Written by Kelli the Great

Monday, February 2, 2015

In the Beginning: What is ATS (R)?

"Let's start at the very beginning, A very good place to start...." from Do, Re, Mi/Sound of Music

Most of you are probably asking yourself one very simple question: What exactly is ATS (R)? The short and simple version is this: It's a type of belly dance performed in a group in which we use movements, head turns and hand or arm motions as cues in order to dance together. There is no verbal communication, it's entirely done through dancing and is entirely improvisational. What is amazing about this is that it can be done with anyone in the world who knows the ATS(R) vocabulary; even if you don't speak the same language you can still dance together.

A fantastic explanation provided by the Fat Chance Belly Dance (R) website may be found here.

Why does this pertain to me you might be asking yourself? I highly recommend that you understand the roots of what ATS(R) is and where it came from. Once you have an understanding for the history behind it this will help you to better relate to the dance form. FCBD (R) has a very special brand and the founder and creator of ATS(R), Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman, created this global phenomenon that is literally taking the world by storm.

               Fat Chance Belly Dance (R) at Tribal Fest 2013, photo (c) Lee Corkett Photography (image found here

- K

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Welcome to my ATS (R) Adventures!

Hi there. My name's Kelli. My sisters deemed me "Kelli the Great" and it just stuck with me. I started this blog to document my adventures as I begin working more intensively in ATS (R). I hope you will join me on my travels and exploration of this dance form and all it has to offer. This is a shot of me all decked out in my 'dancer look'.

Here are the basics about me:
- I've been dancing since I was able to walk (but then again who hasn't?). Ballet, tap, jazz, modern, you name it.
- I started taking belly dance classes when I was about 14 years old. I got started by accident and went from there (but that's a story for another time).
- I've taken a lot of different belly dance styles ranging from cabaret to folkloric, tribal to fusion and more.
- I first found out about ATS (R) when I was 19 years old. I was entranced by a dance form in which people from all over the world could come together and dance because they knew the same language.
- I continued on the path of Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS) but never lost my love for the original concept of ATS(R).
- In October 2012 I relocated to the City by the Bay and began studying at the mothership itself (Fat Chance Belly Dance Studio).
- I now am a member of the FCBD (R) Studio troupe, Blue Diamonds Belly Dance and am working towards getting my certification to be able to teach ATS(R).

Some random facts about me:
- I sing, play the guitar, act and do other types of performance art.
- I love working on art projects, especially painting.
- I rock out in the car with the music blaring.
- I'm actively involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism (or SCA for short).
- I have a fantabulous family and two furr-babies who own my soul.
- I love the color blue.
- Red is my power color.
- I'm left handed.

- K