Friday, 17 May 2013

Sisters Under The Skin

Imagine this ..... a chorus line of deliciously colourful tribal dancers, smiling, yipping and moving together as they pledge their support to a fabulous friend and troupe member soloing in their midst. And imagine this ..... that chorus line is not an ATS chorus line. And it isn't a Gypsy Caravan chorus line. It's actually a complete mix ... dancers from different formats, different backgrounds, different levels of experience, working together in perfect harmony. Tribal harmony.

And now imagine this .... everything you have just imagined steps out of the mists of your mind and actually comes alive right in front of you! And here it is ....

Kate's fabulous hafla in Liverpool, last Saturday night.

I can't tell you how much of an honour it was to be a part of that impromptu chorus. and how much it completely and totally rocked! Four troupes joining together in dance ... Sakura, The Wild Hearts, Tantrum and Massive Tantrum ... watching. moving, connecting as one. Such a fantastic feeling of unity, of shared roots and of honouring and celebrating our similarities and differences. Tribal sisterhood, the way it should be.

You wouldn't think it could get much better than that - but hey, guess what! It did!

There was a particularly cool soundtrack for the evening's boogying, with music to suit everyone's tastes - and I do mean everyone! From the Sex Pistols to Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones to Bassnectar, Cyndi Lauper to the J Geils Band! The Stranglers were in there, some disco, a bit of metal mayhem ... I can't even remember most of it but it was a fabulous mix. Our feet hardly left that dance floor all night, I can tell you!

But there was one particular magic moment (well, momentS actually ... it went on for several tracks so must have been at least twenty minutes worth!). Sakura Jan and I (Sarah was off on her felting diploma course so sadly missed out on all of this) had leapt excitedly onto the dance floor as some track we loved came on (nope, I've no idea what it was!) And suddenly - we were not alone! Nia and Sally from The Philosophy had done their own bit of dance floor leaping and were right up there with us (in their everyday clothes as they'd come along to chill and to watch), and there we all were, dancing together us GC girls with The Philosophy girls who have a background in BlackSheep and fusion. And boy, was it fun! We LOVED it!

Now, you might think that was just about as good as it could possibly get - but you'd be wrong! Oh yes sirree!! The ATS girls were not going to miss out on all the fun, and before you could say BOO to a goose they were there too ... and there we all were. One big rotating circle of tribal yumminess (I say tribal but we were also joined by a couple of oriental dancers too!).


 At first we were all very kind to one another - choosing simple steps, ones that we have in common, ones that are easy to follow. But as the music went on (and on and on and on) I think it's fair to say we all grew in confidence and really started to relax into the dance and into dancing with one another ... and we were pulling out all sorts of moves. and just ripping up that dance floor! it was just amazing - we need to do it again SOOOOOON!!!
Of course, dancing with people from different formats is not the same as when you get up there and improv with dancers who share your vocabulary, who maybe you dance with a lot ... where your responses are fine-tuned, you know where they're coming from, you can read the cues and get straight into the steps. BUT it has a very special magic all of its own - using those generic skills from your own improv, truly watching and responding to one another, abandoning all judgements and preconceptions and connecting in tribal sisterhood .. it was certainly there for us on Saturday night! We really didn't want it to stop .. Tribal Rocks!
I can't sign off without giving a special mention to our photographer James Lacey, of Dark Soul Photography. He took all of the photos in this post (and is frequently to be found snapping away and taking fabulous photos at haflas all over the place ... many of our Sakura photos are down to him! He does all sorts of stuff, not just dance photography - find him on Facebook or check out his website here! He took this rather wonderful photo of Sakura & The WildHearts before our performance on Saturday, and I just LOVE it!
Oh, and by the way - The WildHearts ROCKED - both at Lowton (where there were a dozen or so of them) and at Liverpool (where they were down to three!). Ladies - it was an honour for Sakura to share that floor with you! Love you all!
Until next time, happy dancing in true tribal sisterhood
Cayte x