Frequently Asked Questions

What is ATS - Tribal Fusion - Contemporary Fusion?


American Tribal Style® belly dance (ATS®) is a group improvised dance based on a set vocabulary of steps. It was created in San Francisco in the mid-Eighties by FatChanceBellyDance® director Carolena Nericcio and is a fusion of Middle-Eastern and North African dance with other folk styles, such as Flamenco and Indian dance.

The class has currently only level 3 available, as well as a level 2 jam. If you are new to this style, we suggest that you come to Tribal Fusion level 1 where we also will cover basic ATS®  movements. Charlotte teaches monthly workshops in ATS®  level 1 and 2 also.

Tribal Fusion:

With its roots in ATS® and American Cabaret, Tribal Fusion is a hybrid dance style originated from San Francisco. Eclectically combining elements of street dance, flamenco and contemporary dance, Tribal Fusion is a constantly evolving art form.

Using body isolations to express the music, the embodiment of the musical layers is key in this art form: from percussive to melodic. Contrasting dynamic movement from liquid undulations to sharp hip drops are characteristic to this unique style of dance.

There are two levels of this class, and it is taught both in London and in Brighton.

Contemporary Fusion:

This is Hilde's signature fusion style drawing from her experience in release based contemporary dance, Silvestre technique, jazz, hip hop and tribal fusion. Each week we will start with a Silvestre warm up, followed by focus on articulations of the spine, tendu and plie exercises borrowed from jazz and contemporary dance, tribal fusion and hip hop isolations and travel sequences, working towards an end sequence at the end of the class. From September 2016 there will be two levels available for this class. This class is only taught in London.

What to wear during class?

The main thing is that you feel comfortable in what you wear. Something that you can easily move/dance in and is not restricting you during stretching.

In order to receive helpful feedback it is recommended not to wear baggy clothing, as it's hard to see the contours of the body and therefore give adequate corrections/suggestions for improvement. What works well are some leggings with a fitting top and maybe a short skirt, a belt or a hip scarf to accentuate the hip movements. The knees need to be visible so I recommend not to wear long skirts

For Bellydancing: some people like to wear coin belts, which is absolutely fine, although you might want to remove the belt during stretches, as the coins might be uncomfortable during any stretches on the floor.

We usually dance barefeet, however there's some people that prefer to wear dance shoes such as jazz shoes or ballet shoes (no outdoor shoes allowed in the dance studio). Foot undeez are also often worn and can be helpful to stop the feet from slipping etc.

Who can join the class?

Classes are open to anyone that is 16 years or above. Please note that level 2 and 3 of both ATS® and Tribal Fusion involve stretches that are aimed at people with able bodies. Level 1 ATS® and Tribal Fusion is a little more gentle, so might be more suitable for people with less able bodies. If you are unsure of which level is suitable for you, feel free to email Hilde for more information.

Anyone above the age of 16 can join class, regardless of gender, size, dance background,...

If you are concerned about taking up a dance class due to health reasons, please contact your GP for guidance.

Which level is suitable for me?

If you have never done ATS® or Tribal Fusion, it is recommended that people take level 1 in ATS® or Tribal Fusion first. Depending on progress, people might want to move to level 2 after a 6 week term or might wish to take up level 1 again. If you are unsure, speak to your teacher at the end of the class so she can give you guidance on what will suit you best.

If you have some Oriental Dance or Tribal Fusion dance experience you might find level 1 Tribal Fusion too basic and might want to go to level 2 straight away, however, if you've never studied with Hilde before you might find her style very different than what you are used to. Either way, once a level is decided, one can always move up or down a level.

Are pregnant women allowed to join the class?

If you are pregnant or have given birth in the last 3 months and you've never done ATS® , Tribal Fusion or Contemporary Fusion before, it is not recommended to start class until after at least 3 months after you have given birth. If you have previous experience in ATS, Tribal Fusion or contemporary fusion, you can continue your practice. However (especially during the first trimester) it is recommended to stay away from certain movements, such as any sharp hip work as well as shimmies. During the third trimested as well as the first 3 months after labour you are strongly advised to avoid deep hip openers during any stretches that are done in class.

Every case is different however, so always contact your GP first regarding any concern to start class.

What happens if I miss a class?

If you miss a class due to illness or holiday, you may catch up the class you missed on a different day during the week, or catch up during the weeks before or after the class you missed, as long as it is within the same course. Please note that if you miss a class of duration 1 hour, you may not catch up with a class of duration 1h15', unless you pay and extra £2 at the beginning of the class.

Classes are non refundable however and classes cannot be transferred to the next course.