Poems That Dance Celebration Album!

Hi Everyone!

As a thank you for following and supporting my work, I’ve started a FREE BOOK GIVE AWAY CONTEST! It’s surprising when I look back on the number of books I’ve published in just four years. If I could, I would publish more. I have many story ideas in my head. But of course it’s not physically possible to put them all to ‘paper’ and publish straight away. I love taking my time and enjoying the moments writing brings.

A few days ago I received my latest poetry book, ‘Unpredictable Spaces’ and it’s gorgeous. I love holding it in my hands and just looking at it. The cover is stunning and the words flow so beautifully with the order of the poems .. simply perfect.

To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy of my book, ‘Unpredictable Spaces’!

Unpredictable Spaces Hardcover

My latest publication published by Fastpencil!

How to enter?

#1 share any photo (s) on this album on your FB page, blog, twitter or any other media site, or reblog this post.

#2 post in the comments section of this post and include the link. That way I, and others can find you too!

All my books are published with Fastpencil and some are found on AMAZON and other Internet outlets! Do a search and you will find my books.

PS Pssssst! Do you have a favourite?


signature Maria Grujicic Poems That Dance

Seventh Poetry Show on Writing, Friendship and Travel

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and responses.

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and responses.

On my seventh podcast poetry show I talk about travel and my travel companions; my writing, a book, and a camera. I read my poem, ‘A Baby Paradise’, and describe the analogy of life and death. The film was created near the runway of Darwin International Airport.

The poem is related to the analogy in my picture book, ‘One Little Caterpillar‘.

I read a few poems that are related to personal themes from my book, ‘Sudden Clarity‘. I give insightful poetry responses on life and love. I talk about the soul and physical presence, play and games in childhood and real life.

Before I started traveling I never thought about where my friends were from. London was the place where I met people from all over the world, and this became more evident, much like a ‘label’. I enjoyed my time in London, but I felt that it was a temporary place to live in. And this was something else I never experienced. The signs that tell you ‘it’s time to move on’.

London was a great challenge, and I talk about my experiences. I also talk about friendship along with a poem I wrote about some friends while we were apart. This is the film clip, ‘Three Sisters Live In The Shadows’.

Thanks for listening! As always, likes and comments are appreciated. You are also welcome to listen on iTunes by clicking on this link: Podcast Poetry Show.

signature Maria Grujicic Poems That DanceCopyright © Maria Grujicic and poemsthadance.com, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and poemsthadance.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

‘Sudden Clarity’ Poetry Book Reviews

On SUDDEN CLARITY By Maria Grujicic

“Sudden Clarity” is a collection of poems which tell the story of a dynamic, intimate life and expresses itself through dance. The photographs were taken by Maria Grujicic herself, as she envisioned and imagined the themes of her work. The style of poetry is distinctively unique and breaks the boundaries of the conventional. It is bold, audacious, different, artistic, open and truthful in its presentation.

“I loved the different intensities and subject in the whole collection. Maria Grujicic spread her life out on a canvas of words which so beautifully involved the reader. I particularly liked the shorter and medium length poems because their themes were subtle but direct. A Familiar Path echoes my thoughts exactly. A Place for my Tentative Birth is excellent…beautifully creational, Uncomfortable reality is just fantastic as is Her Big Beautiful Eyes. The best are, A magical play and Something Of my own….Maria Grujicic breaks language conventions and puts a combination of words and phrases which are exciting and moving to read. An exciting collection/anthology.”
Chris Pownall

Maria is a poet who’s voice can be heard through her writings. She is a visionary author with works exuding a passion of love and respect for nature. One can get lost in the landscapes through pictorialization & illumination over and over again. Sudden Clarity will make your heart & soul dance bringing you to a point of rejuvenation. Kenya Smith aka KonciouSLea

“I hear the voice in the poems as poetry of old, the poet’s voice speaking out to the elements, to Nature, to ourselves. And when the poem makes of them a listener it has great resonance. I also like the titles that tell me a distillation of an experience, such as Sudden Clarity, A Place for My Tentative Birth and A Work of Intimate Art.” Mariana Romo-Carmona

“Some of her poems have a powerful punch ending that gives chills and makes the reader ponder a new beginning, to take the story further in his or her mind. Great work!” Eric Pasley

“Very sombering and well written. This poem paints a picture without heavy description” Jaleesa McLean’s comment on “Rose Of Determination” of “Sudden Clarity”.

“Love how the black and white contrast with the “colours” of the poetry. A bit daring perhaps but it works!” David W. Aston

“Wow! What an amazing quantity of poems. I like them very much!! Go on publishing!” Lena Truper

“Amazing book! I have read 8 poems without putting the book down! This is the first time that I have read more than 5 poems at once. I liked all her poems and mainly “A place for my tentative birth”. Little NJ Poet

How to Improve Your Dance

Dance classes are fun. They are a great way to get motivated and meet people. You may also get opportunities to perform with a group. Dressing up for a gig is a chance to try out a new look. Talking about hair, jewellery, make up and clothes at dress rehearsals help keep nerves at bay. It’s fantastic to see the other women all dressed up, and when I first started with a troupe, it was a good way to get ideas on what to wear. Performances take time and you will spend the whole day preparing and performing. At the end of the day, if you’re like me, you feel the reward of giving back to the community, and as one of my past teachers affectionately said, ‘and to show off a bit.’

If you really want to improve your technique you need to set aside some time at home to practise. Deb Rubin once told us at one of her workshops in Sydney that a little practise each day works well. This makes sense because it sets the tone for practise as part of your routine. I tend not to think and plan about what to do. I put the instructional DVD on and just watch. It takes a lot for me to get motivated, but once the DVD’s on, I can’t help but start!I have a few favourites that I’m working on and stick to those until I get all the combos right.

Learning the combinations help you fit right in when you take a workshop because you have a structure to work from. You might find workshops hard if you go with no dance experience to a workshop, but of course it depends on the workshop. People are friendly and open and teachers work at your level. If you have no dance experience and want to get the most of a workshop? You don’t have time to practise? You’re not very good at memorizing steps? Go for an improvisation class. I went away with a lot more attending these workshops because it opened my mind to possibilities for self-expression and choreography.  A workshop with Orchidaceae Urban Tribal Group is an example.

I particularly related to Francesca Pedretti’s Tribal Bellydance Emotionale. At her workshop we did some improvisation moves based on a poem from ‘Dante’. He was a major Italian poet of the late Middle Ages. This was a pleasant surprise because I sometimes get my inspiration for writing my own poems through dance.

After attending workshops, if you’re like me, you do some reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses. I enjoy myself more if I do the moves properly. If you want to see a real improvement in your dance, it’s a good idea to work on your fitness. So I decided to give dance classes a break for a while and join a gym. The gym membership included a fitness check, and I worked towards my goals. After a month I started to see results. I didn’t plan to, but I lost weight, and I developed more energy.

A good gym will also provide a spa, pool and fitness classes, including yoga and other higher intensity workouts. The body gets bored with routine, so plan a varied workout. The gym also helped me develop more confidence, flexibility, and posture. The problem with dance classes (even with the advanced classes) is that  go at the pace of the participants and fitness isn’t the main goal. That’s fair enough, because it is impossible to please everyone and you are there to work as a team. If you do want to improve further and you can afford it, I suggest you do one to one classes, much like you’d hire a personal trainer. But be realistic with your goals.

Some teachers include some yoga moves as part of the class. I really like this because it improves posture and flexibility, as you get warmed up for the class. When practising alone, try to memorise a few of your favourite stretches and do them often throughout the day. Even when you’re at work! Troupe costumes can be tricky. They don’t always suit every body. A good teacher is open to talk to you about it.

In Sydney I did a workshop with Kami Liddle and a few weeks before I went, I did some lessons at home using her instructional DVD. I didn’t have much knowledge about Tribal Fusion but it worked! I was more confident and could keep up. Hooray!  I also made new friends.

Once you start learning on your own, you may feel alone. But don’t stop. Keep yourself open for any other dance workshops that come up. I learned more doing the workshops than my normal classes because they are longer and more intense. The teachers give a lot of valuable advice so take a pen and pad with you, and don’t be afraid to write things down. A video camera also comes in handy. Workshop events include performances which are a big inspiration.

These are some more performance favourites:

Smokey Eyes

Valentina Martin

My advice is to think about what can help you learn and grow because this is what will bring out the best in you, feel confident, relax and have fun! Before a class I like to do myself up a bit to get into the mood for dance. There are no set rules on that. Be you. If you like wearing lipstick- do it. If you’d like to try out a new outfit, do it. But my advice is to dress simply at your first class, just to judge what’s acceptable.For workshops I suggest you take a few change of clothes, water, a towel and snacks.

These days I have a lot more time to dedicate to writing and dance. I started Flamenco, bike everywhere, and joined a gym. Eventually I’ll be replacing flamenco with tribal fusion, as I find what style of dance suites me. I recommend trying a bit of everything, before settling with one or two styles you love. This will give you a sense of achievement and belonging. Workshops are also great ways to try new styles!

It’s been a while since I’ve performed and I think the break has been a good time to reflect. I’m focusing on my poetry books and other projects. In time, I will perform again when the time is right.

It’s wise to try different teachers when you first start learning and not get attached to one.

Thank you for reading. If you have any experiences and tips on dance please share in the comments section.


© Maria Grujicic and poemsthadance.com, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and poemsthadance.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bellyfusions Paris Festival 2015

On January 2015 I spent two weeks in Paris doing dance classes and whatever else came up. I did ATS classes, flamenco and ballet, and of course as I wrote in another post, did some voice lessons. I went with the flow and enjoyed an artist’s life here for a short time. Perhaps not as a tourist because I’ve already done the touristy things but for learning and all things DANCE!

Now on my last day in Paris, I’m regrouping and recalling my experiences. It was intense and fun! On this occasion at the Bellyfusion Festival I tried as many workshops as I could and perhaps next year I will do my favourites. These workshops included: ATS, Contemporary, Emotional Dance Oriental, Fusion and Dance Theatre. I was pleasantly surprised to find some videos on Youtube- here they are.

This is cute. <3

If you’d like any information on locations to do dance classes, leave a comment below.

Keep on dancing!

Diary of a Dancer


Lately I’m devoting more time to dance and am enjoying it a lot. I enjoy different styles and I’m yet to pin point my favourite. So fusing the styles is a great way to sustain my interest and my creativity. Of course it is important to know about the different styles to adequately understand how to fuse them as well. The last few years I’ve done workshops in Sydney and practised at the Bellydance school in my home city. I also have a set of tutorial DVDs that I work on at home. I write in the hope that I can find like-minded dancers/artists whom I can connect with. I hope that’s you! Feel free to share your dance experiences and tips in the comments sections!

This week I’ve found myself off-balanced and am stunned by this. It probably means that I’m treading in water, desperately trying to keep up with the music, and compensating by not doing the movements with accuracy. Be careful you don’t fall for this trap! I also don’t know the moves well enough, and lack confidence with the cues. Times like these I’ve felt like I’ve learnt ‘nothing’. I’ve told myself not to give up, take a break and regroup. Above all, not to keep doing the same mistakes!

The next step:

  • Check and adjust your posture.
  • Do Yoga Practice.
  • Do an adequate warm up and cool down.
  • Do drills that target the techniques that you need to master.
  • Drill the combinations, particularly the more difficult ones, to a different piece of music.
  • Listen to the music and imagine yourself doing the steps.
  • Play finger cymbals, bongos or any other instrument to the music.
  • Do you have an injury or a weakness? E.g. a sore ankle? Need to strengthen your balance?
  • Are you overtired?

These are checkpoints that I’ve become more aware of after having workshops with various teachers. I work on these by doing the following:

  • Massage
  • Rest periods
  • Exercise
  • Stretches
  • Physio Therapy (if needed)
  • An adequate diet
  • General Well-Being

Have a set number of combinations to drill each day, heading towards a day where you will then practice the whole choreography. It takes time to master a dance, especially when life gets busy. Best to dedicate chunks of time each day, and be consistent in your practice, than promise yourself a large chunk if time is scarce. If you’re like me, having the head space for 20 minutes is more inviting than 2-3 hours.

My advice is not to fool yourself into believing that technique isn’t important. The day I realised this, I was able to move forward and put the work into my dance. The reward? Having the confidence to dance and have fun with your friends and feel a sense of achievement for performance.

My favourite teachers so far:

  • Kami Liddle (USA)
  • Devi Mamak (NSW)
  • Rachel Brice (USA)
  • Deb Rubin (USA)
  • Myf (NT)

And last but not least!

  • Soraya (Germany)

I’m yet to try a few others, including Ariellah

Do you have any favourites?

Hope this helps, and happy dancing!