American Fusion Style

American Fusion Style (ATS®) is a modern style of dance invented by FatChanceBellyDance® Director Carolena Nericcio in San Francisco, USA and involves a blend of bellydance, Ghawazee zill (finger cymbals) playing, and Spanish arm work.

The word "Tribal" has no relation to any First Nations People, but is used as an adjective to help describe the way the style is danced as a cohesive group following a lead dancer. It has an old world, tribal/folkloric feel, and has flourished as a style around the world.


Why is it a good style to learn?

American Fusion Style (ATS®) Belly dance is an excellent discipline for developing beautiful technique and confidence. This style involves learning many set sequences that can be put together in whatever order the lead dancer chooses. The rest of the group follows cues that are built into the end of each sequence indicating what sequence will follow. An essential part of the process is that the leadership rotates giving every dancer an opportunity to lead.


Where does it come from?

The style emerged from a rich history of dance in San Francisco, with the genre of ATS® first formally put together in 1987 by Carolena Nericcio, Director of FatChanceBellyDance. Since then ATS® tribes have formed around the world, creating their own unique dialect based on ATS® format, and also creating new forms of group improvisational style dancing.

American Fusion Style

What is different about ATS® class?

ATS® is a non-competitive dance form and our tribe fosters positivity and mutual encouragement. Be a part of something magical, mysterious, powerful and deeply feminine? Join me in a small group setting where you will be introduced to the fundamentals of tribal bellydance, its basic vocabulary, and how it all fits together to dance improvisational style. This dance form is as much about mindful presence, as it is about joy, technique, and creating a sisterhood through trust and support.


What do I need for class?

A positive attitude, a smile, a wink, and gentleness! And a bottle of water. This dance style is done either barefoot or with dance slippers. For the foundational classes any type of leggings or harem pants are good, also any type of scarf (without coins) to tie around your hips. It is recommended to wear a tight-fitting top, or choli so movements through the chest and back are visible. As classes progress, you may also want to purchase a pair of finger cymbals (zills). We can make some suggestions about where to find the tribal variety of zills.


When and where is class?

To find the latest class details, including start dates please contact us. Weekly classes currently take place at the Studio on Saturday mornings, and we also run Beginner workshops from time to time.