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.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New member of our family

Yes, we finally got our pooch.  
She has a beautiful temperament and we are hoping she will grow into her ears.  

We bought her from the Tablelands TSPCA, where she was delivered from the pound, covered in ticks and generally not well, so all we know of her history is that she has some foxy in her and she is six months old.  We are working on a name for her, but Jimi  (shes a foxy lady), seems to be sticking, however she regularly gets called cutie, doofus and smoochie-pooch too. 
I now have two weeks off school and am enjoying spending time with her.  She is really well behaved, made it through the first night without a wimper or a toilet stop, we were very impressed!  She loves cuddles on your lap, but is also happy just to snooze on her bed, my yoga mat or in a sunny spot on the floor. Does anyone know a good puppy school, where I can get some training skills for me and pooch?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Performance at Aileen’s Kuranda yoga class.

Wow what an intense performance! Last weekend, Aileen invited me to do a short bellydance ‘show and tell’ at her regular Yoga class on Sunday mornings.  Well it was a bit strange to be performing tribal without a tribe, but anyway, not to be a party pooper, off I went. 

I have never felt so watched so intensely.  I guess yoga participants are interested in how the body moves, but I must say, my belly was a big focus by all and I am sure it was in an appreciative way.  As I saw how absorbed everyone was, I started to shake and my slow moves felt more like wobbly moves, especially through my hands and fingertips. Although I will take the compliment that it looked like it was supposed to look concentrated and powerful, as putting strength into my hands is a personal dance weakness I am trying to improve.

A very appreciative audience gave me a big clap as I swished off the floor back to the toilets to get changed back into my yoga glad rags.  And the class continued.

A number of women approached me afterwards lamenting that Aileen’s Tuesday night class clashes with my dance class.  Aileen and I are working together to try and work out how we can both use the new facilities at the Kuranda Community Precinct, so we will keep you posted.

Thank you Aileen for giving me this opportunity and you and your students are always welcome at my dance class too!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mareeba Grassroots bellydance - 8th March 2012

Great news - Tribal Bellydance is coming to Mareeba!

Tell your friends and spread the news, it would be great to see lots of women to enjoy this wonderful free event supported by Qld Health, Tablelands Regional Council and Qld Sports and Recreation.

Better still it is happening on International Women's Day - how perfect!

Hope to see lots of familiar faces there, with lots of new tribal sisters to be...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dancing makes you smarter.

I just noticed on the Ausdance website a recent study that shows dancing improves your cognitive capacity.  Benefits include; stress reduction, increased seratonin levels (happy hormones) and increased sense of well being.   Furthermore, the study goes on to say that regular dancing can reduce your chances of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.  How many more reasons do we need to get along to class!

How wonderful to see the benefits of dance captured and confirmed by in an academic study by Richard Powers of Stanford University.
The link to the report summary is below: 

ps. the article refers to being able to make "split second raid fire decisions" as being particularly beneficial.  The improvisational nature of tribal style bellydance fills this role very capably as we lead and follow with no set choreography and adapt to the music instantaneously.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kuranda Dance classes resume Tuesday 7th February

OK girls, we have had a good break over the summer heat, but now its time to get moving again!
Class on Tuesday night at the Kuranda Recreation Centre 6-7pm.  Beginner and beyond beginner students all welcome, i will have moves to meet both student levels and will bring to class the energy of Paulette's workshop this weekend.
Unfortunately, i am unable to offer the binta bellies (prep girls) class, as i have a school commitment on Wednesday afternoons.  I am sorry.
Any queries about class, please call me on 0409 367 967.
Look forward to seeing new faces and welcoming back familiar ones too.

Cairns Workshop with Paulette

What an amazing weekend it has been.
This morning I awoke to the familiar Paulette workout feeling, muscles that haven’t been worked for a while.  The feeling that tells me I am alive and a dancer who has worked hard!  I tried to go back to sleep, but was still buzzing from yesterday so decided to write instead.

Yesterdays workshops were a blast.  We started with the “funky moves” and it was great to work on some favourites and refine the technique, then try and fit some new ones into muscle memory.  For the beyond beginner girls in Kuranda, you will be pleased to know I have taken notes and we will have a go with them in class over the next few weeks.  We then moved onto “the art of improvisation”.  A fantastic workshop that really put me outside my comfort zone, to move beyond the steps and really find the “present moment in dance” in such an intense way.  Fabulous!

Then the icing on the cake was last nights hafla at Tribal Zest’s studio in Cairns.  It was fantastic to share this space with so many women who have dotted my journey and added so much to what we call Tribal Dance in our region.   Magnolia and I performed as Kuranda Dance for the first time. It was awesome to share what we have been building in Kuranda and is certainly the start of a lot more promotion this year.
Magnolia and Lisa from Kuranda Dance

Today it felt lovely to ooze into “slow moves” and build on our partner work from yesterday with some partner changing transitions and important technique details.  Lastly, we finished with Tribal grooves and learnt some hot and funky new moves, some of which I am sure will become my new favourites.  We closed with a full circle open chorus, such an amazing effort with twenty dancers and an awesome “stay on the moment and love it” feeling.  The closing moving meditation was really something amazing to experience.  Thanks to all the dancers from all over Australia and especially thank you Paulette. 

Cairns workshop participants