Knowledge & Inspiration
Knowledge & Inspiration
Coming Soon! Instructors for Sacred Circles 2018 will be announced in the spring.
Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman is the dynamic founder of the worldwide dance phenomenon called American Tribal Style® Dance.
An early fascination of permanent body adornment lead 8-year old Carolena to request that her Father, Carl, a collector himself, to buy a ring she could "wear always and not take off." This concept evolved into the study of folkloric textiles, a body full of tattoos and a collection of jewelry and textiles from around the world.
The discovery of belly dance led to the creation of her own dance style, American Tribal Style® (ATS®) Belly Dance. FatChanceBellyDance® was founded by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman in 1987 and immediately captured the attention of audiences worldwide with stunning dance performances featuring majestic costuming and layers of tribal jewelry. The music, a carefully chosen collection of both traditional sounds and modern fusion adds to the effect. American Tribal Style® looks old, but it is actually new.
Carolena has compiled a montage of different "tribal" elements into what has been coined American Tribal Style® Belly Dance. ATS® movements are inspired by folkloric dances of the Middle East and India. Aesthetically ATS® is based on the richness of textiles and jewelry from North Africa and India. ATS® is a method of improvisational choreography, using a vocabulary of natural movements and cues allowing the dancers to communicate via gesture and eye contact when dancing together. The effect is vibrant thread drawing the audience into the tapestry.
Currently Carolena directs FatChanceBellyDance® at her studio and resource center in San Francisco, CA. She masterminds the business side of the Nakarali Jewelry Company, co-owned with Colleena Shakti. Students can find classes in San Francisco, via Skype, and soon to arrive On-line Classes. Instruction is further augmented by a collection of instructional DVDs and international workshop travel. Through workshops such as Tribal:Pura with Megha Gavin, Carolena and her FatChanceBellyDance® instructors take ATS® around the globe. In addition to instruction, Carolena provides business consultation in the form of Tribal Counsel and ATS® Troupe Consulting.
When she's not traveling the globe or working at her studio, Carolena enjoys spending time with her partner Loretta Nericcio-Bohlman, exercising, sewing, knitting and reading.
Megha began performing very early in life. She took her first dance classes at about the age of 4 and has been creating and performing ever since. Theatre soon caught her attention and that was her passion throughout her schooling years. It was in 1996 that she discovered American Tribal Style® Bellydance and immediately shifted her focus to this art form.
In San Francisco, Megha studied ATS® with the originator of the style from 1996 – 1998. Upon returning to the Southeast, she began teaching ATS® classes in order to create a community of people to dance with. She was the first to offer these classes in this region and has continued teaching pure ATS® for the last 16 years. She continues to teach and perform at sold out workshops across the country and around the world both individually and on the Tribal Pura tour with her teacher/partner, Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman.
In 2003 Megha completed teacher certification with Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman (creator of ATS® and founder of FatChanceBellyDance®) and entered into an exclusive partnership with her. They now take their love and appreciation of this elegant dance style in its original form on the road to co-teach the technique and artistic vision created by Carolena over the last 25 years.
Megha directs the Birmingham, AL based "Devyani Dance Company."' Under her direction, Devyani has performed at countless theatrical events, festivals, weddings, corporate events and private parties over the last 15 years and has been nominated for multiple cultural and artistic awards.
In January 2014, Megha moved to Dallas, TX and while still directing Devyani, she withdrew from teaching weekly classes and shifted her focus instead to the Tribal Pura International events and offerings with Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman.
When not teaching and performing ATS®, Megha homeschools her daughter and studies plant based nutrition, reiki and essential oils.
Jen McDonald has been studying, performing, and teaching belly dance since 2000. She is a certified teacher of American Tribal Style® and serves as a FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studio. Her certifications include General Skills (2008), Teacher Training (2009), Teacher Training II (2010) and Advanced Teacher Training (2015).As a teachern her goal is the empowerment of students. Using a balance of fun and a thorough step-by-step breakdown of technique, she ensures that everyone is comfortable and confident while they learn. In any of Jen's classes you can expect encouragement, patience and enthusiasm.
Jen directs the professional ATS® troupe, Twisted Gypsy, regularly performing throughout the West Coast. She also directs and instructs the Gypsy Sisters, a performing student troupe, who travel throughout Southern California.
To learn more about Jen, please visit TwistedGypsy.com.
Virginia is originally from Spain, but she moved to the U.S. in 2001, finally settling down in Indiana.
Her belly dance journey began in Ohio in 2005. While taking cabaret classes, she met a girl wearing a tassel belt and she was in awe. She introduced her to the term “tribal”, and she immediately searched the web and found Fat Chance Belly Dance®. She was hooked. She started taking a 3-hour round trip once a week to take classes with Angie Never of Sacred Shimmy in Columbus and then studied with Ann Shaffer of Dark Side Tribal when she moved to Bloomington.
Her passion for ATS® and her desire to share it with others lead her to complete her General Skills certification in 2010 and 2015, and her Teacher Training in 2012, when she also became a Sister Studio.
Since then, she has continued her education attending workshops each year, since she believes in life-long learning. She is honored to be an Advanced Teacher Training graduate and she cannot wait to dance with you!
In addition to belly dance, Virginia teaches yoga, aerial yoga, and Spanish.
Valizan began his journey into Middle Eastern dance in 1995 when he joined The Society For Creative Anachronism, an educational group that learns about the Middle Ages by recreating it. Teachers Rayah Bint Youssef and Moria The Black instilled basic technique, while classes with the sublime Roula Said took him to a new plateau. Current influences include Yasmina Ramzy, FatChance Bellydance, Jillina, Rachel Brice and Francisco Carranza.
He has become a sought after solo performer and teacher for his powerful style and energy. He also heads up his own tribal troupe, Shades Of Araby.
Appearances include Arabesque Dance Company's productions Asala and Oum, Black Forest Tribal Fest in Offenburg, Germany, The International Bellydance Conference Of Canada, Tribalcon, Sacred Circles, Tribal Camp Oslo In Oslo, Norway, Tribal Revolution in Chicago and Face Zenna at the Royal Ontario Museum. He also headlined In The Heat Of The Hafla in Milwaukee, Belly Boo Bash in Dayton, Ohio and The Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY.
He began teaching American Tribal Style® bellydance at Arabesque Academy in 2004, and became an apprentice in the Arabesque Dance Company in November 2005 when he began training in Egyptian Folklore with master teacher Yasmina Ramzy. He was honoured to be a lead dancer in the Arabesque Dance Company, and in the all-male bellydance troupe, The Righteous Rogues Of Raks.
Valizan holds a degree from The Ryerson School Of Journalism, took the Arabesque Academy Pro Course, is the first male to graduate from the FatChanceBellyDance® Teacher Training program and is the first FatChanceBellyDance® Brother studio.
The learning continues...
For more information, visit http://www.valizan.com/.
Krisztina is the founder and artistic director of Czigany World Fusion Dance. Her formal dance training began over 30 years ago with classical ballet and she has been building on that foundation ever since. She has studied many dance styles over the years and combined them all in the formation of Czigany World Fusion Dance.
As a teacher she strives to not only teach a series of steps, but to also show her students the magic that is dance and the freedom it gives them to feel and to express what lies deep within their soul. "Everyone has a beauty inside that is so indescribably brilliant; one that consists of all of their passions, their hopes, their fears, and their dreams. I help my students to get in touch with that part of themselves through dance."
As a performer, Krisztina not only shows you the dance visually, but you can actually feel her become one with the music. You will experience the combination of dance and music in waves of energy and emotion as she paints a picture and creates a breathtaking work of art before your eyes.
Krisztina is Michigan's first Sister Studio to FatChanceBellyDance®, is Advanced Teacher Training Certified, and is an ATS® Sister Studio Continuing Education Instructor. She is also certified in group fitness and holistic fitness, has been teaching since 2001, and is the creator of the ATS® Drill Companion DVD series and the Work that Skirt ATS® Style DVD.
Richard Harper has had a successful career as a hair and makeup artist working on Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours and regional opera companies as well as print work, portrait work and industrial films. He has worked for the Broadway companies of Les Miserables, Grease, Blood Brothers, Kiss of the Spider Woman, My Fair Lady, Cabaret and Sugar Babies, among others, and has been lucky enough to work with great stars of the stage: Vanessa Williams, Carole King, Rosie O'Donnell, Joel Grey, Debbie Allen, Ann Miller, Kim Criswell, Maureen McGovern, Andrea McArdle, Werner Klemperer, Lea Salonga, Regina Resnik, Sharon Lawrence and Kay McClelland. He has received cosmetology licenses in several states, worked as a platform artist and colorist and specializes in wig construction, repair and design.
Rune started his musical career playing trombone and baritone horn at the age of 12, and played low brass with the Wayne State University orchestra for three years. In autumn of 2000, he began studying Middle Eastern percussion and music, and has studied from Oussama Naja, Souhail Kaspar, Raquy Danzinger, Kevin Hartnell, and others.
Rune has performed at local Renaissance Fairs and festivals, Lebanese and Egyptian weddings, Middle Eastern restaurants, the International Arab Festival in Dearborn, MI, Chaldean weddings and henna parties, museum exhibit openings, Pennsic, and other private events. His playing style has been inspired and influenced by his teachers and such performers as Hossam Ramzy, Issam Houshan, Faisal Zedan, and Setrak Sarkissan.
Rune continues to study Middle Eastern percussion and music, participates in the local drumming community, and performs with several local world music bands.
He is available to teach workshops, private lessons, and performances at various events.