Frequently Asked Questions
Classes start and end on time. It is recommended that you get to the studio 10-15 minutes before class starts. Use that time to get dressed if needed, clear your head, stretch, or socialize with your fellow dancers. Please arrive on time and ready to dance. No children without permission from the instructor.
If your question is not answered below, please email us via our contact page, and we will reply as soon as possible.
What is American Tribal Style®?
Tribal Style Bellydance is both a celebration of the female spirit and a physical display of the strength and beauty of women. It's roots can be traced back to the rituals of past matriarchal cultures and to the secular entertainments evolved as the gypsies traveled through India, Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Spain.
There are many styles of bellydance. The most authentic styles are cabaret and folkloric. Other styles have evolved as the dance migrated from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe and the US and back again. FatChanceBellyDance® performs what is referred to as American Tribal Style® Bellydance.
What distinguishes Tribal from other styles of bellydance is the way in which steps, movements, gestures, even costume, are redesigned to suit the common denominator of a group dancing together. The music is selected for it's clarity, the steps for their universal application and yet, whether performed as choreography or improvisation the result is one of simple elegance and rhythmic style. fcbd.com
What should I wear?
At first you should wear something comfortable or similar to what you would wear to a yoga or fitness class. When you want to purchase costuming, we recommend a long skirt, hip scarf or hip shawl, pantaloons or tights, and a choli style top. Barefoot or flat dance shoes only, hair off the shoulders, no blue jeans, no chewing gum.
Can I start with Private Lessons?
We do offer private lessons. For your benefit, it is recommended that if you want private lessons, you book them after completing a 6-week Fundamentals Course.
Where do I get zills?
Finger Cymbals can be purchased through Terri for $18 or found in Anchorage and online. In Anchorage, we recommend purchasing them from Mermaid Imports. Online we recommend, Saroyan Mastercrafts, Tribe Nawaar, or Turqiouse International. A good starter pair of cymbals will cost between $18-25.
How long will it take for me to learn?
There is no real answer here. Every dancers learn at a different pace. Your most valuable tools for success are consistent class attendance and at home practice. You'll have a good understanding of what's going on within a couple of months. We do recommend repetition of the Fundamentals course as often as possible. Fundamentals is the foundation to this dance form and a solid understanding of the material covered will help set you up for success on your dance journey.
Can I move into Level 3?
Level 3 is by invite only. The teacher will invite you to join Level 3 when she feels you are ready for that challenge. Moving into Level 3 is a very big commitment to your dance, your dance sisters, your time, and your finances. Once you are moved into Level 3, you are required to simultaneously repeat Level 1 & 2 for two sessions.
As well, entrance into Level 3 may not permanent. If you are falling behind in your attendance or having difficulties in the class room, the teacher reserves the right to decide to move you back into Level 2 only.
If you do not want to commit to regular attendance, or more than one class per week, it is best to stay in Level 2.
Can I move into Level 4?
Level 4 is by invite only. The teacher will invite you to join Level 4 when she feels you are ready for that challenge. Moving into Level 4 is a very big commitment to your dance, your dance sisters, your time, and your finances, just as moving into Level 3 is. Joining Level 4 means you are also interested in pursuing this dance form on a professional level.
Once you are moved into Level 4, you are required to simultaneously repeat Level 3 for one calendar year.
As well, entrance into Level 4 may not be permanent. If you are falling behind in your attendance or having difficulties in the class room, the teacher reserves the right to decide to move you back into Level 3 only.
I have previous belly dance experience. Where should I start?
You should start in Level 1, Fundamentals. American Tribal Style® has its own movement vocabulary which is very specific. Unless you have ATS® experience with another FCBD® Sister Studio, it is recommended that you start in Fundmentals. This is the foundation to the dance form, and as an experienced dancer, you can appreciate how vital the foundation is to any dance form.
Can I do drop-ins?
YES! You can drop in to Level 1 at any time. It is recommended that you sign up at the beginning of the course. There is review built into each week, so you'll have an idea of what was taught the weeks prior.
If you've completed a level 2 course in the past, you are welcome to join the course at any time.
Level 3 and 4 classes have specific requirements. Please contact Carrie for details.
What happens if I miss a class?
It is recommended that if you are absent, you inquire through the teacher, outside of class time, or a trusted fellow students about the material that was covered during your absence. The class format is listed under classes above. Do your best to study this material during your at home practice with instructional DVDs.
Level 1 doesn't work for my schedule, can I start in Level 2 and follow along?
Unfortunately, no. Your fellow students depend on the fact that you know the material they do, which means you would have completed a Level 1 session. It's not fair to the class as a whole to compensate or to move at a slower pace to accommodate you. There is a wealth of material learned in Level 1 that will set you up for success in your dance. You owe it to yourself to learn the material.
If you absolutely cannot make the Level 1 day/time and still want to learn, we recommend getting a couple of girlfriends together and booking semi-private lessons with the teacher.