American Tribal Style

What is ATS belly dance? Who are Fat Chance Belly Dance?
We’ve compiled a Youtube playlist of top worldwide inspiring ATS dancers. Enjoy!

Soma offers Tribal Fusion and ATS adult/teen classes (See class timetable) for all levels of dancers and fitness.

If you interested in reading up on Tribal Fusion belly dance then you’re looking for our Tribal Fusion information page.

What is a Sister Studio?

Sister Studio Status upholds a global ideal of community, respect and instruction quality so that students can expect to receive standardized tuition no matter which ATS class they may visit worldwide.

Sister Studios/Teachers do not blend ATS with other styles of dance, tribal or otherwise. They present ATS only, or clearly separate ATS from the other styles of dance they are presenting.

There are currently 3 FCBD ATS sister studios in the whole of South Africa so this is an exciting time for ATS and South Africa.

In the 1980’s the FCBD® ATS® dance style was formed by Carolena Nericcio in San Franscisco.
Carolena refined a montage of different “tribal” elements into what became termed as American Tribal Style ® bellydance and the troupe name Fat Chance Belly Dance ® developed to represent what was going to unknowingly later become a global phenomena.

ATS ® is the inspiration from which Tribal Fusion was born.
There are also many improvised tribal style (ITS) troupes which later formed with a separate set of vocabulary. E.g. Unmata, Gypsy Caravan, Black Sheep Belly Dance.

The concept is simply:

  • Fast music uses a vocabulary of fast movements/combos
  • Slow music uses a vocabulary of slow movements/combos.
  • Dancer formations occur in numbers of 2, 3, 4’s
  • Leader to the front left, followers behind to the right.
  • Leadership changes dynamically throughout a song/set
  • Performers play finger cymbals / zills whilst dancing
  • It requires patience and dedication to learn the vocabulary, endless rewards 🙂
  • Basic performance costuming: zills, pantaloons, large skirt, choli top and/or coin bra

Soma’s ATS department

ATS ® is taught by Nix (See class timetable).

Over 2009 – 2013, Nix has had ongoing training in both Classic and Modern ATS with Fat Chance Bellydance (FCBD, San Francisco), Megha Gavin of Deyvani Dance Company, Phillipa & Jesse of Moirai and Devi Mamak of Australia.
Please see the youtube playlist above for examples of all these stunning dancers

Nix is a member of a dance duet troupe collaboration Ter’zím UK/SA, (Pronounced: Teh-zeem) and has attained FCBD ATS Teacher Training I & II certifications and Sister Studio Status.