women write:

Today will be the darkest night of the year. Tomorrow the light returns, slowly, surely…I sit in the dark, listening, being with it, sleeping with it, allowing the slowness, letting the dark ooze into my bones, sometimes wanting to fight it, but noticing it instead, and the feelings of comfort surround me, like a cocoon, enveloping me with safety and warmth in the cold.

I learned to love the dark when I lived way out in the country, away from any light at night…no street lights, no city lights, blackness with only the stars and moon and the night critters strolling through my fields, Rhythms of the earth and the seasons… lost in time. Loving the allowance of those rhythms, now, and honoring that time that is so lost amongst the city dwellers. Contemporary conveniences of light and technology that throw off our natural rhythms, our true connection with the earth and time of year.

Time to honor the dark and the light and listen to what our bodies call out for, truly, to be in it and with it…the sacred body, the sacred time. As the light returns, promising newness and awakening.


**And with that light comes many new projects and journeys for me to share with you! One of these is our new video and podcast series…from the ideas of my Movement, Momentum, and Magic coaching practice. Planning, networking, you know me, I LOVE to be the Tribal Hostess and connect you with lots of fabulousness, in many shapes and forms…And the theme for this year is…

Heart and Hustle: Women Healers, Movers, and Shakers!

Watch for this series to get started within the next few weeks! So much deliciousness!

**And to share another project with you. We are collecting stories over here at Team Gypsy, for a NEW Anthology! I have published two Dancers Anthologies over the past several years and am exited to work on our third one… I so enjoy sharing your words and creative adventures, about your journeys, your inspirations, your delights, what moves you, dance paths, aha moments, along with poetry, photographs, artwork, tattoos! So…below is your formal invitation!

Share your Words * Share your Story!


We are now accepting submissions for the next anthology from Paulette Rees-Denis and Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance®. This year’s theme is:

Dance and Desire: From the Body to the Page

What’s your dance story? How do the movements, music, community, costuming make you feel? And how has the beautiful dance enriched your life and spirit? We’re hunting for some great stories to share within the dance community. Whether it’s an article, poem, drawing or photograph, we’d love to share your powerful experiences. All entries will receive a pdf copy of the first two anthologies as a thank you gift for participating!

Deadline for this next release is March 15th, 2017!

**General guidelines  and more info about submission to the anthology (the weekly blog, and upcoming podcast too!) can be found at here! Join us and send us your words and art!

women write: why bellydance?

particolare di un balletto

Why do I belly dance?

By Dawn Skelton

I belly dance because it forces me to be a better person. Sounds crazy? I know it isn’t, at least not for me.

It’s a dance, for goodness sake! How can it force me to do anything? While I do exaggerate, belly dance has had an enormous, forceful impact on me. I’m just not the same person I was before. I’d always been the wallflower type. You know her… the introvert that works with her brain rather than her body and believes books make the very best friends. She always holds herself a little apart, more an observer of life than a participant. But for me, that life was disconnected, lacking in flavor and warmth. At 40 years old, I felt isolated and a bit lost. While going to physical therapy for a back injury, I asked my therapist for recommendations for improving core strength. So there, in the midst of my little mid-life crisis, I took his advice and signed up for my first belly dance class.

How grateful I am. This dance has been the biggest motivating force in my life. Belly dance opened a fascinating world filled with energy, humor and of course, sparkle! It pulled me out of my comfort zone (my rut!) and into a happier place. It’s shown me different cultures, music, food and even sewing! But there were dues to be paid, too. The dance required me to exercise my mind and body, to keep my commitments to practice and class schedules, and to maintain my dancer friendships. It has nudged and sometimes shoved me into new situations, testing my flexibility and my willingness to learn.

Belly dance continually demands that I focus on the “now” and be fully present, if I want the rewards; those moments when that amazing connection, that synergy, that joining of mind-body-heart happens. It’s that sudden, “Oh my god! I did it!” When the efforts of practice, choreography, preparation and emotion combine to create that thrilling dancer-audience feedback loop, I am so HERE and so NOW! This dance makes me want more and do more, not just for myself, but for others, too. Because belly dance makes me want to share.

This dance connects me with people I’d have never known otherwise. It has taught me to accept who I am now, have patience with myself and others, and to work hard to improve. It urges me to practice more, study more, question more, and demand more of myself. The dance holds me accountable for what I do, and for what I don’t. These aren’t just belly dance skills, but life skills.

For more than a decade, belly dance has been my outlet, my guilty habit, my obsession. It is always there, in the back of my mind, influencing my opinions, goals and choices. It has shaped how I think and even what I choose to think about. It reminds me to weigh my decisions, and to include my own needs on the scale. Belly dance has given me not only the tools to be a better dancer, but also the tools to be a better human being.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you Dawn, for your insights and your heartfelt words! And for sharing…

And now my friends…enjoy this time of year,

and again… CELEBRATE!

honoring you…





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