Time for a Break!

Phew! I did it! Another mini mile stone is completed! I passed my Level 2 short course in Equality & Diversity and managed to complete my second Hatha Yoga teaching module! Now I am ready for a lovely week away up North (Lancashire) with family & my best friend. I am in need of some much needed rest and looking forward to some things I have missed since moving down south. I miss the sound of dogs barking & music playing in the mornings, my aunt singing to the radio whilst she mops the oak floorboards, as my mum potters in the kitchen to make bacon sandwiches. The smell of cranberry scented candles burning through out the house which remind most people of Christmas but makes me think of home and the feel of the crisp winters breeze on my skin as it wafts through the entire house because my mum has a love of opening all windows and doors regardless of the weather. I also miss long conversations with my Mum & Best friend about mystical things in life and walking through our local park on a beautiful Autumn’s day. I am really looking forward to such joyful & simple moments.
Om Yoga Magazine

The Equality & Diversity course was really interesting, the first unit explored general ideas on what Equality & Diversity is, how people stereotype and why; as well as looking into how you would label yourself and how others perceive you either negatively or positively. The second unit delved into Equality & Diversity within a community including how discrimination develops and how it can escalate and the last unit looked at Equality & Diversity in the workplace, how employers should treat their staff, how staff respond & follow important procedures, what laws are in place to prevent any form of discrimination and how to act if you are a witness or a victim of discrimination at work. I am far from qualified in understanding law but it has given me better understanding on this topic. I decided to study this mini course because I am a people person and if my career is going to involve guiding & helping others as a community artist & holistic practitioner I’d like to be as ethically knowledgeable as possible so I am really proud I now have this qualification that works so well with everything I am working on at the moment.

The second module for the Hatha Yoga Teaching course involved Anatomy & Physiology of the human body, but because I have already done a level 3 in this subject, this module is easy yet great for refreshing my knowledge. I do enjoy studying the human body as it is so interesting and a piece of art work in it’s own right, don’t you think? Who ever or what ever created us was definitely an artist or inventor of some kind because the human body is such an incredible moving sculpture. The first module of this course explored the history of Yoga & it’s Philosophies but in the New Year I will be deepening my knowledge in that area by studying a 7 week course in Yoga Philosophy with Oxford’s Hindu Studies Program, which I am excited about!

Next up after my week in Lancashire: To finish my last 5 hours of Dance Leadership Training, 1 day of Child Protection Training & starting my Dance Therapy Foundation Diploma. It’s been an incredible year of expanding my knowledge in preparation for what is to come in the near future. I am enjoying this process and new ventures in my life, although it has been tough as I am also juggling part time work, trying to save for adventures, dance & yoga practice plus the usual day to day commitments. I remain strong, thankful & optimistic regardless! Cheerio everyone!

Letters

letters

So here are some letters & one package that I have finally finished and they are ready to send to friends all over the world! I have two left to complete which I hope to be able to send off once I am back from visiting my family next week and then I have other writing projects to be getting started once I come back from Romania in November.
I love writing, because I am Dyslexic I find speech & reading words out loud difficult. I stutter and mumble odd sentences together when I talk to people, I forget what the right word is and sometimes I stand there like a mad woman attempting to pass on information I have just heard. I am known for saying things like “That thing, of the thingy, was erm…what’s the word…anyway, the thing you said you wanted to send off to what’s her face. Crap.” So writing kind of helps me to show what I really want to say in a meaningful and creative way. My brain short circuits when I am put on the spot to produce a string of sentences vocally which is probably why in person I am quite shy but when I have the time to allow the words to flow I find my voice again. It is a very similar process to how I express myself and become confident when I dance or when I illustrate a picture, I guess this is how I communicate.

I love writing letters to friends from far away and I also adore receiving letters & little gifts from friends too. There is something powerful and intimate about letter writing, I guess it is because it is a tangible object that you can keep in a box for years which you can then discover and re-read again by the fire on a frosty winters day.
So any friends out there who wants to write to me, please do so and I will reply back to you, it may take me a while but I am one for always finishing my projects, no matter how big or small and I try to always keep my promises because I am very loyal & loving.

New costume sneak peaks

new tribal costume

flared belly dance pants

gothic belly dance

gothic rose

witch belly dance

Katie Ness sunflowerteetth

gothic lace

So here is some costume sneak peaks! Coming up to 2 new performances in Wolverhampton & Bucharest Romania in November plus spending time this year going through an incredible transformation of self discovery and accepting life changing challenges I have decided (almost at the last minute) to put a brand new costume together. I felt inspired by a stronger, more primal side to me that had been caged for a very long time (so not to upset society) but although a late bloomer in life, I have really come into my own, I feel good in my skin and at 29 years old I feel less awkward about myself and less tolerant to negative remarks & behaviour of others. For quite a while I didn’t feel able to really explore who I really was due to constantly being judged and told who I should be and what I should be doing with my life (the words should & shouldn’t NEED to be banned from all languages) to the point where I’d end up doubting myself & my ideas I had for my own lifestyle and then I’d go along with the so called advice others gave me. It didn’t work and it never will because ultimately I was leading a life these people prescribed for me based on their own logic, which is stupid because logic & truth are singular. I’d rather be the poppy in a field of daffodils and relish in my individuality rather than try to paint myself yellow to fit in with what others expect of me based on their own views of how one should live a life.

And so this new costume with strange music is a dedication to a part of me that has been hidden, which I have now set free. I have been re-reading the amazing book ‘Women who run with the Wolves.’ by Clarissa Pinkola for further research & inspirational words and paying homage to some dreams I had involving a white Wolf who appears to watch over me in a desert, forest and even a little gift shop owned by a strange lady who reads the Tarot. The costume & song choice has a very gypsy witch vibe to it, it makes me think of Halloween and of a coven of Witches dancing with Wolves under the moonlight. A little different from past performances and I am sure people who know me will be shocked but hopefully enjoy this new side to me, I can’t wait to show you guys the finished piece. I am excited and a little nervous but it is good to do things that scare you just a little, it reminds you that you are alive and that you have a pulse.

Birthday weekend

Apologies for taking a while to write up this Blog Post I have been working on my new tribal belly dance costume and completing my Equality & Diversity course and getting ready for my week up North.
My Birthday weekend was quiet but sweet, I actually decided to work on my Birth Day as I took off a Saturday for the YogaFest Totnes a couple of weeks ago and will be taking more holiday to go up North and to Romania in November, so now I am trying to save a big chunk of my holiday allowance because Jon & I are planning to go to Kathmandu, Nepal in March next year for about two weeks. This adventure to Nepal will essentially be similar to Morocco in that it will be full on with quite a bit of trekking but we won’t be in a tour group this time and we are even buying each other backpacks for Christmas because the ones we used for Morocco were borrowed from a friend and Jon’s brother. There is scope to visit my mum’s house in Bulgaria, early September for a week as a relaxing holiday akin to what we did in Croatia however it is all talk at the moment and we are not even in 2015 just yet but it’s good to plan ahead & look forward to things but things are not set in stone.
bee house
So my birthday was a quiet one, at work colleagues presented me with a lovely bee house as a gift, I have wanted one for ages as I am an activist who tries to do things to help the world in my own small way. I am mad on recycling, I donate to causes I care about, I give bags of clothes to homeless shelters & charity shops & I have also been involved in protests, it’s important to try and give back and share things with others to make the world a happier place. I want to learn more about helping the animal kingdom too so it starts with my own garden by putting up a Bee house, a butterfly shelter and planting Bee & Butterfly friendly plants next Spring.
travel yoga mat
When I came home from work, Jon had balloons stuck to the porch door and all my presents were waiting for me in the living room. He had bought me a Travel Yoga Mat (which will be going with me to Nepal), two foam yoga blocks which help with balance, a Yoga strap, four salt rock candle holders, a tribal belt to embellish, a beautiful book about Mermaids & an essential oil diffuser that looks like a Doughnut! I have plans to one day own my own therapeutic/arts studio room so all the things Jon has given me will be a big help for that.
salt rock candle holders

essential oil diffuser

Jon’s parents gave me a lovely wicker travel toiletries bag with patchouli & sandalwood moisturizer & shower gels (which again is really helpful for future travel adventures), his sister bought me a necklace, one friend sent me an introductory book about Islam (as she knows of a current idea brewing) and another friend sent me scented flower petals for bathing.
Mandara travel bag

On Saturday evening Jon & I had a wonderful meal at a Nepalese restaurant called ‘the Himalayan Spice‘ and then watched some episodes of Black Books before bed, I love this comedy series, Dylan Moran even has my kidneys laughing! On Sunday we had birthday Lunch with Jon’s parents and devoured a Thornton’s chocolate cake before watching Cloud Atlas at home (again) whilst snuggled in our duvet with a cup of tea.
All in All it was a lovely birthday but it is not over yet! I will be celebrating it all over again with my own family & close friend in Lancashire in two weeks time which will include a family meal out, a day in the Lake District & potentially getting my first tattoo amongst other joyful things to look forward to.

Infusion Emporium

So you all know I am going up to the North of England (mainly the Lancashire region) for a week to see family at the end of October, you also know I am spending the weekend in Wolverhampton. What you didn’t know was the reason why.

I had to keep it a little secret until now, which was so hard as I learned about the news sometime in May I think and I wasn’t allowed to mention it to anyone or on social network sites, this was rather difficult as I love discussing happy news! So it is now official, it’s been shown on their site and facebook page, I am one of the performers at Infusion Emporium’s Glitterball Shakedown! This week up North is going to be fantastic. Not only will I be visiting family, Mum’s new puppy and seeing a best friend but I have been booked in to have a ‘Soul Reading’ in the lake district and I may just get my first tattoo aswell. And then to finish off my week I’ll be attending 2 Rachel Brice workshops & performing on Sunday 2nd November!

I am really excited about this as this will be my first Belly Dance festival I’ll be performing at and I get to meet Rachel who I have loved since I was 19, this is a dream come true for me, it really is! I have also chosen the song I will be dancing to and hopefully a brand new costume is on the cards. Since it’ll be around Halloween, my costume & performance will be celebrating the darker, more feral side to me and will honor my ancestry as a Romany Gypsy witch. Hopefully it will be an eerie but enchanting performance and the audience will love it. Those who know me and know of my usual song and dance choices will be a bit surprised as it is a totally wild & haunting side to me that I have kept tamed and in a cage for too long, think Morticia Addams meets Jean Gray’s Phoenix meets powerful witch dancing for Wolves!
Here is my poster designed by the lovely Alexis Southall & her partner with my Artist statement:
Katie Ness at Infusion Emporium

‘Katie Ness is a UK based community Artist and professional Tribal Fusion Dancer. Her Art is rooted in the belief that there is a place of wonder, strange beauty, and magic within each of us. At present she is studying a Dance Therapy Diploma, training in Hatha Yoga Teaching & Dance Leadership and will then go on to study Yoga Philosophy in the new year.

Being of actual Romany Gypsy ethnicity Katie creates performances in honour of her ancestors who were ‘Gypsy Witches’, fortune tellers & tea leaf readers. Katie is also inspired by dark fairytales, folkloric stories, tales of ancient gods & goddesses and dreams.

Her name ‘Katie’ is derived from the name ‘Hecate’ which is the name of an ancient Greek Goddess of Witch Craft.

When talking about dance Katie explains ‘I am naturally quite an introverted person, I enjoy quiet places where I can just drink my tea and read a good book but when I dance I become this wild force of sensuality, I love that I have two sides to my personality!”
In her free time Katie writes for her lifestyle blog and reads the Tarot.’

This weekend has been my Birthday so apologies for not publishing a Blog Post until now. I am having a really nice time relaxing, eating out, lots of presents and Beluga whale picture and today there is Cake! I will elaborate on my birthday weekend in another Post!