The Latest News from our “Ladies Khaiteros “ of Saint Affrique, France
by Stoffelina Verdonk
For two years now we have regular and irregular sessions of Khaita Joyful dances in our little town in the backland of southern France, in Aveyron, close to the famous “Roquefort” cheese caves. We study, dance and honor the part of “joyous” in the meaning of Khaita Joyful Dances.
I am very happy to see how Khaita touches and unites these ladies, and helps them to dance with all their colors. Our dances become more and more harmonious, energetic and united. And, one way or the other, this joy is contagious. Also it gives us the opportunity to convey this message of presence, full of joy, offered by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. Each song and dance, this message from Tibet, is a tribute to him.
Following Geneviève’s proposal, we recently presented Khaita in a facility for people with other mental capacities, “Les Charmettes” in Millau (May 7th) as well as in a home for the elderly: “Foyer Logement” in Saint Affrique (May 16th) and in a nursing home and hospital: “Saint Anna” in Millau (June 12th). There was no stage, no special theatre lights, apart from our own light, some smiles, we wore simple costumes and had good intention in our hearts.
The 3rd of July a capsule with the information of Khaita, presented in a colorful document, was buried in Saint Affrique. This is an initiative of the city hall, Le Quai, and the capsule is to be dug up in fifty years to inform the world of the cultural activities of Saint Affrique. We wish the world to be well harmonized by then, also thanks to Khaita.
Here I present our group and their spontaneous initiatives, showing their participation.
Solange Caumes, takes care of the opening of the dance studio, our costumes and our ornaments. When the teacher is not there, she welcomes the dancers at her home to dance. She studies the dances on youtube and through some tutorials.
Geneviève Roques,organizes our presentations, makes contact with people to enter the various establishments and has a vision of where we can present the Khaita dances.
Chantal Brenguesprepares the ornaments: bracelets and colored ribbons for our presentations.
Monique Maklouka prepares the fundraising box for the NGO ASIA ONLUS. Thus at each presentation we did and will continue to collect for this NGO. This collection contributed to Enrico Del’Angelo fund.
Veronique Bettencourt helps us remember how important it is to sing when we dance. Even if she does not know Tibetan, she sings when she dances. Next year we will discover this aspect of dancing and singing.
Stoffelina Verdonk teaches Joyful Khaita Dances. She is happy to enter the dance together and to help present it to the public. It is an effective way to spread the message of Tibet, in the joy of the heart and for the pleasure all; also for those who cannot go out, cannot move or who are having a hard time.
Sometimes we do not just dance; we like talking, eating cakes and going out.
The comments of our dancers:
“During the presentation of Khaita dances at “le Foyer de Logement”, I had a lot of fun dancing. I had invited some friends who enjoyed the show as well as the residents of the Foyer. I received many compliments and thanks from them. I was happy to see the joy on their faces and they shared the last dance with us.”
“The good spirit that reigns in the group (good agreement, mutual help, cohesion or awkwardness, laughter …) These happy dances make me forget the space of a few hours my illness and worries of everyday life, I would say that it is my energetic therapy! I enjoy the show, sharing the glass of friendship and contact with people and all the audiences! We transmit positive waves simply and we take full advantage of the present moment. After all this is the essential! It brings us closer to each other, all ages together and it is for all that I take a real pleasure to share all these little moments of simple happiness and it is for me an enormous wealth of the heart!”
“With Tibetan music, Khaita dances provide us with the opportunity to express through the body a harmony with all that surrounds us. They free us and make us happy. That’s why we want to share them today here in Millau with our elders. And if their eyes sparkle, if their hearts waggle, let’s be happy, let’s dance for them!”
“The Khaita dance is a dance that I love, because our teacher Stoffelina is very kind and smiling. There is also a great atmosphere within the group, whether during class or during outings. I also like the songs that stay in my head.”
My feeling at the Oasis Association, which collaborates with Atiyoga Foundation. At 72, I am extremely happy with my integration. With the conviviality that reigns, each session gives me joy, well-being, harmony between my mind and my body.
The state of mind of the group: Democratic. No egos, no discrimination, exchanges without taboos, each brings with simplicity their know-how to improve the action of the Association, which reinforces the link. For my part, I took pleasure in making panel and box to raise funds for ASIA. And it works. Of course these are small amounts, but small streams make big rivers … And it’s not over. Especially moving to search for Tibetan children’s picture illustration! Photocopy a document for each of us, what’s easier!
The representations:EXCELLENT INITIATIVE !!! Such a friendly activities! We share our pleasure of dancing and we bring joy to others. It’s just awesome! Regarding the representation at the “Foyer de Logement” old peoples’ house, in St-Affrique, here is the experience of a resident: “We had a really good time. Your dances are beautiful, you are all smiling, and it looks like you feel happy to practice this activity together. I felt a special emotion for the Tibetan people, and come back to see us next year!”
Personal information: With my husband, we are miracles of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal – a trauma that, for my part, can never fade completely. We shared so many wonderful moments with the Tibetan refugees in Nepal, but unfortunately the memory is painful because many of them perished. My personal conclusion: Even though I made many mistakes while dancing, the result is VERY POSITIVE. I am really happy. “
On facebook and youtube and internet you will find all the dances and information: