I've blogged once about how some people consider "Tribal Fusion" to have sprung from an anonymous hole from the face of the Earth. I feel that having this certification really sets me apart from the rest of the Tribal Fusion dancers. I love doing Tribal Fusion, but if I have a serious troupe who really wants to do it ATS style, I might want to withdraw from both Oriental (either folkloric or modern) and Tribal Fusion, and just do it ATS style. And by ATS, I mean FatChanceBellyDance format.
Teacher Training 2: Carolena Nericcio & Sandi Ball
It's just amazing that both of these women were actually knitting when listening to us and giving complete feedbacks. KNITTING! And they didn't lose a beat in answering. Ms. Nericcio confessed that her brain works like a shark: if it doesn't move, it sinks down and dies. So, she knits. If she doesn't do anything, she'll just go blank.
From 11 AM to 5 PM, we sat there, fourteen of us (two teachers, eleven participants, and one translator), talking about starting up dance schools, avoiding confrontational competition with other teachers and "teachers" of ATS in proximity, burning bridges, motivating students, overcoming problem students (this one was the longest discussion and generated the most ideas).
Needless to say, Ms. Nericcio is not only a diplomat but also a savvy businesswoman. I mean, this lady started from scratch and went all the way to the top of the game and accomplished so much, not in a nick of time, but over time, through dedication and hard work.
I can truly see what began as a rough concept and draft of ATS, has actually become a sophisticated format of dance with standardized terminology and codifications that are used around the world by sister studios and those certified to teach ATS. One can only learn so much from her experience.
And this sophisticated art of movement, a contemporary, more modern style of bellydance that actually looks more antique than other genres, brings together people from different parts of the world that don't really speak the same language. We had Americans, Canadians, Taiwanese, Puerto Rican, Italian, and Indonesian in the class.
One thing that really touched my heart was how Ms. Nericcio and the rest of the participants (especially those who also took the General Skills workshop with me) said that I totally knew how to behave in class: a room filled with women, many of whom bared their bellies. It has been hard for me to fit in, let alone have friends, so that compliment just blew me away.
Later, when we were handed out our diplomas, I was informed that I was the second male to earn the three certifications.
And that makes me the first Indonesian to be certified to teach the one and only American Tribal Style (ATS) bellydance by the often imitated never duplicated FatChanceBellyDance (FCBD), the source of all things Tribal.
But I'm just not gonna brag about it...