Certifications: The Collective Soul Experience

In November of 2014, I just happened to see a post on Facebook announcing an online certification course in Gypsy Caravan Tribal style. Maybe it was providence or just luck, but it’d been a while since I’d truly been able to dance and I decided that, since my life had been missing the sparkle dance brought it, I would give it a go. I didn’t know too much about it but I realized I really wanted to get back into Tribal and figured that this would be the perfect opportunity. Well, it certainly was that…and much more. Never in a million years could I have imagined what this experience would bring to me!

Collective Soul (CS) courses are more than just a certification where you learn a bunch of movements. That’s in there, of course – in each level you’ll come away with so many new movements and combos you’ll find yourself bubbling over with new dance inspiration. But Paulette also brings a magic to the entire process that encourages each dancer to look beyond the dance itself and consider her or himself on a larger level. As a busy career-focused woman who had long since put herself pretty far back in priority, I found this magic to be exactly what I needed to help me rearrange my life and I’m now feeling great about that! The emphasis on journaling, setting goals and identifying desires and dreams, and on making time for self care was absolutely valuable. I also found myself with instant family! Through the CS process, I’ve gotten to know and meet dancers from all over the world. Last March, I traveled to Portland and met a dancer I’d only known through the CS process and overcame my usual shyness (yes really) and jumped in a car with her to head to training with Paulette. We were instant sisters, fast friends together on the tribal road, and she’s since become a friend and mentor to me. How cool is that? (That’s her in the picture, beautiful Angie, with me and Paulette!).

I’m especially grateful that I didn’t let things like price or timing stop me. If you do the online
course, Paulette is just great about working with you to help you finish and set a schedule. She walks you through doing that and emphasizes it throughout the class. In person, of course, you have an exact date to meet. And in either case the price is on par for certifications/workshops in general. The online class is especially reasonable considering you’re getting 4 weeks of material and personal critiquing and guidance from Paulette of the dance videos you send her.

So, is it right for you? Well, I’d recommend saving up your pennies and participating in at least CS 1. I found that preparing for the test challenged me to get serious and do my best. And I also found that working to do the assignments and dancing brought a refreshing to my practice and deeper connection to my dance. Regardless of where you are at in your practice, there’s something for everyone in these trainings. And once you do one, trust me, you’ll be hooked!

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