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Paulette Rees-Denis travels the globe teaching and coaching using feminine tribal bellydance, words, and desires. She is a Life Coach – Movement, Momentum, and Magic – and uses the inspiring and motivational tools of her Dance and Desire methodology, to follow your soul desires through movement and dance, words, and personal creative freedom, opening to your sensual body, wild spirit and individual beauty. As a creative lifestyle entrepreneur, coach and healer, and founder of this global-wide community of Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance®, Paulette is author to her timeless and empowering book, Tribal Vision: A Celebration of Life Through Tribal Belly Dance. She writes a weekly blog called Dance and Desire, occasionally sharing her poetry. In her off time she plays old country honky tonk on her guitar, ukulele, and washboard with her bass thumping husband, goes glamping in her mini collection of vintage trailers, and bootscoots around town with her two corgi dogs! Enjoy her exclusive Business Heroine interview…
BH: How did you end up doing what you do? Tell us your story!
Paulette: Who knew that when I re-entered the dance world at age 28, having stepped out for several years to pursue art, healing studies, and music, that bellydancing would change my life? What vision did I have to create a wildly sought after dance style and global movement? Really, I just wanted to dance for that magical connection, write, and live a blessedly artful life, every day.
Dancing has always fed my body, art and healing, magical work, fed my heart. When I create with my body, feeling freedom in movement, allowing and feeling the music to move through me with outward expression is a high unlike any other. Adding all the other intuitive creative work, and the connection with others, becomes a way of walking in beauty.
Today as I dance in my Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance ® style—which is not a solo dance, and not necessarily about performing, but is about the soul connection with others, using improvisational creation in the moment, and it becomes a moving prayerful meditation. GCTB is super powerful, empowering, and I knew in my intuitive heart, an ancient dance with a calling to the women of today—the mythical, the mystical, the ultimate creative feminine essence.
As I developed the styling, my body and mind exploded with all the things I could do with it, all the women I could call out to. Something that we all needed as a society. And now I am able to combine all my healing and magical studies with this powerful dance, making magic in the moment and fulfilling a most necessary desire.
As a coach and dance instructor most of my work is predominantly with women. We all long for connection, and we women want to feel seen, heard, be a part of the full circle. In our global circle everyone is important, necessary, and part of the whole. It takes all of us to make the circle, in so many different capacities.
We need to move our bodies, we need to love our bodies and feel empowered in them. Moving the body can change your energy, change your attitude, change your chemistry, and get your motors running, let your spirit soar, and feel freaking awesome! Dance, stretch, walk, run… no matter…feel you sensual self, shake it, sway it, booty call to goddesshood… your divine rite, your intuitive connection, starts in your, yes YOUR, body!
As a child, with my mother’s encouragement, I latched onto my dreams of dancing, writing, making art, and playing music while also acquiring my corporate father’s business savvy. Little did I know, as I took up dancing again, and then developed a new tribal Bellydance style that it would contribute to me living the life of my dreams, become a creative entrepreneur, and that I could combine my plethora of passions to take me around the world, while leading women on amazing transformational journeys of their own.
Initiations into building this business were many, as I made up everything as I went. No books were written on how to build my mini empire on the rise!
My Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® world grew quickly, as well as the entire world of new internet possibilities back in those early 90’s. My business management and creative art world collided with amazing energy—combined with passionate and demanding women with wild desires to do this dance style based on sensual feminine beauty, body strengthening, spiritual awakening, community connection, and rich adornment.
This is a style of dance for all ages and sizes and backgrounds, based on ancient traditions and rituals combined with contemporary life. This is a dance that everybody, and every body could do and feel beautiful, creative, and part of an amazing global tribe, whether quietly or in full blast. And it is a dance of personal fulfillment, growth, sisterhood, and so much more.
Running my one woman business, I learned quickly, made mistakes, ran away, came back, was on top of the world, fell madly in love every day, wanted to quit, wrote a book…I went through every scenario and emotion in being this uber creative solopreneur. It was a long time before I even understood how my business was growing I was so enmeshed. But I knew I was touching and changing the lives of so many women. That is what kept me going. I knew then, and know now, how important this dance is to women, and to see them blossom into their own beauty still awes me everyday.
I know I needed more and desired more skills to thrive and grow, to be successful and prosperous, and to relish my abundance with gratitude. Continued studies have guided me on my path—gaining my Masters in Writing and Publishing, attending B-School with Marie Forleo, Strategic Intervention Coaching with Tony Robbins, becoming a Certified Reiki practitioner, and other healing, business and creative courses— teaching me more skills to develop my Movement, Momentum, and Magic coaching practice.
Other modalities include the deeply personal and intuitive writing and dance course called Dance and Desire: From the Body to the Page, a method of combining movement and words to source and anchor in one’s dreams, plus Tribal Grooves ™–my newest GC Tribal Bellydance workout/fitness course which is spreading quickly around the globe, and most dear to my work and my heart–my life coaching. What I love most is guiding women toward their superpowers and their true calling, beauty, and happiness.
I am always growing in both business opportunities and the continuous creation of the facets of this dance. I have developed certification courses- both in person, and so many online classes (that blows my mind!), taught women to be teachers and run their own businesses, and taught the teachers to be Master Teachers to carry on the legacy of this dance and this soul-searching work. I guide them to find their inner and outer beauty, to build on their dreams and forge ahead, and also be content and at peace, enoughness is a great starting place!
As a wiser and older woman, I am constantly learning how to pass it on while I create my newer dreams. With women around the world–Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Russia, Mexico, USA, UK, Italy, Spain, Canada and beyond. I am able to connect, dance with, and coach them, and sometimes men, helping them achieve their art and business dreams. We all need coaches, even me! And to have support groups, mastermind groups, accountability partners… it is important to connect with peers as well as find mentors, never stop. This is huge!
I spread my tattooed wings to continue writing, blogging, and coaching, while dancing, and traveling, learning how to combine, subtract, and downsize. I built and continued on my path of leading folks into their most beautiful magical states, to allow themselves to be and to have and to share and to give…and find the balance with having my own home life, my time of quiet solitude, writing, and playing music with my man.
BH: What is your ‘Wake Up Call for the World?’ In other words, what is most of the world asleep about that you would love to wake up?
Paulette: Move that body! Change your state. Dive in, listen to your heart and soul. Listen to your words…they are the undercurrent of all you do. That is why I am a huge proponent of journaling, from morning pages (a la Julia Cameron and the Artist’s Way) to nightly gratitude journaling to mind-mapping. To find the words that speak your soul. And change your story to feed your life.
I really want everyone, you, to feel good in their bodies and their hearts, to get out of your rut, to know what you really desire, to build your own dreams, to stand up and enjoy this special and splendid life we have. I want you to get off the couch and dance. Allow the feminine creative essence to shine. Feel the fertile power in your belly and the womb so you can birth your dreams. Dance through life. Move forward with intention. Listen to your inner rhythm; listen to your inner calling.
We create our own lives and attract to us what we desire. Changing the story that we continue to tell ourselves, changing our wording, and moving the body is the way to step it up, be amazing. Then you can share the love and trickle it down to all that you touch.
BH: What are the biggest challenges or aspirations your clients come to you with, and what does your work make possible for them?
Paulette: Predominantly my clients and students have body issues, not feeling good in their bodies, being overweight and unhealthy, and stuck in the overwhelm, and yet feeling rebellious. They want more but are overwhelmed with how to just take the first step. We are inundated with so many things to do and so much internet chatter, with a need to prove how “busy” we are. (Take that word right out of your vocabulary and say how beautifully full you choose to be!) Sometimes it is just shifting your wordage, the story you tell yourself and others.
I help my clients define what they truly desire, what they need to feel whole and healthy, to look at themselves with love and enoughness, and to find a way to move with a freedom forward that is liberating! We play, dream, journal, and we still get practical with maps and plans, while we get the joints juiced up and allow the intuitive flow. I love adding some woo with the practical, get that inner and outer energy flowing, and my clients burst out with aha’s and wows and hell yeah’s!
Life is for living. It is not selfish to take care of yourself, to go after what you desire. When you are fulfilled, in that sexy, feminine place of creation, contentment, excitement, joy, you just spread it on down the road, gals! I love the trickle down effect. Pass on the love!
BH: We’re curious about your breakthrough moment in business. Looking back, what created the breakthrough?
Paulette: One of the first breakthroughs for me, as a solopreneur, was letting go—hiring someone to help me, and learning how to delegate. I, so many times over, have thought that no one could do it like I could, or that it would take too long to explain and teach someone, so I would just do it ALL myself. Well friends, let’s talk about how fast that can lead to burnout!
The time I first taught one of my students to help me teach a class (I was teaching 10-15 classes a week plus traveling to teach and directing three performing groups) was a major breakthrough, and now that has developed into several teacher training certification programs.
Delegating is a learned skill, communication is of utmost importance, and truly listening is an art form.
And once these skills–which is practical as well as intuitive—are acquired, finding the right person or team to assist you is the next journey! Slow down and listen to what you truly need.
I suggest you dream up your perfect assistant/manager, whoever you are needing, and write down everything you want them to be, and what you are really good at. What is your job and what is theirs? You want them to do what you don’t want to do, so you can spend your time doing what you do best and what your business is made of. Whoa…
My belief is that thoughts become words become things (a take off on Mike Dooley!) So write it ALL down, your entire dream list, listen to your gut and you will find the most important things necessary for you and your dreams.
BH: What words of wisdom do you have for all the emerging Business Heroines out there who are on the cusp of creating their own purpose-based business?
Paulette: Clarity is key! Being incredibly clear with your heart and soul desires to the finest and minutest details is going to get you started. Dream big ladies! Brainstorming, I use a lot of mind-mapping, and learning what your strengths and weaknesses are, what you want to do, where you can delegate, or what to pursue vs. what to let go of.
Why…is the next question. Finding out who you want to serve with what you love to do, and then WHY?
If you don’t know why, you need to step back and look again. Super important. Have a great time building your dreams and envision what you want! You can do it!
Special Offers From Heroine Paulette Rees-Denis!
Sign up for Paulette’s weekly newsletter here, and grab a free video of warm-ups for your body, to get moving, to give you a taste, to feel delicious… this video is from Paulette’s online course, Dance and Desire: From the Body to the Page!