Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hip hop is so cool - watching this makes me want to add hip-hop moves into our dance class - wonder if that would classify as 'Tribal Fusion'?
Have always loved the effect of masks - initially assumed they were guys - but while watching was sure they were girls - then watched the 'behind the scenes' and they are all guys - hip hop really seems to use androgenous moves - the first non-gender specific dance style perhaps...

Welcome back!

I love our dance class in Kuranda.
It doesn't matter how I feel before class - because AFTER class I feel energised!
It is so good when old friends return and even better when we feel trusted in our circle to share our aspirations and dreams.  Speaking out aloud seems to give permission for them to become real.
Thank you for sharing your aspirations girls (you know who you are) I am really grateful to have you in my life to share our dance evolution together.
Just an observation - have you ever noticed, how what's happening in your life, shows in your dancing?  I catch myself saying it feel like we should …
And am so proud of myself for this new saying I have - it tells me I am trusting my intuition - which never fails - right?
Lets aim to do a quick check back in April before all the action starts?

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Energy is something I have been thinking about a lot.
Do I have enough for the term ahead?
How do I get more each day?
How do I sustain a healthy amount?
How can I avoid running low?

People who can power through their day always bright and full of energy always amaze me and I have asked them how they do it.  Each person has identified a ‘downtime’ component of their life that nurtures and sustains them.  There seems to be very clear boundaries and a sense of looking after yourself and listening to your body.

So how much energy is physical and what is psychological?

I know that climbing Mount Kinabalu took me beyond my physical energy and it felt awesome.  I remember rock climbing used to take me beyond my physical strength and how each of these situations made me feel so much stronger, not weakened by the experience.  Even hearing a groovy song can inject immediate energy and make me want to get up and dance!  So what is going on here?

My husband shared this wonderful dance clip with me.
It has inspired me to look at energy and how we share it with others.  Perhaps the energy we give out to others, can come back even stronger?

I love it when dance classes feel like a workout, yet I feel energised afterwards.  Don’t get me wrong, I do tend to hit a wall when I stop, but I think that is my body wanting its downtime and that is what it is supposed to do.  Because let’s face it, the deep rest that follows exercise feels so good and the next day there are new muscles, which has gotta be a good thing!

I have been exploring the power of energy in our dancing.  Where is the energy and strength in the body with each movement?  Imagining energy as a ball of light and playing, dancing and enjoying it together.  Being real about how we feel when we come together to dance class and responding to what we need.  Being really aware of the energy I give and allowing myself to receive energy in return.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Focus for 2014

My focus for 2014 is to find balance and letting go of stuff I don’t need.

Yesterday I put in a huge effort getting work done lesson planning for the term ahead, working from 8am through the morning, resuming after a midday break and then returning after an afternoon break and dinner to work some more in the evening.  This has been my routine for the past eighteen months and it is not healthy.
 It helps that I am enjoying learning about France’s history, but if I am honest with myself, the morning was the most productive time and the remainder was not smart work at all.
 So after I take this time for myself, today I will spend the cooler part of the day working (in the morning), when I am most productive and then in the afternoon will do things that enrich and nurture myself.
 Perhaps this is letting go of past ridiculous expectations of myself, thinking that I need to be some wonderful teacher, fully prepared for all lesson, with perfect ideas for resources and a brilliant assessment framework…creating no space for imagination and feedback.  I will admit, I am starting to let go of last year, as I wiped off my whiteboard this morning, retaining only four little jobs that I would like to complete – the rest is gone, creating space (in my head and my workspace) to focus on what is important and looking ahead.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A brand new year

I am feeling quite virtuous today, as I have just been for a bike ride.  The first in probably a year and although it is a mere 20 kilometres, (on a Sunday in 31 degree heat) more importantly, I just broke my exercise hiatus!
That’s right, I have not danced, swam, ridden or done any decent bushwalks…anyone who knows me knows that walking (which Mark and I do an incredibly large amount of, is just part of the day and doesn’t count).  And I feel really fat and gluttonous about not having exercised, whereas now I feel energised and motivated and that feels great.  
But I also had a revelation today.  I am a beginner rider for bikes and congratulate myself for having a go, but here’s what experienced riders don’t realise…
-       I rub my shoes on the pedals, because I put my feet in them incorrectly
-       I have to constantly think about the gears (what gear am I in, is it top or bottom lever to go up, gentle or fast change, remember to be in a middle small gear when you change up or down in the big gears, am I in the right gear as I enter the roundabout…and on)
-       Cars freak me out – in front, behind, too close…
-       It is difficult to indicate with your hand that you are going around the corner, because you then only have one hand on the handlebars and you are turning
-       Drinking from the bidden (not sure of the spelling of this word) is difficult, which hand to reach with, need a clear run when I won’t need to go around a corner, up a hill, change gears etc.
-       My bum hurts after about 15km and it is really uncomfortable to ride
-       My ‘granny gear’ is very unreliable – sometimes it will go in, sometimes not – and when I twist my chain around the shaft so it looks like a figure of 8, I don’t know how I do it and I don’t really know how to not do it again…
-       I can’t really hear instructions from my husband when he is talking forward, but I know it may be important so I am hyper-alert to something coming up and don’t know what it may be most of the time, so need to watch him and the road ahead very carefully…
Anyway, you get the idea…
So my revelation came to me as I was entering a roundabout, single file as instructed and Mark says ‘rider behind’.  I shakily put out my arm to indicate my direction of travel and concentrate with all the focus I can muster.  I am thinking, great some lycra asshole is going to overtake me on the right any moment now to show he is some hero … but instead I hear ‘I’m with you’.  Three little words from a woman that immediately make me feel safe and supported.  I relax and cycle on confidently.  When I exit the roundabout and turn my head to find her, she is gone in a different direction. 

This made me recall an article I read in Mark’s cycling magazine about women cycling clubs and how they have a different focus to the competitive focus of so many cycling clubs.  I do want to cycle, in fact, I want to start a bike bus for our school, but it is really unnatural and uncomfortable for me and I want to be more confident, yet it is such a steep learning curve.  I know I need a supportive group of people around me to build my confidence…so maybe this is it.  Certainly giving it a go is my way of saying thank you to that beautiful woman who supported me.  So next Saturday at an ungodly 6:30 start (that means a 5:00 start for me), I might just give it a go and who knows what might come out of it, it’s a start.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dry season surprise

It has been so unusual to have so many days of rain (and so much of it in places) over the past week or so.  So what a magical afternoon it created today when the sun came out! Low clouds of fog drifted across the valley like some mystical wonderland.  Of course the garden has responded and my sweet potatoes put out these most beautiful flowers that I just had to share.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kuranda Dance moves into the Kuranda Community Precinct

Paperwork was signed today for Kuranda Dance to move into the new premises at the Kuranda Community Precinct (previously the old primary school site) on 17th April for a new term of classes.  This is very exciting news as it also allows us to install mirrors and make it a true dance space. This also allows us to host dance workshops and Paulette Rees Denis has been invited for 2013.
Leaving the Sports and Recreation Hall has been an important learning experience and i will miss the community collaboration that comes from the venue.  I will especially miss working with Arch who has been my very reliable go-to person over the period of my tenancy.
However it is also exciting to start on a new adventure too.  The new venue will be host to the re-developed Kuranda Library (downstairs), our local Council member Jenny Jensen's office and the Kuranda Rugby League folks.  Of course the new Precinct will evolve over time and there will be teething problems as two buildings will need to be demolished and new developments created.  But I can see the potential in what is happening and feel proud to be a part of it all at the ground level.
I look forward to sharing this new space with other women of our community and our tribe.  It will be wonderful to build this together!
I have included a map of the new venue location, for those unfamiliar with the site (entry from Arara Street):

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Regional Tribal Bellydancers at the Kuranda Easter Festival

Nina and Bushka from GypsyRain plus Sienna and Mel from TribalZest joined Lisa from KurandaDance at the Kuranda Easter Festival on 7th April 2012. 
Whilst Koahlition took a set break, we moved out into the grassy amphitheater, drawing a rather large crowd and being as colourful as Kuranda on its beautiful autumn day.  It is inspirational to dance with my peers and teachers and bring together three tribes in one, dancing completely improvised is so nerve wracking, but also so intensely exciting.  I hope to dance with a Kuranda tribe at the Spring Fair in October.  It would be so great to have our own tribe and I hope some of the people who saw us dance today will also want to be a part of what we are building here. 
After our performance in the main park, we wandered down the main street and did some busking.  Just to share our improvised style of dance.  We danced, sharing our repertoire from swords, to fans, to duets,  tribal line and circle formations.  It seemed appropriate that we finished with a Gypsy Caravan song.  Then made our colourful presence at a local coffee shop for a well earned break.  It was such a wonderful day, full of love, hope and happiness.  Thank you to our tribal sisters, you have my gratitude and love. 
Mel, Lisa, Nina, Bushka and Sienna at the Kuranda Easter Festival.