Instruction

Class Format

Great News: You’ll never need to wait for a new class session to start: You can start any week, any Level One class that I teach. Yes, you can start immediately!

Classes center around the FatChanceBellyDance® syllabus (as published in 2015) for Level One (and Level One+), Level Two (and Level Two+), and Level Three (and Level Three+).

  • All dancers of all abilities should regularly train in Level One–these are the ATS® Dance Fundamentals. In Level One, you will get a strong grounding in the posture, formations, and families of movement. Currently, classes on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays all focus on Level One and One+ syllabus material.
  • In Level Two ATS® Tribal Combinations, you will expand on the foundational movements with new combos, layers, and formation variations. Put together, Levels One and Two are considered Classic ATS®. Currently, some Sunday classes have been able to work on Level Two material.
  • Finally, Level Three: ATS® Drills and Improv Choreography, goes further into what is called Modern ATS®. Currently, there are no Level Three regular classes on the schedule. However, Level Three can be studied by private appointment.

Each class starts with a warm-up, a drill for playing zills (finger cymbals), and then features technique study for Fast and Slow movements as well as formations. All dancers will learn to both follow and lead the movements, at a pace that matches the dancer’s learning style and pace. Everything is geared for your best success.

New Tuition Options

There are now three different ways to purchase tuition for these classes.

  1. Session Dance card = $10 per class (6-week sessions $60, 7-week sessions $70) 
    BEST VALUE! Buy the whole session for only $10 per class, when you buy all six or seven classes together.
  2. Part-Time Dance card = $12 per class, for 5 classes over the span of 2 sessions ($60)
    FLEXIBLE class scheduling! Buy 5 classes for any week during two sessions.
  3. One-class Drop-in = $15 per class

What to Wear

Although many people dance ATS barefoot, it is not a requirement. Please wear shoes you can move in that are appropriate to the dance surface. Indoor studios may require barefoot or dance shoes (such as ballet, jazz, or modern shoes). Dancing on carpet can be tough on feet, so you might consider socks or dance shoes. Dancing on pavement usually is easier in outdoor shoes. Ensure that you have the support your foot prefers and that you can easily move from flat-foot to tip-toe (or at least heel off the ground).

Dress so that your arms and torso can move easily. Some dancers wear dance or sports tops, t-shirts, tank-tops, or cholis (Indian half-shirts with open backs). You are NOT required to show skin — Modesty is a personal preference. Some dancers always keep their torsos covered, or even their arms (all the way to the wrist). Other dancers display their torsos and backs. Some dancers always keep their armpits covered, but may wear cholis that have short sleeves, open shoulders, and open backs. Please do not feel any pressure about your own comfort level about skin.

In rehearsal, many dancers wear yoga pants, leggings, tights, or comfy pants. Many also wear floor-length tiered skirts (often called 10-yard, 15-yard, or 25-yard skirts), often tucked up at the hip or bustle. Many teachers wear a skirt tucked so their knees are visible, front and back.

My favorite photo of Jameson, EVAR! Just check out the joy on his face!
My favorite photo of Jameson, EVAR!
Just check out the joy on his face!

Sundays in North Hollywood, CA

Madilyn Clark Studios, 10852 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Madilyn Clark Studios

Classes meet at the Madilyn Clark Studios, 10852 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601. Watch the regular schedule to know which studio we’ll be in, week to week. Parking is street parking — and there is a church group from 10 AM to 2 PM. So parking can be tight just before 2 pm.

These are regular tuition-based courses. Payments can be made by cash, check, PayPal, or Square (including tap-to-pay from phones). (“Advance Purchase” can be done in the five minutes before the start of class, if you like.)

Level 1 – ATS® Dance Fundamentals: Sundays 2-3 PM

This syllabus introduces the basic movements of ATS® through instruction and drills. Dancers then use this foundational vocabulary to dance with partners in duet, trio, and quartet formations. Even the most advanced ATS dancer continues to drill Level 1 throughout their dance practice. Zills (finger cymbals) are requested from week three on. Students may bring their own cymbals or may make arrangements to purchase them from the instructor. (Both metal and wooden zills are available for sale.)

Classes at Madilyn Clark Studios are held in various studios with professional wooden dance floors. Bare feet are appropriate or soft dance shoes that do not leave marks. Please check the calendar to see which studio we are in, each week.

Parking for Madilyn Clark Studios is limited along two walls of the building plus adjacent street parking. Observe “No Parking” signs carefully, for example, do not park alongside the black painted wall opposite the studios. 

North Hollywood, CA at Madilyn Clark Studios
Sundays 2-3 PM
  • Classes are held in either Studio C, D, or E. Check the Studio letter for each date.
  • 2018 Session 1: Jan 14-e, Feb 4-e, Feb 11-d, Feb 18-c, Feb 25-d,  Mar 4-d
    (No class Jan 21 or 28) – 6 week session
  • 2018 Session 2: Mar 11-c, Mar 18-d, Mar 25-d, Apr 8-c, Apr 15-d,  Apr 29-d
    (No class Apr 1 or 22) – 6 week session

Meetup for North Hollywood: https://www.meetup.com/American-Tribal-Style-ATS-Belly-Dance-in-North-Hollywood/ – This is optional. You do not need to use meetup to sign up for class.

Madilyn Clark Studios: 10852 Burbank Blvd North Hollywood CA 91601
Click to see the image larger

Mondays in Oxnard, CA

NEMA Bellydance, 1230 Saviers Road, Unit R, Oxnard, CA 93033 (use Oxnard Blvd gate)

NEMA

NEW NIGHT! Now on Mondays!
These are regular tuition-based courses. Payments can be made by cash, check, PayPal, or Square (including tap-to-pay from phones). Dancers with NEMA membership have a discounted class tuition rate, please contact the instructor if you have a NEMA membership. Payments can be made by cash, check, PayPal, or Square. (“Advance Purchase” can be done in the five minutes before the start of class, if you like.)

Level 1 – ATS® Dance Fundamentals: Mondays 7-8 PM

This syllabus introduces the basic movements of ATS® through instruction and drills. Dancers then use this foundational vocabulary to dance with partners in duet, trio, and quartet formations. Even the most advanced ATS dancer continues to drill Level 1 throughout their dance practice. Zills (finger cymbals) are requested from week three on. Students may bring their own cymbals or may make arrangements to purchase them from the instructor. (Both metal and wooden zills are available for sale. Loaner zills are usually available at NEMA for a $1 donation to the studio per class.)

This is a business park with a locked gate. Please plan to arrive at the gate between the designated hours and text 805-218-2312 for admittance. There will be no entry after class start time. There is parking on the street and at the adjoining shopping center next to CVS Pharmacy at Five Points. (If you use 1211 S Oxnard Blvd, Oxnard, CA 93030 on your GPS, you will find the gate on Oxnard between CVS and the Main Tires shop.)

Classes at NEMA are held in a studio with a professional wooden dance floor. Bare feet are appropriate or soft dance shoes that do not leave marks.

Oxnard, CA at Club NEMA Studio
Mondays 7-8 PM
  • New Night! Classes are now on Monday evenings!
  • 2018 Session 1: Jan 22, Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12, Feb 26, Mar 5, Mar 12
    (No class Jan 1, 15, Feb 19) – 7 week session
  • 2018 Session 2: Mar 19, Mar 26, Apr 2, Apr 9, Apr 16, Apr 23, Apr 30 
    – 7 week session

Meetup for Oxnard: https://www.meetup.com/American-Tribal-Style-ATS-Belly-Dance-in-Oxnard/ – This is optional. You do not need to use meetup to sign up for class.

About NEMA

Neighbors Embracing Multicultural Arts is a nonprofit organization located in Ventura County committed to providing a safe and sacred space for girls and women to empower their inner and outer beauty in a way that respects themselves, their families, and their community.

Click to see the image larger
Click to see the image larger

Wednesdays in Agoura Hills, CA

Wild Card Dance Company Studios, 28854 Road Side Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
in the Green Room

wildcard

These are regular tuition-based courses. Payments can be made by cash, check, PayPal, or Square (including tap-to-pay from phones). (“Advance Purchase” can be done in the five minutes before the start of class, if you like.)

Level 1 – ATS® Dance Fundamentals: Wednesdays 7-8 PM

This repeating syllabus introduces the basic movements of ATS® through instruction and drills. Dancers then use this foundational vocabulary to dance with partners in duet, trio, and quartet formations. Even the most advanced ATS dancer continues to drill Level 1 throughout their dance practice. Zills (finger cymbals) are requested from week three on. Students may bring their own cymbals or may make arrangements to purchase them from the instructor. (Both metal and wooden zills are available for sale.)

Classes at Wild Card are held in the “Green” Studio. This floor can leave your bare feet black, you may want to wear dance shoes or bring wipes to clean up before leaving.

The dance studio faces the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, near the Kanan Road exit. The majority of free parking is in the Whizin Market Square, on the “back” side of the building (away from the freeway). Be aware that there are stairs from the parking lot up to the studio. If you need handicap access, park on the freeway side and go around the building (start near the pizza shop and continue left on the back parking lot sidewalk, above the stairs.)

Agoura Hills, CA at Wild Card Dance Studio
Wednesdays, 7-8 PM
  • Classes are held in the Green studio
  • 2018 Session 1: Jan 24, Jan 31, Feb 7, Feb 14, Feb 21,  Feb 28
    (No class Jan 17) – 6 week session
  • 2018 Session 2:  Mar 7, Mar 14, Mar 21, Apr 4, Apr 11, Apr 25
    (No class Apr 18) – 6 week session

Meetup for Agoura Hills: https://www.meetup.com/American-Tribal-Style-ATS-Belly-Dance-in-Agoura-Hills/This is optional. You do not need to use meetup to sign up for class.

Drilling into the sunset
Drilling into the sunset

Private Lessons

Cat has often described herself as the “Gourmet Food Truck of ATS Instruction” in the Los Angeles area, since she can frequently be found driving out to the students who are unable to make it to some of the current ATS instruction conducted by other teachers in the area. If you are interested in arranging a private lesson or workshop, please email cayswann@gmail.com to discuss possible weekday evenings or weekend appointments. Some of Cat’s private students have been in the Valley, in North Hollywood, in Oxnard, and even as far south as Fullerton. Regular studio classes are offered in both Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Currently, there are no Level Three regular classes on the schedule. However, Level Three can be studied by private appointment.

D'vorah and Cat
D’vorah and Cat
CatEllen-Yuska-1484
(photo by Yuska)

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