Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sleepover - Tribal Style - Part Two!

Tribal Jane meets Aunty Pauline!
Well, it might be a week late (it's been a busy, exciting week!) but here as promised is the second part of our Tribal Sleepover weekend. Can't believe that seven days ago we were there - it seems much longer now! Could this be a sign of old age creeping up on us, we wonder? Anyway, one week passed is one week closer to the next one! So, what do we still have to tell you? I think I mentioned workshops, drumming and the hafla? And a bit of Tribal Jane feedback, hmmm? Let's see ....

A nicely chilled out TJ!
THE WORKSHOPS : There was a fantastic choice of workshops - crafty, musical, dancing - something for all tastes and all moods. I was in a chilling sort of mood, and cut my cloth accordingly. The Saturday morning started with Jane Mowat's fabulous yoga session - lots of gentle stretching which really eased us into the day's activities nicely! Following that I hot-footed it next door for a bit of guided meditation with Pauline, where I spent twenty minutes being soothed in a verdant forest clearing to the sound of hypnotic drum beats from Asif --- great stuff! The laid back morning continued with aromotherapy, again led by Jane. That was such fun and so well delivered. We not only learned lots about the history of the subject and uses of different oils but also got the chance to try out our hands as Aromatherapy Apprentices, making a Dancer's Foot Massage blend and then designing and making our own oils. The workshop closed with an Aromatherapy quiz. The prize was a gorgeous aromatherapy candle from the rather exquisite Neom shop (check it out here), and guess who won? Squeal!

Michelle - one talented lady!
From there, Sarah and I parted ways - she was delivering her Gingerbread Bunny 'Funky Hair accessories' workshop which seemed to go down a storm (I saw lots of beautiful evidence of this adorning lovely heads at the hafla!)There were lots of feathers and sparkly things involved, anyhow!  Meanwhile I headed off down to the basement, to a fantastic tribal workshop - with a Christmassy flavour - from the fabulous Michelle Pender. We had great fun - loved it! AND we had the added bonus of being able to perform the choreo we learned at the hafla later ....

A bit of African drumming
 We had planned on a bit of Bollywood that afternoon, but still feeling a bit chilled we opted for some African drumming with Mike - we loves our drumming, we does! We really enjoyed it! It was quite different from the Arabic drumming that we're used to, but we had great times drumming together, really getting into the zone and going faster and faster and faster and faster ...... There were more workshops after that, but we had decided to go and get showers before the rush started and then get ready for the hafla and evening meal. Great minds think alike; Tania and Amy had opted for the same approach so there was lots of girly chat!

Art journaling is so cool!
On the Sunday morning Sarah was teaching an Art Journaling workshop. I was still in that lazy sort of mood, so hung out there with her. She had a full house and I was so impressed with the work her ladies came up with - well done all of you! The final workshop of the weekend was our Asif fix - Arabic drumming (Intermediate/Advanced, no less!). As always we were not disappointed. I had asked him to be gentle with us, but of course he refused point blank - and instead provided lots of challenge and hard work. But hey, it was worth it! Great stuff!!!

Arabic with Asif
Now of course We couldn't go to every workshop as there were three on at once ... we missed out on African dance, Chakra dance, Mbira, henna, making zill pouches, make up, reflexology and no doubt a good few more. But it was great to be able to choose what suited our mood and hey, there's always next year!  Suffice it to say, everyone seemed to be buzzing whatever they'd done!

Mike and Mark doing a bit of Friday night drumming!
THE DRUMMING : I've told you a bit about the drumming workshops, but that really is only the half of it! We had drumming ALL weekend .... whilst chilling on the Friday night, accompanying performers at the hafla, providing music for bopping at the hafla ... you name it! It was all really relaxed so that everyone felt comfortable just picking up their doumbek and drumming along, and drum along they did! I can't finish without mentioning the 'Best Dressed Drummer; competition on the Friday night of course!

AND FINALLY ........ 

'Vessel Mix' with North Wind Tribal
THE HAFLA : We couldn't have all those tribalistas there without getting together for a bit of a boogie now, could we? We had gone not sure if we would perform or not - we had our music just in case. Well, I ended up performing THREE times! It was that sort of a hafla, where everyone is so relaxed and friendly that you just get swept up in the excitement of it all and end up squealing 'Us, Us!' whilst brandishing your music in the air and bouncing up and down in your chair! Sakura performed to 'The Huntress' (where I managed to get so caught up in the flow that I kind of bumped into Sarah - now that's dancing close together!), we got up with some of the North Wind girls to dance 'Vessel Mix' (from our classes with Chris) and then stepped out of the Gypsy Caravan music zone for a while to do Michelle's Annie Lennox Christmas choreo. Phew --- we needed that chilled out day to keep us going!

Go, girls!
There were so many fabulous performances that I really can't mention them all here. Solos from our teachers, class dances, troupes, mbira playing ... such a great mixture and all with a tribal slant. A couple of things really did stand out for me though ..... Firstly the performance by the African workshop ladies. This really closed the hafla on a high - wow! Everyone had so much fun, and it was so high-energy we couldn't sit still as we watched! We must confess though, that although it was fantastic we heaved a secret sigh of relief that, given our laid-back mood that weekend, we'd opted for the Aromatherapy session instead that day .... we would have been on our knees by hafla time otherwise!

Amy's first solo
Another highlight for us was at the other end of the hafla- right at the beginning of the dance performances! It was our friend Amy's very first tribal fusion solo, and she did an amazing job! Well done Amy! We were then treated to Bollywood, BTS, ATS, more beautiful solos ...... so much!I shall be here all day if I try to talk about them all! Everyone did so well; we were thoroughly entertained! Thank you all for a great evening!

So that's it .... a great weekend over! Mega huge thank-yous to all the organisers; you did a great job! Can't wait for the next one!

Guess who?
I'm going to sign off for now, but will be back later today or tomorrow. I have some very SPECIAL Sakura news for you. It's something we are VERY VERY excited about .... but that's all I'm going to tell you now! You'll just have to stay tuned to this channel for more!!!

Until then, happy dancing!

With thanks to Julie Horner-Kucharski for the photos of Michelle and Asif, and ian Woodward for the photo of the Sakura belt!

P.S. Tribal Jane has decided she wants a special post of her own to tell you all about her recent travels .... look out for that one in a week or two. I should warn you there will be some pretty hair-raising moments!

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