Instruction

Class Format

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, there are classes on Sundays and Tuesdays 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®. The syllabus is presented over 12 weeks total, so two sessions are needed to get a full introduction to Level 2. Zills (finger cymbals) are required. Instructor approval needed for Level 2; dancers must be comfortable leading all Level One. Currently, there are Level Two classes on both Sundays and Tuesdays.
  • 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.

When Can I Start Class?

Your best success will be discovered from starting a session on “Week One” and attending every course in the series. However, if you’d like to drop-in mid-session or attend part-time as your schedule allows, please just drop me a line. I can design a study program that will meet your needs. 

Most dancers continue training in Level One Fundamentals for their entire ATS dancing life. Repeating the material is important for both the brand new dancer as well as the most seasoned instructor. If you’re excited to start RIGHT NOW without waiting for the next session to start, just let me know.

How Long Does It Take?

Many dancers find it takes about a year on average in any Level of Instruction (levels one, two, and three) before they feel ready to add the next level. Level One covers four foundation families of moves in Fast and four in Slow, in a repeating syllabus of six-weeks minimum per session. Level Two adds twelve moves in Fast and eight in Slow. It takes two sessions minimum to be introduced to all the Level Two moves. By Level Three, dancers are using up to as many as a hundred different moves, total. Remember my first rule: No Pressure, No Shame.

Tuition Options

There are three different ways to purchase tuition for any of my classes.

Payments can be made in person by cash, check, PayPal, Square, or Venmo (including tap-to-pay from phones). “Advance Purchase” can be done in the five minutes before the start of class or by using PayPal here.

  1. Full-Time Tuition 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 Tuition card = $12 per class ($60) FLEXIBLE class scheduling! Attend any five classes over two consecutive sessions.
  3. One-class Drop-in = $15 per class

All tuition cards can be used at all class locations. For example, if you cannot attend a class during a session in Oxnard but you can make it to North Hollywood, bring your card to class. (Full-time tuition cards are only good for one session. Part-time tuition cards are good for two consecutive sessions.)

Two-Class Discount! For students who have instructor approval to enroll in Level Two (and above), purchase a full-time card for both levels one and two and get a discount on your level one class! 

  • Purchase Full-Time Tuition cards for both Level 1 & 2 (in a 6-week session) – total $105 (save $15)
  • Purchase Full-Time Tuition cards for both Level 1 & 2 (in a 7-week session) – total $120 (save $20)

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 in person by cash, check, PayPal, Square, or Venmo (including tap-to-pay from phones). “Advance Purchase” can be done in the five minutes before the start of class or by using PayPal here.

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.)

Level 2 – ATS® Tribal Combinations: Sundays 1-2 PM

In Level Two ATS® Tribal Combinations, dancers expand on the foundational movements with new combos, layers, and formation variations. Put together, Levels One and Two are considered Classic ATS®. The syllabus is presented in 12 weeks total, so two sessions are needed to get a full introduction to Level 2. [Session 5 will cover weeks 7-12.] Zills (finger cymbals) are required. (Instructor approval needed for Level 2)

About Madilyn Clark Studios

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

ATS® Dance Fundamentals (Level 1 and 1+) from 2-3 PM 

ATS® Tribal Combinations (Level 2 and 2+) from 1-2 PM (Instructor approval needed for Level 2)

  • 2019 Session 2 (March-April): Mar 3 (free class, Studio B), Mar 10 (week 1, Lvl 2 in C, Lvl 1 in B), Mar 17, Mar 24, Mar 31, (no class Apr 7), Apr 14, Apr 21, Apr 28 (open party) Classes are held in Studio C, except where noted.
  • 2019 Session 3 (May-June): May 5, May 12, May 19, Jun 2, Jun 9, Jun 23, Jun 30 (open party). (May 26 and Jun 16: no class) Classes held in Studio C.

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.

Facebook Events for class can be found under Cat Ellen – CaySwann DanceThis is optional. You do not need to use Facebook Events to sign up for class.

Madilyn Clark Studios: 10852 Burbank Blvd North Hollywood CA 91601

Click to see the image larger


Tuesdays in Oxnard, CA

NEMA Bellydance, 108 E 5th Street, Oxnard CA, 93030 (just off Oxnard Blvd)

NEMA

These are regular tuition-based courses.  

Payments can be made in person by cash, check, PayPal, Square, or Venmo (including tap-to-pay from phones). “Advance Purchase” can be done in the five minutes before the start of class or by using PayPal here.

Dancers with NEMA membership have a discounted class tuition rate, please contact the instructor if you have a NEMA membership.

Level 1 – ATS® Dance Fundamentals: Tuesdays 8-9 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.)

Level 2 – ATS® Tribal Combinations: Tuesdays 7-8 PM

In Level Two ATS® Tribal Combinations, dancers expand on the foundational movements with new combos, layers, and formation variations. Put together, Levels One and Two are considered Classic ATS®. The syllabus is presented in 12 weeks total, so two sessions are needed to get a full introduction to Level 2. [Session 5 will cover weeks 1-6, Session 6 will cover weeks 7-12.] Zills (finger cymbals) are required. (Instructor approval needed for Level 2)

Oxnard, CA at Club NEMA Bellydance Studio – Tuesdays

Club NEMA Belly Dance has moved! 🙂 The new studio location is at 108 E 5th Street, Oxnard CA, 93030 (just off Oxnard Blvd). To find the parking lot (in the back), look for 536 S Oxnard Blvd, Oxnard CA 93030. NEMA is the studio next to Casa de Cambio. 

ATS® Dance Fundamentals (Level 1 and 1+) from 8-9 PM 

ATS® Tribal Combinations (Level 2 and 2+) from 7-8 PM (Instructor approval needed for Level 2)

  • 2019 Session 2 (March-April): Mar 5 (free class), Mar 12, Mar 19, Mar 26, Apr 2, Apr 9, Apr 16, Apr 23, Apr 30 (open party)
  • 2019 Session 3 (May-June): May 7, May 14, May 21, Jun 4, Jun 18, Jun 25 (May 28 and Jun 11: no class)

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.

Facebook Events for class can be found under Cat Ellen – CaySwann DanceThis is optional. You do not need to use Facebook Events 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.


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)