28 September 2014

The 2nd of Oct is Gandi's birthday and All Animals Day. Let's celebrate with a class dedicated to Compassion..

The 2nd of Oct is Gandi's birthday and All Animals Day. Let's celebrate with a class dedicated to Compassion.
 We'll start with an exploration of all aspects of the Moving Meditation; what it means to gesture from the heart, taking in the safety and freedom of the space in which we dance, deeply consider the lotus blossom and it's message to learn from mistakes and bloom brighter with each day, feel the earth support our feet as we trample on her, hear the music and connect with the musicians who create it for us, thank our teachers for giving us knowledge, send a wish and "phone home" to our ancestors and thoughtfully draw all of these elements together as we end again at the heart.

We will exercise patience for the people we dance with, as we strive to cultivate our skill to become better partners and harmonious groups.

Please join me with an open heart and a mind ready to focus on the great gift of Compassion for All Beings.

19 September 2014

more flowers, part three \o/

When I announced the idea of ATS® defined as Women with Uplifted Arms Holding Flowers, someone came up with this emoticon      \o/

I find it to be ... a delightful way to get our point across quickly and without the need for words.
I looked it up, and it is accepted to mean "cheer, yay yay."
If you add two asterisks, it means "cheerleader *\o/*" for obvious reasons :)

I would like to advocate that we use \o/ to indicate our mission of ATS®: Women with Uplifted Arms Holding Flowers.

If you can find a way to actually hold the flowers with an additional keystroke, without crowding our sister cheerleaders, I would be delighted to see it.

And, remember our friend the Johnny Jump Up, found at the secret location that Megha and I have been visiting to write THE BOOK.

15 September 2014

..more flowers, part two

"When centering my thoughts on Tribal Bellydance there is a notable and consistent link between the ancient and the present. Less then 100 years have passed since women found their rights in the United States. Yet there was a time when dance, culture and female expression was essential to the developed world. In ancient India and beyond, women, women’s work, and women’s movement was a cornerstone to the sacred wisdom of the ages.

This changed when the teachings where subjected to war, conflict and religious tyranny, not just one war but many. The peoples who followed the ancient feminine practices and union through, became displaced and were either regarded as whores for the dance or hid their art from common face.

I reference India because it was here the journey began out of Asia into the desert. Many know the road and the way, but I want to bring light to the mystery held captured by those who have gypsy in their soul. This mystery lives in the timeless traditions handed down in city streets, desert lands, and alley ways from one human to another, and like all feminine mysteries, it cannot be killed or distorted.

There is a truth, a link and a clear presence this mystery has, and when you dance it, know it, touch it, it is unmistakable.

Our culture limits our language of such things, but I will attempt to explain.
Imagine there is colored paint on the tips of your fingers. You are painting on an imaginary wall as you outstretch your arm. If done perfectly, with integrity, the image you paint is beautiful. Now imagine your feet and hips have paint and they are making beautiful designs of their own. If done perfectly, this will harmonize with your hands. These images together create a lotus flower in space and time. You cannot see it, but it is there and the feeling will be there too.

This is wonderful, yet limited to an individual. Now add in a group of dancers, ALL with the same perfection. An interwoven lotus flower is created. This movement in a group, becomes holographic. This hologram opens a portal and links us with the timeless and mystical past. The feeling is union.

You know this feeling if you have felt it, and usually it happens by mistake. But, like women's rights or the right to dance as a free person seems so common to us now, the truth is, all things come from dedication, time and practice. So, slow down. You do not dance for yourself, you do not dance to impress others, to sell yourself, or to manipulate this force. Be aware of your movement, feel the Sacred Geometry, and become one with this energy, because it is sacred and ours.

Carolena has somehow taped into this lineage from times past and has effectively channeled the ancient teachings into a modern expression. We cannot say how this has changed the world, but we can say there are thousands of Tribal Bellydancers out in the world because of her. Lets try to honer this work by deepening our own experiences of the energy within the dance and hopefully be blessed with the moments of connection to the force we call the Sacred Feminine.

Thank you Carolena for all that you know, channel, and do."
Written by Priestess Shoshana Des Chenes
Performing Artist

12 September 2014

ATS®=Women with Uplifted Arms Holding Flowers, part one

When people ask me to define ATS® in a few words, I'm stumped. There are so many things to say about it. But then it occurred to me; Women with Uplifted Arms Holding Flowers.

Yes. If you think of one thing, this is it.

Please send me your photos from around the world of dancer's portraying the image.

Here is Deanna Lawman from the UK...