Monday, 27 August 2012

All Kinds Of Everything ......

Wow! There's just so much going on at the moment - and so little time to blog! Still, let's have a quick catch up now, shall we?

Warning : Banjara Belts Can Seriously Damage Your Health!

The really big news of the summer has been Janice's Little Toe. Yes, you heard right! In her eagerness to buy a new Banjara belt at a workshop back at the start of July she stubbed it on a chair, and that was that. She was diagnosed with a spiral fracture, forbidden to dance until it was healed and has since spent several workshops and performances in a state of desperate agitation and frustration at having to remain on the sidelines! The good news is that she was able to - cautiously - join in with us at the Sakura practice last week and will hopefully be back in full swing with us at our upcoming Autumn performances. Yay!!!!

Tribal Fun And Games!

Going back to workshops, that's been big news for us this summer too. As you may know I (Cayte, that is) have been working closely with our ATS dancer friend Jo on a new project - Namaste Tribal (find out more at A big part of this is spreading the old tribal love and working together has given me the push I needed to start spreading the Gypsy Caravan love here in North West England. So this summer there have been not one but TWO tribal workshops here in Wigan, focusing upon tribal foundations with Gypsy Caravan styling. The response has been fabulous - lots and lots of lovely ladies joined us, worked hard and smiled and smiled throughout! Next Monday - a week today! - I will be starting to teach weekly classes ( and am so looking forward to it! I think I shall have to do a separate blog about my teaching exploits - suffice it to say for the moment that I LOVE this style and I am LOVING teaching it!!!

Carry On Learning

Now I've also been dipping my toe into some different classes as a student this summer. Tribal is very much my first love, but I also do have a bit of a thing for folkloric dance and so have been to a short saidi course over recent weeks. Real earthy saidi - wielding very big sticks! It was such fun, and several of the moves really struck a chord with me. Then at one point I was practising some footwork and couldn't work out why it seemed so familiar, until it struck me. It was the same footwork as the GC Stomp - that's why it was engrained in my muscle memory!
Out And About

Performance opportunities are often limited over the summer months as so many people are away but we managed to squeeze in a couple of Sakura outings (with poor Jan having to be a supportive audience). You've already read about us at the Liverpool hafla, but we had an additional treat in mid- August when we got to dance again at the fabulous Summer Sizzler hafla in Handforth. It has to be said that Sarah was eying me with more than a little trepidation as we stepped onto the dance floor as I'd been displaying distinct symptoms of total brain mash up earlier that day (and my evil smirk as we took our places possibly didn't help). But the music kicked in, the Gypsy Caravan connection went into turbo boost - and it just flowed! Totally, completely in the moment. I jst loved every second - and the audience seemed to like it too!
Upcoming Outings
We are really seriously fingers crossed that Jan will be up and running and back with us in time for our next performance in Formby in September (see side bar for details). We'll be reprising our performance to 'Human' by the Killers, which was what we improvised to at the Summer Sizzler hafla, and hopefully this time two will become three again! We then have some different music lined up for improv performances in Rainhill (end of September) and Burscough (early October). Not giving too much away at the moment but it's a track I have REALLY wanted to dance to for ages. Sooo excited. Squeee!!! 
And Great Excitement!
And finally, finally... last but so most definitely not least (It has taken so much discipline to keep this bit till the end of the post!) us Sakura girls are all of a flutter and basically can't wait until October! Why? Don't you know? Our amazing tribal mamma Paulette Rees-Denis is back in the UK! We'll be having a road trip over to Yorkshire to do workshops and see her perform at the Jewel of Yorkshire festival (and will be meeting up with lots of lovely dancing and drumming friends to boot) and then later that week I'll be boarding a train down to Bournemouth (for nearly two weeks!) to carry on my dance journey - my 'Tribal Pilgrimage' - with Paulette via more Collective Soul and Teacher Training intensives. Sadly the other Sakura ladies can't join me for this part of the adventure (though Jan may be able to sneak down for the hafla!) but once again there'll be other friends there - in the same hotel even - so lots of hard work and fun to be had (not to mention the shared apprehension of being tested at the end!)!
Still in Gypsy Caravan Land (and what a wonderful place it is!) we're also waiting anxiously for Paulette's new online classes to come out! This is going to be such a great way to keep in touch with the heart and soul of Gypsy Caravan! Whilst I have all the DVDS (and am eagerly awaiting number 11) to have these classes each week is going to be a brilliant motivator and will certainly keep us on track with practising and technique, as well as with the spirit of the dance. I shall certainly be recommending these to students at my classes (and to anyone else who will listen!).
I know I said 'finally - well actually I said 'finally, finally' - but this is really part of the Great Excitement. Just to keep us going till October here it is - some of the joy, soul and magic that is Gypsy Caravan!
Really hope to see some of you soon, whether at haflas, JoY or even at class!

Until next time, happy dancing!