Cat Ellen is a FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studio, an American Tribal Style® (ATS®) bellydance certified instructor. CaySwann Dance is her virtual studio for instruction and performance.

Cat Ellen

Cat’s primary goal is to bring a fun and personally fulfilling bellydance experience to as many people as possible, both fellow dancers and audience members. As a group, improvisational dance form, ATS® can be the most elaborate game of follow-the-leader you have ever experienced. But beyond the dance vocabulary of movement, formations, cues, and flow, Cat hopes to empower dancers to embrace movement without shame, fitness for all sizes, and the joy and beauty in the community we build in which our job is to make everyone look good.


Cat first found ATS in 2010 in Los Angeles. Enrolling first in one, then two, then as many classes as she could per week, Cat threw herself into learning ATS as quickly as possible. That first fateful class, she had only two thoughts the entire hour: “I have to teach this some day” and “When do I get to put my arms down?”

After several years studying and two years performing in a student troupe, Cat branched out on her own to pursue certification from Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman, the founder of FatChanceBellyDance®.

Cat earned her General Skills certifications in April 2013 and her Teacher Training in October 2014. She is a fully recognized FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studio and ATS® Certified Instructor, and has been SSCE Re-Certified in January 2016.


Personal Philosophy

There are two key philosophies that Cat brings to her instruction. The first concept is “No Pressure, No Shame.” One reason she loves ATS so much is that it can be extremely inclusive of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities. Secondly, each of us has “This Body on This Day.” If you need to miss a class, that’s okay. There’s no shame in that. Perhaps your car broke down, or you got stuck in traffic, or you caught a cold, or a loved one needs you. No Shame. And there’s no point in stressing out that you no longer have the body of your youth, or you’re recovering from surgery, or you are battling exhaustion or other ailments. You have this body on this day, so what do you plan to do with your body? If you come to class, you’ll be encouraged to move within the best abilities of your body on this day. And hopefully you can have fun while doing so.


About the Trademarks

FatChanceBellyDance®, FCBD®, ATS® and American Tribal Style®, are federally registered trademarks of FatChanceBellyDance, Inc. For more information, please visit fcbd.com/about/legal-policy/.