I Hate It When I Disappoint Myself

Northside Tribe spent the last several months preparing for our big student show, Bellies for Babies, in collaboration with Jahara Phoenix dance troupe and Sherar, their student troupe. Saturday night, July 12, all three troupes took over the Dancing Goats Theater in John’s Creek to benefit the March of Dimes. I performed in three group numbers — two of our troupe’s choreographies, the Jedi Saidi to the Star Wars “Cantina” song and our new “Shashkin” tribute to John Compton and Hahbi ’Ru, plus our first ever troupe ATS® performance. With trepidation, I agreed to perform a solo by polishing up the improv I …

27 Reasons (Plus a Few of My Own) to Love ATS® Bellydance

I ran across the original list given here by Cherie Dawn on her website, Cherie Dawn Loves Fire. Dancing barefoot 20-yard skirts Tapping into mysterious roots of feminine movement Using ankle bells, coin belts and coin bras to contribute to the music/percussion Attending classes to learn new combinations Bindis and tribal markings Earthy, heavy drum beats Incredible melodies from string and wind instruments Community – close/local and national Individuality through personal costuming The spirituality, akin to yoga practice (the focus/be here now) Zils Sword work Sweat Haflas Sewing miscellaneous jewelry onto belts and tops to create costuming Ankle bells Playing …

What Is ATS®? — another view

Sam Brenneman posted this today in the Fat Chance Belly Dance group on Facebook. I loved it so much I had to share it. …just for the record: American Tribal Style® bellydance is a subculture of the general bellydance culture. It tends toward an American stance in a number of areas, one of which is a foundation of feminism, woman power, acceptance; we do not discriminate based on body type, age, or even gender. We do everything we can to accommodate people with disabilities. We are very much about the joy inherent in dance, not so much about a glitzy …

MidSummer in Athens Part III — ATS® Basket Dance

(Read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already) Ah, ATS®, familiar territory after four months of classes with Lacy & the intensive General Skills workshop. But what is this? Baskets with it?? Yes, baskets. Jaki Hawthorne, director of Jahara Phoenix Dance Company in Lawrenceville, has adapted some of the traditional moves and added a couple of new ones to allow you to create improvisational choreography with a basket on and off your head, and she was in Athens to share it with us. First, you have to have the right kind of basket, wide and shallow. Jaki recommended a basket around …

ATS® General Skills Day 4 — The Finale

Day 4 opened at the usual time with a very welcome yoga mini-session to get everyone good and stretched out for the morning’s rather strenuous agenda of laybacks and floorwork. We were all cautioned that working on these moves was strictly optional and that anyone with Issues should NOT attempt anything that might hurt them! The ensuing discussion of anatomy convinced me that I MIGHT be able to do a layback with plenty of work on my hip flexors first, assuming my vertebrae are rounded rather than squared. However, there is going to be very little floorwork in my future …

ATS® General Skills Day 3

By the end of Day 2 my brain was full to the point of exploding, but we were only halfway done!! Fortunately, Day 3 started with some familiar steps, the head slide and rib rotation (which I know from earlier classes as chest circle). To that we added the beautiful and graceful camel walk step, which to my amusement is nothing like the classical cabaret camel — just to show how nomenclature can really confuse one! Following that we learned about belly rolls and flutters. I had a prior workshop on just those, but this day the light bulb actually …

ATS® General Skills Day 2

On Day 2 we jumped right in to zills, ATS® style. Hmmm. Zills I can handle, if that’s ALL I have to handle. I can play the ATS® R-L-R pattern all day long, or at least until my wrists drop off. I can even walk with it. But with ATS®, whenever you are doing a “fast” move, you are zilling. At least there is ONE primary zill pattern, triplets (R-L-R or Dum-tek-tek) played with most moves, and one supplemental pattern, Military, (R-L-R R-L-R R-L-R-L-R-L-R) played with two specific moves. Then rarely there is the Moroccan 6/8 pattern of R-l-r-L-r-l played …