Saturday, 17 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Yep, you know the feeling ...... there's a wild flurry of dance activity (which may or may not be accompanied by a wild flurry of snow ...), a mad last minute splurge of tribal pressie buying, the unavoidable festooning of every Christmassy-coloured costume that you possess with glitter of every colour imaginable (from your own hair fripperies, other dancers' hair fripperies, random Christmas decorations in church halls ...).... And then suddenly, quite suddenly, that's it. The last hafla has been hafled. The Christmas performance photos are in. Dance teachers take a well-earned Christmas break. Dance studios close their doors. All is still. All is quiet. (I feel as though I need to break into a verse of Silent Night at this point!)

Cayte and Jan at Liverpool Hafla
 It's a strange feeling - a sort of 'All dressed up and nowhere to go' feeling. Even if you've a busy holiday planned there is still that 'plunge' in activity ... especially if dance is a huge part of your life. We have our last dance class until the New Year on Tuesday and then that will be it until 2012! Eek! Sakura have danced their last performances of 2011, all three of us at Burnley hafla and then Cayte and Jan at Liverpool. We've even had our last practice together until 2012. It feels as though New Year has come early, even though Christmas isn't over yet!

Sarah at Burnley Hafla
 Well, it's quite simply just too early to be doing all that looking back and looking forward malarkey. That's all well and good, and we have some exciting stuff to plan for in 2012, but this just isn't the time for it. We need to focus in on CHRISTMAS! Tribal shopping, tribal costumes, tribal pressies ........ it's all good stuff! For me - Cayte that is! - it also always seems to be a time when I begin to reflect on what this amazing dance means to me. A kind of build up to New Year I suppose - and an opportune time to score a few pretty notebooks and pens in the sales, in preparation for all those dance workshops coming up! Oh yes, we loves our pens and notebooks!

So .... what deep tribal musings are going on this year? What's a Tribal Christmas really all about? A bit of an acrostic coming up I think!

Tribal Connection!
C is for connection. Of course. Yes, you can still get it in other dance forms, but once you've truly felt that tribal improv connection then nothing else comes close!
H is for Happy Tribal. Our kind of tribal!
R is for roots. They matter, They keep us grounded and strong. We are thankful for all of those dancers over the years who have given this dance form such strong roots - Jamila, Carolena, Paulette and more.
I is for improv. Despite what people may sometimes think when watching us (Yes, we do still get the 'Was that really improv?' questions!), Sakura only ever perform improv. It's what speaks to us!
S is for sisterhood. Dance sisterhood. Tribal sisterhood. Or indeed brotherhood. But that begins with a B ....
T is for teachers, mentors, tribal mammas. We owe so much to them all and can never thank them enough. You know who you are ladies!

Hayley Tully of Shekinah - the perfect audience member!
Get a load of that smile!
 M is for music. Music that speaks to us, makes us slink and squidge or gets our hips swinging and our feet tapping. Pulsing drum beats, the cry of the mizmar ...Thank you for the music!
A is for audiences. And especially those people who catch your eye and make that connection with a smile .... Our dance is about much more than performing - it's about how we feel when we dance whether that's in our living room or studio or bopping together after a hafla. But when we look out during a performance and you're smiling right at us it helps us to spread that connection out to YOU!
S is for soul singing. Happiness is one thing, but when you're truly in that moment, connecting with the music and your fellow dancers, flowing, responding - your soul soars. And improv does that for us ....

The 'Winter Kiss'
Ok, ok, I hold my hands up. Other than the acrostic bit, that had NOTHING to do with Christmas. Well, is this any better? Fabulous wintry hair frippery, courtesy of Tania, the Tribal Temptress! I had planned to wear this in my hair at the last hafla of the season but as I was delayed at work then had a long drive through dark December traffic I had a record-breaking hair/costume/make up adornment session of UNDER FIFTEEN MINUTES! I would never have believed it possible! Anyway, given the need for speed I went for simple tried and tested headwear and wore this beauty on my belt instead - you can see it in action further up this post. And rather gorgeous it looked!

Where's Wally - or rather Where's Sakura?! Dancing with
our North Wind class family at Burnley!
Going back to Christmas though ... it's a time for love and peace and family. And of course, in tribal we have that family - in our own tribes, in other people that we meet and dance with, in fellow dancers across the world. So with that in mind, a Tribal Christmas seems very appropriate. We may not see some of our dance family for a week or two, but as we say those last goodbyes of 2011 we know that we'll be celebrating a tribal Christmas together in our hearts.

And if not there's always Facebook.

Until next time, happy dancing!

Thanks to Ian Woodward and Tania Hudson for the photos.I'm not sure where the gorgeous Christmas Tree picture came from - if you know, please let me know!


  1. Is 'hafled' even a word Cayte? I guess it is now!. Thank you for all the dancing, the photo-ops and for your friendship during 2011. Look forward to seeing you all dance in 2012. Have a fab Christmas.
    Ian xx

  2. Hi

    It's actually my christmas picture with tribal and belly dancers. You probably found this on my deviantart gallery

    It will be nice to se here some copyrights to me

    best regards
    Agnieszka Osiwala (Anez)

  3. Thank you so much Anez - it is a gorgeous picture and I am so happy that we now know where it came from! Thank you for letting us use it here. Once I am on the computer again I will add your name to the blog itself (I'm on my phone at the moment and it won't let me do it!) Cayte xxx