Modern Fusion Temple Dance

Modern Fusion Temple Dance- A Workshop with Monique Trinity Rose

A few weeks ago I took a new kind of Sacred Dance workshop. I was first attracted to it because of the name, but when I looked at the instructors name I knew I had to attend. If you don’t know, Roses are kind of “my thing”. My dance troupe was Raqin Roses, the ladies I worked with in Japan for dance were Moon Roses, I went by Triskele Rose as my first craft name and now that is the name of our system of Witchcraft. I also teach various classes on magic via . So Roses are important to me. The trinity has a very similar in meaning to the Triquetra or the Triskele, both which are important to me for reasons I stated above. So I was really eager to take this class just based on the corresponding symbology. 

Now I’m not very familiar with the instructor’s background as she is from a section of Belly Dance I have not be involved with very much. I am an Oriental dancer with fusion leanings so my experience with the varied genre’s of Tribal style has been extremely limited. Her style and technique is very reminiscent of Rachel Brice and that vein of Tribal Style. Even though this is well outside my typical genre of classes,  I decided to step out of my box and take this class. You can visit her website here

Oh boy! I was way out of my comfort zone! When I first arrived I was greeted by another student, and we waited for the doors to open. When they opened we were met with Monique and she brought us to the studio. It was a small studio and I was glad. Besides attending waking Persephone, I haven’t danced in many months. I was nervous because I was out of shape and I was also nervous because I am the one that always screws the choreography up. Another girl in class mentioned she did too and we laughed about it. However despite the nerves, Monique was so sweet, and welcoming. I had seen her dance the night before at the From the Hip Belly Dance Show Case which you can learn about here. It was spectacular; she is one of those dancers whose performances are flawless. She is beautiful beyond belief, and amazingly strong but her beauty shines from within, like a warm glow in her center covering her entire aura. She was sweet and so kind and I want to take more classes with her because she was just so nice to be around. 

The workshop was fantastic! It was hard, and she really showed me how out of shape I had gotten this past year on my dance break. While I have enjoyed the entire year off, I have really let my body get lazy and she kicked my ass. There was very little Oriental dance, a few shimmies, chest isolations and figure 8 but that was it. The rest was Indian dance, which I literally have zero experience with, this was actually my first class on anything Indian related that wasn’t from a Zumba class. I really wish I had known more about Indian dance, though I was able to keep up just fine. There was also yoga, I was so thankful for that. While I have a subscription to Giam t.v. I may have let that lag in the past few weeks as well. I have not been doing as much as I should. So I was very thankful.

I did want to have some sort of spiritual connection, and that did not happen, however that was not part of the curriculum she had planned and that is ok. When she comes back to Portland I will give this class another go, while I don’t have experience in this form of dance and don’t think I will be perusing it, it would be nice to take it again and see if I change my mind, perhaps it will feel more comfortable and familiar. I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in Indian dance with a strong interest in the spiritual side of things.

Waking Persephone

Day 1
I arrived at Waking Persephone late, I was so excited to get there but the traffic was against me the whole way. There were 2 major accidents that put me about 30 min behind. I hate when students arrive at my class really late and I hated it even more that "I" am the student that arrived not just late but rudely late. Regardless the ladies at the front were very kind and encouraged me to sneak in to class late. I was relieved and hoped it was large enough class to sneak into, no such luck.

The Witches Cone of Power with Anaar
It was a small class and as soon as I opened the door I was on the spot. I felt like such a jerk for arriving so late but I was so grateful that Anaar was so welcoming despite my rudeness. Unfortunately I missed the first half of the class, but being well educated in Ritual and Energy Work I was able to jump right in. We raised a cone of power or what I decided was very much like circle casting in a belly dance way! Though we were focusing on an actual raising of energy. We grapevined in a circle around and around using different tones and vocals to raise the cone. We were focusing on bringing Rain, Rain to the parched lands of California. Just relocating from Arizona I was able to really tap into that parched earth energy and focus on bring rain. One thing that was particularly interesting was where the energy was focused, raised and sent. Anaar suggested that we send the energy out with through the genitals, and lymph nodes. Now this was a bit new! While I had raised and sent out energy from my root (yoni) before I had not focused on sending energy out from the lymph nodes. Anaar’s craft background comes from that of the Anderson Feri Tradition. While I am not an initiate, it seems as if many of my friends and people that I really admire are. I am vaguely acquainted with the Tradition and practices and of course I own Victor Andersons book of poems "Thorns of the Blood Rose" So I was very happy to take this class and bring some of these techniques into my own practice.

Sacred Dance with Artemis Mourat
It was such a joy to see Artie again! It has been far too long. I haven’t been to visit her in Baltimore in almost 4 years. As class was starting I found myself longing for the good old days of living in North Carolina and the long drives to Baltimore to see her and take the Turkish Intensive and Sacred Dance classes and even for the days before Japan sitting on Arties studio floor telling her how much I loved this dance and her listening to me with such love and respect. I remembered the time that we went to the Umbanda ritual and how powerful that was for me and how I still follow the advice of the medium that I saw that day. Artie has been, probably without her knowledge the most important teachers in my dance career. She is everything that I wanted to be, a warm loving person welcoming everyone to the dance community but also a powerhouse on the dance floor.
As I walked in I flagged Artie down for a hug, it was wonderful to just give her a hug and wait for class to begin. While I have taken this class before, it has been 5 years and I am a MUCH different person than I was then. I took notes like it was the first time I was in her class. The lecture was wonderful, she spoke of many different types of sacred dance and different cultures and religions groups that practice it.

The workshop was 2 parts the first was the lecture and the second was an actual ritual dance. It was eclectic in nature and incredibly powerful. I have been going through some of the worst emotional issues I have ever had to deal with the past few months. Things in my life have just been more than I can bear. There are many times I have checked out and I have even started working with a therapist to get past it all. However there is something to be said about the power of sacred dance and a group of women who actually want to see you succeed. There was homework for this class and I worked on it during the long drive up to Seattle. I knew I needed this class, and I knew I needed the ritual even more. I even did all my homework before class and prepared a list of things I needed to manifest in my life folded up into a little charm. The things I wanted and needed to banish were easy and those were written on a flash paper and went out of my life in a flash and pop!

The dance ritual began and we stood in a circle and we copied Arties motions as a group and later formed into a spiral dance and then a snake dance. We weaved through the gates of death, I thought that she chosen 2 of the girls based on the fact they were both wearing shirts that were ribcage and skeletons. Later I we found out it was a happy accident. They raised their hands and we went under them and as I went under seeing these white bones standing out against black cloth and dimmed lights it was as if I was descending to the underworld through the gates of death into Persephone’s domain. We spiraled and snaked through the room even more until the music changed. We charged and danced around the central flame sometimes leaping over it, and sometimes cleansing our yoni and root with the heat of the flame. Then we focused on the purge, we purged, we stomped, we screamed, and we grunted. Tears flowed down my cheeks but no sobs. The trials of the past 2 months and the spring were brought to the forefront and I surrendered them to Persephone, I called her name, whispered love and devotion and pleaded for her help and understanding. I charged my flash paper with specific names, thoughts and emotions and danced, blew my breath and later lit the flash paper and for the final time banished this from my life. We danced some more and blessed what we wanted to manifest. We danced more through the songs, raising energy, purging energy and focusing on change. The final song came and we all laid down, the feelings, purge, energy and rush of emotions caught up with me laying there in the dark. The tears fell down my cheeks, and then the sobs began, I had my cardigan close and so I threw it over my face and suffocated my sobs so not to disturb others. However this was slightly silly as there wasn’t very many dry eyes in the room and my sobs were not the loudest. I was so thankful for the sobs from behind me, I don’t know who they were from but I was so thankful that someone else was just as leaky and sobby as I was. We really worked for change in that room and many of us got what we needed. It is my hope that the work I did today will continue to manifest in my life and the lives of those that need it. I know for the first time in a long time my mind is clear, I am feeling like my heart is lighter with less burden and less worry.
After class I grabbed a new shirt and found a shell treasure over at Anaar’s table. There was also a snake necklace and mink bone earrings that I am drooling over and really wish that I could get! I also got to see the lovely Suzanne and spend some time with Deja who I have missed so much since I left Arizona. It was wonderful to see her with her beautiful mermaid hair and lovely energy.

My new shirt and shell!

Day 2 

Day 2 was a shorter day as I ended my class’s right about noon. I took Ritual E'motion with Anaar and Evoke Invoke with Tempest. Both classes were more about deliberate movement than history or spirituality. I really enjoyed these classes!

Ritual E'motion with Anaar 
Anaar spoke of setting the state with visualization to match your performance theme. So if your piece is about spiders visually landscape the stage with webs and then act as if you are moving through them. This was quite profound for me because I tend to fear the stage and feel as if I am often dancing in a giant black box. I really loved this idea and will be using visualization for stage setting in the future. We worked through several exercises in this class focusing on different exits and entrances through different visual landscapes. We then transformed ordinary pocket items, a cup, pen, crumpled paper into magical props and danced with them as well.

Evoke and Invoke with Tempest
Evoke and Invoke with Tempest was also wonderful. It was great to dance next to my friend and also amazing teacher Inanna la Fae in this workshop. Tempest was a delight to study with. Her teaching style and imagery of "wall kittens, sky bunnies, and floor ferrets" will be stuck in my head for years to come and I will always remember to pet my wall kittens when dancing! Tempest defined Evoke as "Working with elementals and similar types of energies" I noted this was like "social spirit work" she defined Invoke as "to pull into yourself, or being ridden" I made notes that this was the same as ritual possession, or hedge riding. We then worked on expressing the elements through our bodies expressing water in our hips, fire with shimmies, air with the heart and earth with the feet. She focused on foot work for quite a while. This was not a new concept to me, but it was a great reminder to pay attention to my feet, the way they are placed and how they feel on the ground. It is strange how something so simple could be profound, but it was and for that I am grateful. 

Waking Persephone was a weekend festival, as it was my first time attending and I was low on funds and energy I only selected 4 classes to take. I missed the community round table, the after party and the show, but overall it was a wonderful experience and next year I will be getting the whole pomegranate!