A history of Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance in Australia

A Celebration of our fabulous mother of Tribal Bellydance, Paulette Rees Denis.

This History does have a bias towards my connection with Paulette….

I am sincerely grateful to everyone that has contributed their memories and delving into the archives of time.
If you have any information, photos or dates to supply or correct please contact me.

Paulette’s Travels in Australia

2004 Paulette comes to Australia with Jeff for his 50th birthday. They are hosted by Alaine Haddon-Casey in Perth, and Devi Mamuk in the Blue Mountains.



PRD workshop Blue Mountains 2004


Alaine had started dancing with Kismet tribe early 2000? and then created her own Tribe – Diaspora 2004. She completed her Teaching Training 1 2004? in Portland… references from the Tribal Bible.

Alaine is honoured in our dancing community for bringing Paulette to Australia, for her commitment to the different tribal styles, and fostering tribes around the country. She saw an article I had written and contacted me about a workshop and she very generously came to Innisfail, this was my first taste of GCTB.

2005 Paulette returns to Australia, for workshops in NSW, VIC, WA, SA. Becky Forster is instrumental in promoting and assisting Paulette’s path in Australia.
Richelle and the Free Spirit Gypsies in Fremantle begin their journey with GCTB.

2006 Paulette returns to Australia, workshops Innisfail, YAY! Dee Thomson from Brisbane, is inspired by these workshops and started to teach and dance GCTB. She created her tribe….Tribal Blossoms.

Paulette is hosted by Underbelly- Trisna and Andrea – in Melbourne offering workshops and Teacher Training 1. I had really fallen in love with this dance style , so joined P in Melbourne and completed my TT1….other dancers that I can remember that were there: Delight, Bianca, Jill, Ayesha, please let me know of other dancers.
We also danced at a gypsy night club, my first GC performance.


Nina, Delight, Paulette and Alaine Melbourne 2006

Paulette visits Hobart.

2008 Paulette returns to Cairns, we have a massive workshop at the local gym. Our local tribes are joined by Dee and the Tribal Blossoms and the ladies from Hobart. The hobart ladies showcase their “Bogan Caravan” a truly inspired piece of dancing that had most of us in tears of laughter! Sadly no photos exist from that performance.


Paulette and Tribal Blossoms 2008

2009 Paulette visits Adelaide for CS and TT1, goes to Hobart but has to return home for personal reasons.


Collective Soul 1 Adelaide
2010 Dee hosts Paulette in Brisbane. CS1/2 and TT1. Another huge workshop weekend, great connections made.


Becky hosts Paulette for “A Journey Back to the Heart’ held in Denmark/Albany WA January 2010 for intensive workshop weekend and “The Gathering’ Soiree at a local winery where they danced, ate, drank and were merry. This bought dancers from all over WA together. It was the first time since 2005 that dancers got together to study GC with Paulette

Nina and Paulette Brisbane 2010
Paulette asks me to join GCDC and dance at Tribal Fest!

2011 Becky hosts Jan 2011 Workshop weekend and CS1 & TT1 certification of the 1st WA dancers with the exception of Becky, Alaine and Ayshea.

Paulette visits us again in 2012. Alaine reconnects with the tribes, and we are also joined by Becky from Albany WA. I offer CS4/5 at the Temple.


Paulette asks Sienna and I to help on DVD10.

Paulette is invited to Tribal in the Tropics in 2017, a huge gathering of GC dancers from around Australia. We have grown into a beautiful circle of women, sharing more than just our dance.
CS3 and TT2 at the Temple.

Nina Martinez - Teacher and Performer

Nina Martinez
Dance Director, Master Teacher, GCTB troupe member

Nina Martinez is a Master Teacher in the Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance format. She has been studying with international dance teacher and founder of GCTB® Paulette Rees Denis since 2006. Nina started her teacher Training in Melbourne with Paulette in 2006 and has now attained her certification to instruct teachers-MT TT1. She has also reached her accreditation to teach students to Collective Soul 4-MT3.

As a master teacher and performer this dance style has taken her around Australia and also internationally to, NZ, Japan, USA and Mexico. Since 2014 she has been honoured to teach workshops and dance at WAMED, Fremantle, what a fabulous festival!

Through her workshops and Collective Soul instruction Nina has gained the reputation as a generous, patient teacher with a commitment in creating community and sisterhood. As a performer she is known for her elegant style and goddess presence.

Although Nina’s main dance passion has been GCTB, she has studied and been influenced by many amazing teachers, including, Terezka, Rachel Brice, Amel Tafsout, Carolena Nericcio, Kajira, Colleena and Devi Mamuk. Nina is inspired by the passion of Flamenco, the grace of Indian classical dance, folkloric circles and pagan rituals. She has also been studying drumming for more than 10years.

At home at her rainforest studio the Temple, near Innisfail she is the Director of her troupe Gypsyrain and teaches 3 weekly classes. Every month at the Temple there is a delightful Sunday workshop, a gathering of the tribes, with GC sisters coming from around the surrounding areas.

As part of bringing the tribes together Nina has created a GCTB festival in Cairns, Tribal in the Tropics. This is a wonderful celebration of dance, women and ritual. Bringing together the format, she also invites women who have other skills to share in the circle. TITTX attracts dancers from around Australia and NZ for the workshops and fabulous GCTB performances!

Nina has her own costume label, Gypsyrain Bazaar, where she designs and makes Tribal belts and bras, imports gorgeous tribal goods and creates her own jewellery, these she sells on her website, ETSY and FB.

At home she loves being surrounded by beauty and nature, living a simple life, cooking slow food and loving life!