Tribalog 2010

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!!!

Hosted by Hannele Aaltonen
2 – 3 October, 2010

New Moves Slow and Fast
Formations Plus
Stage Presence
Slow Stuff
Flamenco Fusion Choreo

Devi is a truly inspiring teacher combining innovative ideas with classic ATS®. A fantastic weekend of workshops introducing new ways of looking at troupe presentation and dynamics, the X factor and her new moves – some now formally recognised within the FCBD® format. Thanks to Hannele for organising the weekend, Devi of course and all the wonderful ATS® dancers from France, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Russia, South Africa and the UK




Everyone got together in the evening for a Haflah where I performed with my room mates Philippa of Moirai and Charlotte & Nix of Terzim to Bay City Shimmy. Just proves that you really can walk out on stage and perform pure improvisational ATS® with only a 5 minute conversation beforehand – fantastic.
Had loads of dances after the show and it was just magic to dance with all the other girls from various parts of Europe with our common language being ATS®!!!

RAQS BRITANNIA 2010 Sheffield
25 – 27 June 2010

Yet another fantastic weekend of workshops and a fabulous show and so much easier to get to than Blackpool. Sadly there were no ATS® workshops so I went for an Indian theme which I chose either for pure fun or hoping to glean a little technique and finesse to improve my ATS® :-
Katie Holland – Bollywood Fusion
Good fun workshop to kick off the Raqs weekend – but included choreography. I don’t like learning choreography as I can never remember it and forget everything as soon as the workshop is over.


Sonia Ocheo – Flamenco Fusion
Bit of a mixup as nobody had been told that we needed to bring fans with veils attached. So there was a lot of time wasted whilst the organisers tried to find the necessary resources for Sonia to teach. Poor girl was so embarassed and wasn’t getting a lot of support in helping to sort things out. Once we did get started the workshop turned out to be a choreography – had I have known I definitely wouldn’t have booked this one. I much prefer learning technique as I find it much more useful.  Some useful bits though with hands, arms and attitude!

Lopa Sarkar – Bhangra Dance Party
Exactly what it says on the tin! Really good fun

Sonia Ocheo – Indian Fusion
Fantastic workshop – I must admit that after the fiasco of the Flamenco workshop I entered this one with some trepidatio but Sonia was just brilliant – loads of technique and information on Odissi. Came away totally inspired. Shame Sonia doesn’t get to show all her dance skills with BDSS – she’s absolutely beautiful to watch

Tamalyn Dallal – Hands & Arms
Although this was totally geared to Egyptian dancers it was easy enough to adapt to my ATS® needs – discreetly at the back! Tamalyn may have wondered what on earth I was doing but I took a lot from this workshop

Moria Chappell – Indian Tribal Fusion
Based on Odissi this workshop repeated a little of Sonia’s workshop but then in true Moria style launched into some heavy duty drilling and stamping. A bit too much chorography for me – again I’d have preferred to have continued with the techniques taught in the first half of the workshop. Really looking forward to next year’s show in which Moria is hoping to incorporate either pure Odissi or some fusion.

Mimi – Chinese Red Fan Dance
Absolutely charming. Unlike any dance I have previously tried. Really enjoyed it and harder than it looks. For once I could remember the choreography and even got complimented on my dance by Mimi!!!

Lopa Sarkar – Classical Indian Dance
Finished off my very Indian influenced weekend with further foot stamping, head wiggling, eye manoeuvres and hand gestures and finished off with a short Indian fusion choreography. This girl has so much energy it’s unbelievable. Great fun.

11 April 2010
Booked a private lesson with Wendy along with Jacqui my lovely dance partner and Heather Dirsuwei (Tribal Angels, South Africa) also visiting SF for Teacher Training for a really fun two hours of Zambra. Wendy is such a wonderful lady with a huge huge heart – I love her to bits. We had our very own workshop of adapting ATS® steps but using our skirts as a prop. Lots of swirling and swooshing – very pretty!

Jacqui and I spent quite a lot of time with Wendy who we had both known when she was living in Dublin. Spent an evening at Little Minsky’s burlesque club where Wendy was performing. A couple of the burlesque artists were truly amazing and really knew how to tease the audience rather than just getting their kit off with little finesse. Wendy danced her inimitable world fusion then relaxed with us and her hubby for a few drinks. Later that week we all went to the local flamenco school to watch the students perform their sevillanas plus a visit to her close friend Kathleen Crowley who  was having a garage sale – not good on the pocket!!! The most incredible thing was that Jacqui and I went out every night to watch a dance performance, whether flamenco, burlesque or bellydance, including Jill Parker at Oshamtea, and all within a 10 minute walk of our hostel in the Mission District, itself only a few minutes walk from the FCBD® studios. San Francisco is just alive with dance.



06 – 13 April 2010

Although I’d already completed GS in 2009 it was good to refresh my memory prior to TT1 and even better to share it with my close friend and dance buddy Jacqui who was also doing GS for the second time. The course itself gives a wonderful opportunity to have any questions one may have about any of the steps answered directly by our master guru. Unless you are lucky enough to be able to regularly attend classes at the FCBD® studio then long distance DVD learning will never give the same perspective as firsthand tuition by one of the FCBD® teachers. There are always things to learn so I would recommend repeating GS whenever you can afford it – especially if it’s in SF where it’s great to have the opportunity of attending classes too – it’s a fantastic experience. Do I get commission Carolena?


06 – 13 April 2010

After all the prepping, rewatching all the DVD’s, learning the names of muscles and reading the recommended booklist, the time had come and I was feeling incredibly nervous. On day 1 Carolena laid out cards each with the name of a step or concept and we had to pick three that we would teach over the next few hours. It was far more nerve wracking teaching my peers, who knew as much if not more than me and in front of Carolena, than teaching in a real life situation. My throat went dry, my voice cracked up, I developed a twitch and then it was over, I’d done it. A new set of cards were laid on the floor and we were asked to select 7 this time. I didn’t want to appear as though I was jumping in to grab the easiest things to teach so hung back on the sidelines waiting for my turn when Anita Lalwani gave me an invaluable piece of advice. She said “you are here to learn so don’t pick the things you are comfortable with, choose the things you are least comfortable with and you will get much more out of it.” So that was how I ended up teaching the last things I would have chosen in a million years. Anita was right and I came away knowing that I could teach those things, I had a new found confidence and best of all some fantastic new friends and a certificate to prove I’d done it.

06 – 13 April 2010
As if doing GS and TT1 wasn’t enough Jacqui and I earned ourselves a reputation amongst the FCBD® girls as being “hardcore”. Well, our philosophy is to take our chances when they come and that’s exactly what we did. So we went to all the classes with Kristine, Suzanne, Kae, Anita and Sandi and booked in some private sessions with Wendy and Sandi and we learned a lot!
We did a lot of sightseeing in between and thanks to LeighAnne we (Jacqui, me, Isabel and Sylvia from Rome) went to a bar 40 minutes out of SF to see Anita, Suzanne and Marsha perform live with Helm. They were joined by the fabulous Deb Rubin who did the most amazing tribal fusion drum solo with Helm. First time I’ve seen a fusion dancer smile so much – really great!