Catherine O'Brien

Catherine O'Brien

Original troupe member

A lifelong dancer, Catherine began dancing at age 6, studying classical ballet, jazz and tap until her late teens when she turned to ballroom and Latin American dance. Cath is not ashamed to admit that she was the proverbial “disco dolly” in the late ’70’s/early ’80’s!

An original member of Ghawazi Caravan, she started ATS in 2000. ‘I was completely taken with the beautiful structure, poise and elegance of the ATS based Tribal Style of belly dance that Devi was teaching and I have remained her devoted student ever since!’

Her daughter Kate was also a member of Ghawazi Caravan from 2003 until 2011.

In 2004 Catherine travelled to San Francisco with Devi and GC to undertake special classes with Carolena Nericcio and FatChance Bellydance, and Jill Parker, and to perform with GC at the 2004 Tribal Festival at Sebastapol.

She completed her ATS General Skills Certificate with Carolena in 2007 and has undertaken workshops with a number of other belly dance greats such as Kaiya Seaton, Jrisi Jusakos, Mel Rogers and Deb Rubin.
Where and when were you born?
I was born in Sydney, Australia in 1961.

How long have you been doing Tribal style? What appeals to you about Tribal?
I commenced Tribal classes when Devi Mamak first commenced classes in Hazelbrook in Feb 2000. I immediately fell in love with Devi and the elegant structure of the ATS dance form (not to mention the glamorous costumes and jewellery!) I the find the exacting technique and execution of some steps a tad difficult to master however I always have fun trying! The comraderie between the dancers and the excitement of improvisation make the classes and performances so much fun! And it is is fantastic exercise to boot!

What do you do for a living? Other hobbies?
I currently work full-time in Human Resources. I enjoy watching old movies and spending time with my family and friends. Life is often hectic but I feel that my dancing creates the balance I need.

What unusual talents do you have?
I don’t know about any ‘unusual’ talents however I pride myself in always being able to see the bright side!

If Tribal is your current passion, what was your previous passion?
I realize now that there was a void in my life that has now been filled due to my passion for tribal style belly dancing. I think everyone needs something special to be passionate about!

Where do you see yourself and Ghawazi Caravan in the future?
I am proud to be a valued member of Ghawazi Caravan, and I have enormous respect for Devi and my fellow GC sisters, who pioneered tribal dance in Australia. Its no wonder tribal dance has flourished with such great ambassadors! I look forward to performing and hanging out with the great GC gals and developing many further friendships with new ‘sister’ tribes and fellow dancers.