The person who inspired me most to go on my dance trip was Kristine Adams, FatChanceBellyDance® troupe member, instructor, and world traveler. When I first watched her (sort of…) press conference, I realized I was feeling envious, and it made me think. That was the beginning of this crazy and fun journey. So I thought I should ask Kristine a few questions and learn from her traveling and dancing experience. Thank you so much, Kristine, for sharing with me your thoughts!
Just before you went on your trip, you published a post describing your fears. How do you feel now?
I feel great, the Universe is a great provider, and belly dance is such a loving and supportive community, at this point I have no fears about the future, well maybe a few fears but that’s normal.
Getting out the door is the hardest step for travel.
How many troupes have you met so far?
Hmm that’s a tough one, I would say between 20-25 different troupes, but maybe more thinking about the shows I’ve participated in and all the other dancers at the shows. But these troupes do fusion, or fusion and ATS® but hardly any of them just do ATS® and nothing else.
How was the communication with them?
Usually there is at least one person that speaks English, so that’s been good for me, I’ve been working on my Spanish but it’s still pretty bad, and I’m not able to teach in Spanish. I sometimes worry about what gets lost in translation, I have a lot of fervor when I teach.
Did you see any differences in ATS style between different troupes? Did you see new movements?
I did see quite a few new moves, and there are slight style differences in the movements of troupes depending on where they are learning and what their background of dance is, although the framework of the movement is the same.
What was the worst thing that happened to you during this trip?
I have to come up with a good horror story because people always ask this question and I just sort of shrug my shoulders, there is just travel, there’s a saying “there is either good times or good stories”.
I was in Leon, Mexico in a cab looking for Lorena Rojas house, the cabbie couldn’t find it so we pulled over and he asked a man in a business suite where it was, the man wasn’t sure either so he pulled out his cellphone. I was desperately digging through my emails for her phone number, I finally found it and they called. All I could understand was them saying “we have your American and she doesn’t speak any English”. I thought that was pretty funny, and as the cabbie was pulling away Lorena’s mom pulled along side us in her car and asked if I was Kristine, she recognized me from a photo.
What was the best moment/experience?
Well the best moments are really first getting to that unknown place where some stranger scoops you up and they are super excited to see you, I like that, it feels all warm an fuzzy like home.
What did you learn from this trip?
That people are amazing and we are all the same all around the world. There are no borders when it comes to something like dance, it transcends all boundaries and binds us together as a family.
Did you miss home and stability?
Sometimes, but then I remind myself that I won’t be nomadic forever and I’ll probably wish for all these days back again so I need to cherish them for what they are.
What places did you like best?
I’m in love with Mexico and Chile so far, amazing places.
What are your plans for the future of this trip? And later on?
Well I just finished my first year, the next year will have Brazil, Africa, and part of Europe. It should take me the whole five years to complete, then I’ll write a book, put my experiences together in a DVD, and then who knows.
Can you give me tips about minimal dance gear I should pack with me for my trip, (considering I plan to travel light?
Yeah it’s hard to pack light as a dancer, but you need less than you think, don’t bring back ups or replacements to things, use your costume to teach in, bring as many things that can pull double duty as possible, you know what I mean.
Any other thoughts you wish to share?
I’ve always been a traveler, I’ve been backpacking since 1998 and I’ve never regretted a single day of travel or any sacrifice I had to make to get there. The world is such a vast place so get out and explore, follow your dreams. I just hope that what I do inspires people to do the same thing for themselves, but in their own way.
And make sure to follow my footsteps www.fromthebellyofatraveler.com