Sunday, 13 November 2011

Tribal Travels!

She's back!
So this week I have been having a little contemplate, and have exciting things in the pipeline! Next year looks like being a good one for us UK Gypsy Caravan fans ..... Deirdre Macdonald is back with us and we have Les Soeurs Tribales over at JoY in April ...... with the possibility of Paulette herself later in the year. Squeaaaaaal just doesn't do it! Anyway, as if that wasn't enough, I found out that Paulette was back in Milan next March! Now I had to miss her there in October (needs must when the bank manager calls ....) but hey, I'm determined to have a 2012 full of GC delights, and so I'm making plans. Now this is no small step for someone who didn 't even have a passport until last year and has NEVER travelled abroad alone, and so it's got me thinking .....

Our fabulous teacher, ChrisOgden
 In the dim and distant days of the past, before Sakura was even a twinkle in our eye, we dipped our toes into many tribal waters. Interestingly our first tribal workshop was with Deirdre at JoY in Saltaire   .... a beginners GC class where that fabulous lady had us all improvising and loving it within the space of an hour! From there we started regular workshops and classes with the amazing Chris Ogden of 400 Roses fame ... we still learn with her now, and her GC based 'North Wind' style dovetails really well with what we do as Sakura. However, in between all that we've also done lots of other stuff ..... lessons and workshops in ATS and other key formats as well as the odd fusion workshop. However, as time has gone by we have become a lot more focused. We know which style speaks to us, and we have to be more selective now about which workshops we go to. That doesn't mean we only ever go to GC based stuff - that wouldn't be good! - but we choose things that complement what we do (Fulya's brilliant Indian Fusion workshop at Tribal Vibe last year and Pauline Qu's excellent slow drills workshop, for example), but unless we have a lottery windfall we just can't do everything!

We love Steffi!
Now, not only does this mean we have to choose what we spend our money on, it also means we have to travel. And travel pretty far too! The furthest north we've been? Glasgow, twice - workshops with Deirdre and with Paulette. South ? Bournemouth for Tribal Teacher Training with gorgeous Steffi Colbert. East? Haxby, just north of York (workshops with Pauline and Asif Qu. And West? Well, that's the biggie .... San Francisco where we had lessons at the FCBD studio and with Wendy Marlatt (with a stop off in Portland to train with Paulette of course!). And a fair few places in between .....

Victoria Hall - venue for JoY
So, what is the point of this post you may ask?  What on earth is the daft woman wittering on about now? Well, quite simply it sometimes amazes me when people put costumes etc before training. Yes, I know that, especially if you have to use public transport, getting to workshops can be difficult but hey - you can't go far wrong with JoY! Literally five minutes walk from the train station and hotel, there's a whole range of workshops to suit all tastes and levels, at really reasonable prices. So whilst you may not be able to get to individual workshops, you do have lots under one roof there! And yes, there ARE local workshops too in a fair few areas ... but you may have to travel across town to get there! And once you do, you'll find it really IS worth the effort!

Me in early tribal days - dancing with Chris' class
Weekly lessons can be a little more difficult of course; we make nigh on  a 90 mile round trip to ours, and there's no way we could do that without a car. But if we couldn't manage that, then workshops would become even more important to us - it just isn't possible to get the feedback you need from dvds. A real live teacher is quite simply irreplaceable.  

And we haven't even started on our travels to haflas - not always to perform either!
'Dancing makes nomads of us all'
A good friend of ours, Jo, put it very succinctly:
'Dancing makes nomads of us all'.
It's very true. To  learn tribal, you have to be prepared to travel. Not necessarily hundreds of miles, but you need to be ready to make a bit of an effort, even if it's only once a year. We aren't millionaires, we can't do it all time or money wise. So we have to choose. There are lots of wonderful bits of costume and jewellery that I would totally LOVE right now. But none of it means anything without the actual experience of dancing and learning and growing. 

Cinzia of Les Soeurs Tribales with Paulette
So I've made my choice. No more 25 yard skirts or Kuchi necklaces in the near future.

Milano - here I come!

Until next time - happy dancing, wherever your travels take you!




1 comment:

  1. Good decision! I've had to take a break from classes because I am not working right now but oh how I miss it!

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