Gypsy Caravan Teachers Australia Part 3

Meet our beautiful teachers from around Australia! These women bring you an amazing class every week, teach from the heart, to share their passion and joy of Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance. I am so proud to call these women my friends, my dance sisters, to share their stories and journeys.


KIRSTY ROCHFORD
Junk Room Gypsies WA
Where do you live and teach Gypsy Caravan TB?
I live and teach in a small town in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia, Merredin. It is a farming community mostly focusing on grain production, the people are down to earth and traditional in their interests. It has been a challenge and very fulfilling to introduce GCTB to this community and to provide an avenue for these women to open up, to connect with themselves and connect with our circle.

What inspires you as a teacher and dancer?
As a teacher, the most satisfying part is when I can see a woman blossom as the love for her body and herself grows. To see women develop their confidence as a feminine goddess and an individual. To see that women who have not had the connection with other woman in the past feel like they are part of a circle and will be adored for being their true, beautiful selves. Being connected is what inspires me, connected to the dance, the music and the other women. It feels natural to me, like I have been taking part in the ritual of dance forever.
What is your GCTB history?
I was lucky enough to start my GCTB path with Master Teacher Nina Martinez in Innisfail, Queensland. I felt a void in my life as I was a mother, studying and working full-time, but didn’t feel that I was doing anything to honour myself, so chose to go to a beginner’s class of Nina’s. My love of GCTB was immediate. I felt an instant connection in my mind, my body and my spirit with the moves and the woman I was dancing with. After about five years of learning and dancing with Gypsy Rain Tribal Bellydance, I moved back to Western Australia, and although I was only 3 hours away from other GC dancers, I didn’t feel that was going to be enough dance in my life. Plus I wanted to bring to the community of Merredin the connection and joy that GC had given to me years before, so I completed Teacher Training 1 and became a beginner’s teacher in Merredin. I have a small troupe in Merredin, the Junk Room Gypsies, I dance with the Free Spirit Gypsies (Fremantle) as often as I can (and I am honoured that they welcome me into their dance circle), as well as being a part of Caravan Project Western Australia and Caravan Project Australia.

How does being connected through dance make you feel?
I love that this style of dance allows us to dance with our sisters all over the globe and are connected no matter where our feet are planted. It gives me a sense of belonging that is different to those connections you feel with family and friends. The intuitive bond grows so quickly when you dance with each other and you are connected not only through friendship and dance, but on an intuitive physical and energetic level as you let your subconscious take over part of the dance as well. It is an amazing feeling being able to recognise in another dancer that they too are connected on that level and to trust that our knowledge of this dance and our intuition can create something as beautiful as we do.

What do you do when you aren’t dancing?
I am studying to be a Naturopath and through work get the enjoyable challenge of coordinating the Merredin Show and producing a Wheatbelt wide newspaper, the Phoenix. My love of music is almost as big as my passion for dance, so I can often be found with a guitar in my hands and a song in my voice.

What makes you happy?
Life makes me happy. All the ups and downs, the challenges, the joys the simple and the complex. Recently I asked myself this question and the thing that stood out more than anything was dance. Dance makes me happy, singing makes me happy, and performing makes me happy! I love being able to share my passions, so I plan on putting as much dance and music in my life as possible!
kirstyrochford@hotmail.com


CARMEN PEDRONI
Gipsy Hips Mission Beach

My name is Carmen Pedroni and I have lived in Mission Beach for 20 years. I have also been teaching bellydancing here for the last 5 years. Our group is called ‘The Gypsy Hips’ and we meet at the local primary school every Tuesday at 5.30pm for 1 hour.
As a teacher and a dancer I am inspired by FUN ! I believe that women come to me to learn bellydancing, but also to have fun. I am a very creative person and I look for fun ideas everywhere in life. When fun happens….laughter happens and bonds are created and that is the essence of bellydancing for me.
As we become connected as a group it makes me feel excited, energised and alive!!! I can feel that the other women feel it too, and that is exhilarating!

I have been learning Bellydancing with Nina for 12 years and in that time I have participated in many workshops and festivals.
When I am not bellydancing I do many things. (My husband calls me ‘five minute wife ….) My main job is that I am the Arts teacher at Mission Beach State Primary School. I am also the staff and student well being officer at my school. I really, really love my job !! I am also very passionate about mosaicing, yoga, running puberty sessions for parents and their children and having adventures in nature.
These are the things that make me happy- positive, energetic, kind and creative people, my family (husband and 4 children), my dog, my job and the people I work with , my friends and the beautiful town that I live in.

I am extremely grateful for everything in my life. There is never a day that goes by that I don’t feel lucky.
I like to smile alot!!…. I have lots of reasons to.
cpedroni@bigpond.net.au


MAGNOLIA BROOKES
Tribal Groovers Kuranda

Dancer • Bodyworker • Facilitator

She knew she was a dancer ~ started Classical Ballet, Tap and Jazz at age 3. Added traditional African Dance technique classes, yoga and went on to complete a Bachelor of Theatre.
Developed an appreciation for the martial arts and Pilates. Coached the Tjapukai Dance Company and worked with the Mornington Island Dance Company, to prepare and accompany them for their performances at the Sydney Olympics. Later became a Yoga and Pilates Instructor, managing a ladies only studio in Japan for several years. During this time extended studies into Oriental Bellydance, Hawaiian Hula Dance and Massage.

Upon returning to Australia, discovered Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance.

Through what seemed a tragedy at the time, with her son facing brain surgery for medical resistant seizures from a stroke- studied Access Bars & Bodywork, Energetic Facelift & Fascia Release….her son’s seizures ceased and the surgery was called off. Is now a Facilitator, assisting others to create change & ease. Works in the Disability sector, pushing the boundaries of person-centred care & rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury, working in conjunction with Physiotherapists and Speech Patholoigists.

Teaches Tribal Grooves.

Magnolia can be found Samba & Pole dancing, gardening, cooking delicious creations and appreciating nature in her spare time.
maguchan@fastmail.fm


LARISSA PRETORIUS
King Island Gypsies
Where do you live and teach Gypsy Caravan TB? I live and teach on King Island, a small island in the Bass Strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania. King Island is an island in the Bass Strait, belonging to the Australian state of Tasmania. It is the largest of three islands known as the New Year Group, and the second-largest island in Bass Strait (after Flinders Island). The island’s population at the 2016 census was 1,585 people. 12 of them dance with me as part of my group – the King Island Gypsies.
The island is a popular Tasmanian tourist destination due to the picturesque landscape and bird life which attracts international wild life enthusiasts It is also known for its world class golf courses, Cape Wickham is ranked 6th in the world. It also boasts Australia’s tallest lighthouse at 48m, built in 1861 – the Cape Wickham Lighthouse.
The King Island Cheese Factory and the local grass fed beef industry are also well known.

What inspires you as a teacher and dancer?
I have always loved to dance, the feeling of “twirling” and moving my body in time to music. I believe passionately in women supporting women. I love the idea of creating a tribe that crosses all ages – maiden, mother and crone; of women unified by dance. I love that this dance changes us, we become more graceful, our posture improves, we may begin wearing skirts where we never did before, jewellery, bling, learning to sew! I love that Tribal Dance is a team sport, we all support each other in creating the dance. I want pass my joy onto others, so they can learn to love their bodies and the way they move.

What is your GCTB history?
I have danced from a young age, beginning ballet at age 4. I also did tap, jazz and theatrical dancing until the age of 15, when I gave away my dreams of being a ballerina, after failing a ballet exam due to lack of turn out!!
I started dancing again in 2004 when a friend and I joined a local bellydance class, which I loved. I danced with this group for 5 or 6 years and really enjoyed performing but stopped dancing when I had my younger children. We then moved to Mount Barker WA in 2012 and I discovered Tribal Dance, with the Tribal Thunder group. After attending the WAMED festival a few times I met Richelle and her group (the Free Spirit Gypsies) and discovered a love of the Gypsy Caravan Dance style. On returning to Mount Barker I tried to convince my Tribal sisters that we could adopt it but to no avail, Tribal Fusion was more the thing.
I recently moved to King Island, Tasmania in December 2016 and my mother in law and sisters in law were keen for me to start a dance group here. My dance classes have been a large part of my life in recent years and I have really enjoyed the sense of sisterhood and tribe I found when I joined with Tribal Thunder. I quickly realized that the only way for me to experience that in my isolated location (King Island is a small island in the middle of the Bass Strait) is for me to build my own tribe.
With that in mind I completed CS1 with Nina in Innisfail in June of 2017 and am working on completing TT1. I currently teach 3 classes a week and 12 ladies who dance regularly, some do two classes, and several others who dance with us in the summer months. I am very excited to be taking a group of 7 women to Albury-Wodonga for the Fire in the Belly Festival in August 2018

How does being connected through dance make you feel?
I love the sense of community that comes with this dance form, the sense of unity across the globe. I feel empowered by the thought that there are dancers in the Ukraine, Italy, the US and the UK that are all dancing the same steps, that we could all meet up and share the dance. When I was dancing in country WA, we had a visit from Richelle and the Free Spirit Gypsies and were able to dance together at a Breast Cancer Fundraiser in Cranbrook. It was one of the most uplifting and inspiring dance experiences – even though I had only met some of the group that evening we were instantly connected through the shared dance experience.
I love the improvisation that allows a dance to be both unique and dynamic, created spontaneously by the dancers in unity, so different from my early dance experiences with jazz and ballet.

What do you do when you aren’t dancing?
When I am not dancing I am mother to 4 kids, aged 6, 8, 16 and 18. I do relief teaching at the local primary school a couple of days a fortnight and volunteer at our local Neighbourhood House. I am also a member of the Community Garden.

What makes you happy?
Being with my family makes me happy. I love spending time with my kids and partner. One of the reasons we moved to King Island was to be closer to my husband’s family. We have a large extended family group here and enjoy regular family get togethers. I really enjoy the support of being part of a close knit family group and am lucky enough to dance with both my niece and sister in law (and BFF), Harriet as part of my tribe.
Dancing is my bliss and I am so grateful to my husband, Johan, who encourages me and does everything in his power to help me achieve my dreams, from babysitting to encouraging my “skirt habit”. I really enjoy creating my tribe and introducing others to the happiness of this dance form, watching them build skills and confidence and friendships develop.
I find joy in the beauty of the place I live, it’s wild windiness and remoteness, the way there is something different to see every day, the immersion in Nature.
agoddess71@hotmail.com


CAROLYN HARDY
Gypsy Breeze Townsville
Hi I am Carolyn Hardy from Gypsy Breeze Tribal Belly Dance Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
I enjoy teaching Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® format to create a circle of women helping to strengthen their mind body and spirit. This is food for my soul. I love how each student grows and connects in this beautiful dance style.
I first fell in love with nourishing my desires at Tribal in The Tropics 2012, which lead to expanding my dance studies with Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® online collective soul and Teacher Training in 2014, with my global sister’s circle and the amazing queen bee Paulette Rees-Denis.
In 2015 I was blessed with my certification CS1, TT1, and now CS2&3. Yep, dreams do come with hard work, persistence and totally enjoying discovering my innate ability to create magic and honoring the sacred wisdom of the goddesses before me.
I enjoy adventures to see Australian Master Teacher Nina Martinez at her temple, GypsyRain Tribal Belly Dance and her shop Gypsy Bazzar. Nina’s gatherings with gypsy dance sisters, drumming and lunch are a total bliss full of goodness and sweets.
Although I fell in love with oriental Belly dance and performing, I felt the pull of this tribal style tantalizing me with magic that feels right inside.
After being knocked down with a virus I am enjoying the second chance with a tender healing approach of self-perception bringing strength to my body and soul through the teaching of this art I love teaching a small circle of amazing women at The Sovereign Hotel. We finish with a drink and meal after class in a cute 1980’s antique piano dining room.
My Dance studies include 10 years of Ballet, 3 years of modern at Croft-Gilchrist School of Dance.
13 years world fusion belly dance at Scimitar Moon Belly Dance.
1 year BellySamba with Robyn SeaDancer.
6 years of Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® since Nina’s first Townsville workshop.
3 years of Tribal Belly dance Nomadic.
4 years as Gypsy Breeze solo owner, Gypsy Caravan format :-)
6 months of Samba for fun at Latin Vibrations.

I am also a Picture framer on a long break after a few decades. A loving wife to my husband Craig and a proud mother of my son Jake, 19, my daughter Yvette, 17, and my three fur babies. I have a deep connection with mother earth with a desire for gardening, earthing, mediation, sun gazing, moon bathing, oils, herbs and healthy clean eating for a stronger, healthier me.
Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® has inspired me to teach and dance, keeping me connected to the divine feminine tribal belly dance soul. The power is very grounding as it ignites my fire inside with exploding passion to be happy and balanced in this world. What truly makes me happy is seeing my kids succeed with a loving heart and beautiful smiles. When mum is happy, everyone’s happy.
Many Thanks To Muma Paulette Rees-Denis for creating your Tribal Vision and guidance, and to Australia Muma Nina Martinez for your passion and teachings of Gypsy Caravan.

Many Blessings. C.
gypsybreeze2015@gmail.com