Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Here's to us!

One of the many things we just LOVE about our tribal mamma, Paulette Rees-Denis, is her total commitment to making every dancer the best dancer that they can be. That's not they CAN be, or even they can BE.

It's the best dancer that THEY can be. Them. Not anyone else. Not carbon copies, imitations or clones of her or of anyone else. Yes, she promotes and teaches very firm and sound foundations, but then encourages each of her students to work hard, reflect and find their own path - and supports them in that. And that is something we Sakura girls really value and appreciate.

As many of you know, we dance traditional Gypsy Caravan style tribal bellydance, and had the honour last weekend of joining our lovely friend Deirdre - UK member of GC International and a GC Master Teacher to boot - on the stage at the Jewel of Yorkshire festival. Together with other Gypsy Caravan teachers from across the UK we rocked out some earthy improv and had a fantastic time doing it! I teach Gypsy Caravan style classes and workshops in Wigan and Sakura can often be found on the dance floor either with the class (the aptly named Wild Hearts) or as a duet, rocking that GC!

However, dancing straight-up Gypsy Caravan style isn't all that we do. Last year we had our first foray into more dramatic, story-telling dance at the Mai-Ni-Axe Book of Bedtime Stories and we had a blast! Through our 'Dead Flapper' dance we were able to both show off some GC improv, make space for Jan to play with her Tribal Fusion roots and be very theatrical. It was a wonderful experience, we performed to a fabulous audience and I'm sure we'll be venturing back into those waters, both dance and location-wise! The whole process of considering the story, bringing the styles together and linking it all with music and costume really contributed to our dance development. And I got VERY attached to my new make up!

We've been doing more work on our dance over the winter months too. As we browse You Tube, watch at haflas and go to different workshops (yes, we don't just study GC - and there'll be a blog post about that soon!) we spot moves and combos that we adore and really want to try out for ourselves So we've been adding a little to our repertoire These additions have often been GC moves but have also come from further afield, or even from our own experimentation. However, they all have one thing in common. They've all been 'Gypsified'! That in itself has been a deeply enlightening process as we have soul-searched what it is we love about Gypsy Caravan and what makes it distinctive in terms of posture, stylisation, improv (of course!), connection, joy and so on, and have then created new combos and adapted other moves to encompass this. What we are developing as a result is something that is still very firmly rooted in and recognisable as Gypsy Caravan but also reflects and embodies us as dancers too. And when we dance it? Well, we choose music that we love that fits with the mood and the count and the nature of our dance. The Huntress by Gypsy Caravan. Two Gypsies by Solace. And hey, sometimes we dance to Muse and sometimes we dance to Korn too! We choose it with care, it makes our souls sing - and it rocks!!

So --- that's what we've been doing and that's where we're at! We've had a good few personal setbacks that have cut down on our performances so far this year but we're still hanging in there, growing and developing. Growing as Gypsy Caravan dancers; developing as ourselves. And yes, it's all good! Tribal Rocks On!

Here's to us .....

Until next time, happy dancing

Cayte x




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