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. Its 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 its 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. 


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 maximum 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 from 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.



Can I do drop-ins?

With some restrictions, yes. If are an experienced ATS® student (i.e., one of Carrie's former Level II or Level III students), you are welcome to join either course at any time, and Level II students may drop in to Level I. 


However, if it has been a while, or if you only took Level I in the past, we ask that you sign up for the complete series.   



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.  

How long will it take for me to learn?

There is no real answer here. Every dancer learns 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


Will there be a Level III?

Level III classes are on the horizon. We'll keep you updated!   


How about Level IV?



I have previous belly dance experience. Where should I start?

You should start in Level I, 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. 


Level I doesn't work for my schedule, can I start in Level II 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 I 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 I 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 I day/time and still want to learn, we recommend getting a couple of girlfriends together and booking semi-private lessons with the teacher.  


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