There are people in our lives who affect us in ways that we don’t understand right away. But I can tell you honestly, that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without having been a part of Dante’s Gypsy Circus for the past sixish years. Prior to that, Suzanne Gerard and the Center for World Rhythms and Movement, as well as Gaiananda (which has become the Keshvar Project), opened my eyes to the world of tribal belly dance. And it’s a beautiful world.

I remember taking those first few classes, and learning to pop my hips this way, hold my fingers that way, and tuck (if you’re a dancer, you know what this means!). đŸ™‚ And at a hafla one night (I never missed a hafla!), Suzanne showed me a set of practice poi, and demonstrated how to use them. I liked it a lot – but when she told me that when one gets good enough, one can set them on fire…and well, the rest is history.

After learning how to spin poi, I was invited to join Dante’s, which is a tribe that performs tribal belly dance and fire arts. We grew, we changed, we performed, we rehearsed, drank, danced, cried, laughed, and danced some more. They’re some of the best friends I’ve had in my life, in this group. And they still are. I’m sure you’ll learn more about them as this blog grows.

I’ve been told that I’m fearless. This may be true, except that I was afraid of losing what we had as life evolves for everyone. And so I resigned; two weeks ago, actually…it came suddenly and yet without surprise. So here I am. I’m sure that we’ll work and play together again, and that’s more important to me than almost anything.

This is my thank you to Suzanne and everyone involved with Gaiananda and the Keshvar Project, who still inspire me. And it’s my show of love for Andi, Dex, Pokes, Megan, Laura, and Britney of Dante’s. xoxoxoxo


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