy - not to sew on, but to display her costumes). Thank you (again and again!) Pauline and Asif!

Well, that's about it for now. Thank you to everyone - teachers, drummers and fellow dancers - who made this weekend so special. We love you all!

We'll be back soon - after a long tribal chat with Jo on the way back from Nottingham I can now feel a blog about Tribal and its whole philosophy coming on. It's all there - just waiting to spring forth into the blogging world!

Until then, happy dancing!

Thanks to Chris Ogden, Pauline & Asif and Interlude for images used in this blog

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