What is ATS®?

American Tribal Style® (ATS®) is a modern form of belly dance with a folkloric look.

In ATS®, women dance together in a group -- duet, trio, or quartet. And the group improvises their dance as they go: Rather than memorizing a choreography, the dancers take turns leading and following, with leaders choosing steps from a vocabulary that all the dancers know.

The ATS® vocabulary combines Middle Eastern belly dance movements with an eclectic assortment of steps, zill rhythms, and costume elements from tribal cultures of the medieval Gypsy migration: North India, Central Asia, North Africa, and Andalusia. We also dance to the music of these cultures rather than to classical Egyptian music.

Folkloric as it may appear, ATS® is a modern style, created by FatChanceBellyDance®, a troupe in San Francisco, California. The troupe's founder and director, Carolena Nericcio, has guided the development of ATS® since the troupe began, in 1987. The dance style is called "American" to signal that it is a modern Western creation, and "Tribal" in reference to its group format and earthy costuming.

Carolena Nericcio, her student and business partner Megha Gavin, and members of FatChanceBellyDance® travel the globe teaching workshops and certification intensives in American Tribal Style®. Carolena has established a world-wide network of FCBD® Sister Studios so that women everywhere can learn this beautiful dance. Nancy Young's Sunroom Belly Dance is one of these Sister Studios.

For more information on Carolena Nericcio and FatChanceBellyDance®, as well as links to performance videos and an on-line store offering fabulous jewelry and costuming, visit http://fcbd.com.