Just a few notes, photos and videos on trips, events and people I’ve met since I took up ATS® – those who have inspired me, taught and encouraged me, danced and shared this beautiful dance with me. Plus workshop fun, sweat and aching muscles……….all have been really enjoyable, some more useful than others but there is always something to learn – in chronological order year by year from the most recent to yonks ago!!!
TRIBAL VIBE (Barefoot Bellydance), Aylesbury
Hosted by Steffi Colbert and her fabulous Barefoot Bellydance this was a really friendly festival. The atmosphere was just so welcoming and laid back and gave us the chance of our second ever performance to a really supportive crowd. Awalim headed the show and the workshops and were just totally inspiring and very amusing whilst the recently famous Urban Gypsies (having featured on Britain’s Got Talent) gave an equally entertaining performance even though backstage they proved to be totally bonkers
ATS® Basics with Awalim
their own take on FatChance format giving the history of each move and its adaptations
Tribal Basics – 1 Steffi
an introduction to some basic core tribal moves as used by Gypsy Caravan and Barefoot Bellydance
Zill Drill – Awalim
Middle Eastern Drum Rhythms, Basics 1 – Rick & Chris, Barefoot
an introduction to some of the basic techniques of some of the common drums used in middle eastern music. Core traditional rhythms used to accompany bellydancing with particular emphasis on Tribal Style
Middle Eastern Drum Rhythms, Basics 2 – Rick & Chris, Barefoot
a continuation from the previous workshop. Both these workshops were excellent, giving a better understanding of the music as well as inspiring several of us to try to start our own accompaniments or even a small band
FatChance Style – Deana Lawman
slow basics and combinations. You can never ever go over the basics often enough, Deana introduced walking and turning a body wave – not easy… must practise
TRIBAL PURA (Carolena Nericcio and Megha Gavin) hosted by Kismet, Glastonbury
25 – 26 October 2008
Carolena Nericcio – FatChanceBellyDance®
Megha Gavin – Devyani
So this is what I’d been waiting for. The opportunity to meet the creator of ATS in the flesh and to actually have first hand teaching. Having spent months glued to my television set studying all the steps from a fixed camera angle and in two dimensions I now had a whole weekend of Carolena and Megha in 3D. Nothing can describe how invaluable it is to have real live tuition especially if you get the opportunity to study with Carolena herself. Loads and loads of lightbulb moments
True Tribal Basics and Tribal Combinations
Powerful Presence – excellent advice which stood me in good stead for my very first ATS® performance that evening – in front of Carolena and Megha – seriously scary!!!!!!
Spins and Turns – a great lightbulb moment on this one for pointing, really helped with reducing the dizziness
Temple Dance Stretch – I love these poses they’re so graceful
Your Muscles, Your Body, Your Dance
Drills for Leading and Following every workshop just inspired me more and more and I would love to one day visit the Mothership in San Francisco and actually take lessons there.
So after a wonderful day of workshops the time had come for me and Lisa (known as Kalash) and her cousin Kirsty to embark on our very first ATS performance. The nerves were rife backstage and in an impromptu double back on my part I managed to clock Kirsty in the face with my spiky bracelet. The blood poured and Carolena and Megha did their best to mop it up and settle us down with comforting words and a puja. I’ve never been so scared in my life as 30 seconds onto the stage the adrenalin just hit and I went weak at the knees and felt absolutely dreadful. So – here it is in all its glorious naivety – our very first performance:
MOIRAI (Philippa and Jesse) Bampton, Devon
Self-hosted these lovely ladies from London. Well actually Jesse is from the US and Philippa from South Africa but they are currently London based. After making Jesse wear welly boots for the first time in her life we set off on a walk around the farm to look at the sheep, had a lovely evening chilling out and admiring Jesse’s new Kathleen Crowley fluffy rufflies. Then off to bed ready to work hard the next day. Ohhh if only I could look like them!! Yet another fantastic workshop with these beautiful dancers. Everything is explained and demonstrated with such poise and grace that everyone attending one of their workshops must come away feeling truly inspired. Checked over basic tribal fundamentals before going on to combos, zilling patterns, transitions and introduction to fades. Absolutely brilliant. Quite a few lightbulbs moments!!!
TRIBE OF KISMET – Gloucestershire
Hosted by Arabesque and Bhakti Tribal Bellydance
Such a joy to do an ATS® workshop with Sarah & Deana. The warmup threw us all in the deep end as they just gave it everything and said ‘follow this if you can…’ whilst secretly watching what we could/couldn’t do. Then came the crunch……………. when you’ve only got the FCBD® dvd’s to work from and rely on hints and tips from peers and workshops then Sarah and Deana soon sort out where you are going wrong. Just need to practise now!!
RAQS BRITANNIA – Blackpool
Blackpool is not the easiest of places to travel home from on a Sunday evening so in the end I had to drive which was knackering after a whole weekend of workshops and partying. Enjoyed dancing and listening to Natacha Atlas and met two lovely ladies from Brighton, Charlotte and Nix who were doing some ATS so I joined in even though I didn’t know all the moves they were doing very well. Such great fun to just go to an event and dance with complete strangers. I expect we’ll bump into each other again
SUHAILA SALIMPOUR – Raqs Suhaila
three and a half hours of Suhaila intensive – actually considering I’d been told people go into serious training before attempting a Suhaila workshop I think she decided to be very gentle with us cos it wasn’t nearly so bad as I expected – thank goodness!
WENDY MARLATT – Rashani Combos
only 6 girls at this workshop which perhaps highlights the need for more promotion of ATS® workshops across the UK. Although for me it was great as we had a much more personal experience. Revision of basic ATS® steps which led in to Wendy’s own combinations for easing transitions. Really friendly helpful atmosphere. Thanks Wendy.
SAMANTHA HASTHORPE – Beginner ATS®
thorough step by step breakdowns of the basic fast and slow ATS® moves. Suddenly realised that my footwork on basic Egyptian was slightly out of synch but by following Sam’s method I would be able to turn that bit faster and be more in control at the end of the move. Have now just got to unlearn and relearn to put it into practice and make it work for me.
JILLINA – Shabi Pop
didn’t have a clue what this was so thought I’d better take my chances of finding out with the maestro. Haven’t ever tried anything near this style of dancing so struggled a bit as all those bright young things shook their booty. Time to get out the zimmer frame methinks!? Never I’ll give anything a go!
MORIA – Fine Tuning
yet again a really well structured breakdown of how your body works to create each movement. No matter what style of dance you prefer there is so much to be gained from one of her workshops. Although I could never even hope to achieve even basic T Fusion, Moria just exudes dedication and an inner calm which is a joy to be a part of.
SARAH JEFFERY-EMERYS – Kismet- ATS® Formations, Cues and Transitions
Again only 6 girls at this workshop which meant loads of personal attention from Sarah and Deana which is exactly what I needed. Looking forward to Tribal Pura in October – can’t wait!
ELLIE ATKINSON – (Warminster, Dorset)
Ellie began studying Raqs Sharqi whilst studying to become a vet and now runs classes and workshops in Dorset, which is not so far from my home, so I thought I’d sign up for her Gawhazee workshop. The Ghawazees are the gypsies of Egypt with a long history as professional entertainers at weddings and festivals. Typically the dancers move with small steps and precise hip movements, which flick their skirts in time to the rhythm. They often sing, play sagat (finger cymbals) and perform tricks. They may entertain for many hours at some events so their style is very relaxed and grounded. It was such great fun and once again we were required to pull out loads of attitude! Ellie’s knowledge of the history of the dance and her experiences in Egypt all added colour and flavour to a very enjoyable afternoon
MOIRAI – Jesse, Phillipa & Laura – hosted by Neohips – Newmarket, Cambs
I was in heaven, this was my first real live ATS® workshop ever and it was great. Having three such beautiful dancers teaching at the same time was a real plus as it meant you could see how each move should look from front, back and side. When you live in an ATS® desert, been struggling along at home with only the FatChance DVD’s, a mirror and a few like-minded peers it’s a real pleasure to have live tuition. So thanks girls we’ll definitely host a workshop when I’m back from my travels.
MORIA CHAPPELL – Exeter, Devon
Two days of Tribal Belly Dance Bootcamp: Fundamentals, Layering and Floorwork
Discovered muscles I didn’t know I had – my psoas for starters! Tribal technique of stretching, toning, and drilling to gain muscular technique as well as variations on classic tribal combinations, locks and pops ending with a tribal fusion choreography. Moria quickly adapted to our inadequacies!
Costuming and makeup
Moria used to be a make-up artist and passed on lots of hints and tips on applying stage makeup. Using Sharon (one of the Kali Tribe girls) as a model she quickly and expertly applied eye make up to one eye and then asked Sharon to stand at the other end of the hall. It was incredible to see how the ‘madeup’ eye just popped and opened up her whole face.
What an evening – the haflah was running late, very late, in fact 2 hours late and being held in a Methodist Church Hall there was not a drop of alcohol to be found. So in the midst of everything I rounded up a few of us and whisked Moria across the road to The Walkabout Pub where we lined up a vodka shot each and smuggled out a couple of glasses of red wine for Moria to drink at leisure. Poor girl had worked her socks off all day and just wanted a drink before her performance. She was absolutely totally mesmerising and completely captivated the entire audience