rhiannyn began belly dancing in a Tribal Gypsy Fusion based class in Sept 2006. In the summer of 2007, she had the opportunity to drop in to a Tribal Fusion class in Vancouver, taught by Lava. This was a pivotal turning point in the direction rhiannyn would pursue on her belly dance path. Another opportunity arose early in 2008, when she took two workshops with Martina Crowe-Hewitt. That Spring jump-started the long, difficult training in Tribal Fusion with Lava and Martina, two very experienced instructors in Vancouver, BC.
Two years into her training, Martina and Tonje, two instructors from Vancouver, decided to bring Carolena Nericcio, Director of FatChanceBellyDance®, up for an American Tribal Style® Intensive weekend. [yes, rhiannyn signed up, because basically she signed up for every tribal style workshop that was offered. Because, yes, she is officially a belly dance addict]. Carolena's ATS® Intensive was a challenging workshop. BUT, it was a hardcore *fall in love with ATS* situation, and she loved Carolena's teaching style, which is brilliant.
Sadly, though, no one was teaching ATS® in the Vancouver area at that time, so it was a one shot deal. rhiannyn carried on with the frantic tribal fusion pace, taking workshops with Sharon Moore, Tonje Olson, Lava, Martina Crowe-Hewitt, Sharon Kihara, Samantha Emmanuel, Moria Chappell, Ariellah, UNMATA, and Rachel Brice. However, because Popping 'n Locking 'n Hipping 'n Hopping 'n Spinning 'n Spinning .... 'n Spinning, left a 58 year old rhiannyn feeling ludicrous as a dancer, and feeling somewhat incapable, a decision needed to be made: to quit, or not to quit, that was the question. Her fellow dance-mates supported her, and tried to help, but it seemed futile.
It's interesting how life plays out. No sooner had rhiannyn made up her mind to quit, a miracle happened. Diane Macdonald - Daughters of Devi, and Tonje Olson - Belly Belly Hip, started teaching ATS®. ATS® was to be rhiannyn's last effort at making a go of belly dancing.
And so far.... SUCCESS. :)
Not that ATS® is easy by any stretch of the imagination, it isn't. The good news was that it doesn't require you to spin in one beat, every 7 seconds, nor does it require learning choreography. Double bonus. It allows for everyone to do what they are able to do, and not what they are not able to do. Improv RULES ;)
rhiannyn completed Carolena's General Skills Certification in January 2010, and then in July 2010, she made the trek to San Francisco to study rigorously at the FatChance® studio with various FCBD® troupe members, and with Carolena. It was a dream come true taking Levels 1-3, being able to sit in on Performance Prep classes, and taking three private lessons as well. More training and certifications are on the horizon, and the love affair blossoms.
rhiannyn continues to study extensively in ATS® with local teachers Tonje Olson of Belly Belly Hip, and Stephanie Lafreniere of StephanieDance, as well as travelling to farther destinations for specialty ATS® workshop events, such as Cues & Tattoos, in Seattle.
ATS® is beautiful. It truly embodies the spirit of sister/brother-hood, camaraderie, and *interdependance* ~ pardon that little play on words ;)
Being able to share this dance with other ATSers is a joy. Being able to give this dance to new ATS® adventurers is a blessing.
It is very much a humbling, and yet rewarding, experience being part of this extensive, worldwide family of dancers.
A 60 year old, belly dancing 'n flamenco chica. I'm all over people that inspire me... in a good way!!
Marilyn Smith: Currently training gingerly at home after an injury [non-dance related], is on a Leave of Absence from the troupe while she sorts out the back issues.
Dance gives me joy. When I dance I am connected to the music, the moment, and the Divine; I can celebrate my body?s relation to itself and others, to time, space, and movement. When we dance as a collective, we are experiencing the sacred.
Like many, my bellydance journey started with an introductory class at the local community centre. I have stayed with Bellydance because it honours the feminine; it enables women to accept and celebrate themselves, regardless of their size or age.
American Tribal Style® bellydance is the epitome of confidence and grace. From my first workshop I was fascinated and challenged with the lead and follow nature of ATS® and its improvisational style. To truly dance with other dancers and engage in a symbiotic relationship is a delight. Collectively, we are able to create a unique, organic moment while simultaneously celebrating our individuality.
I am honoured to be a member of Tribaleyez Belly Dance Troupe. My sisters in dance are talented, witty, supportive, and fierce. I look forward to growing as a dancer and a member of this juicy troupe.
My dance journey began as a night out with a friend. Although the classes were fun and provided some exercise it was not something I was serious about until I saw an ATS® group. There was something about this earthy form of bellydance that drew me in and really spoke to me.
This has been one of the most empowering journeys of my life. My sense of self-worth and confidence has and will continue to grow through the power of this wonderful art form called American Tribal Style®.
What can we say about Molly, our newest troupe member... well, she's a little monkey, but we love her. She loves getting dressed up!! Practicing her FCBD moves with the help of anyone who wants to give her a 'hand' is one of the funnest things you'll ever see. Molly recently attended the workshops in Seattle with Kristine Adams of FatChanceBellyDance, so far, that is the highlight of her dance career. She plans on practicing hard for her next workshop with Carolena Nericcio on Sept. 16th, 2012. Molly will definitely bring a smile to your face.