Performance: ATS Solo

Photo from my first ATS solo

My first ATS solo

A couple of weeks ago, I was due to make a performance at a local hafla where the guest teacher was from the US, and whom I’d promised I would perform. About a week before the date, my recently sprained ankle started bugging me again, so I decided to switch my planned Fusion performance for an ATS slow solo, since it would allow me to be more careful about foot placement, and would require less travelling. Parts of it were choreographed, parts of it were improvised, parts of it were not ATS at all, but I wanted something a bit closer to the real ATS feel of improvisation this time. And yes, that is the same track I did with a friend at the ATS Residential in January.

As for the costume, I’m wearing my black and silver bra and belt (process explained here), the shrug from Shimmy Sista (now fixed, you can’t see it at all!), and a custom made to measure skirt from Belladonna’s Boudoir, same people that did my pantaloons. The skirt was never supposed to be for dancing, but it was very hot and I couldn’t face the idea of dancing wearing my velvet mermaid skirt. The hip shawl I got used from Ebay ages ago, it’s beaded and has a lovely effect of glittering with dancing, and the weight makes it work better for me than the typical disco-ball inexpensive Chinese ones.

My hair for my ATS solo performance

My hair for the performance

My hair for the performance was done using a hair fall that I made ages ago, twisted and mixed with my own hair, and all twisted again into a bun. I used a couple of hair clips to secure my bangs and side, then a Miao pin to secure the bun, and then a few silk flowers to finish off the look. I’m making another similar hair fall in teals and blues, so stay tune for a tutorial on making them!

The result is in the video below. As usual, better watch it at full size on YouTube, even better at HD.


Ghawaret El Fan Blue Madam Darbouka

Ghawaret El Fan Blue Madam Darbouka

It’s been a while since I’ve done a bit of a general update. The dancing side of things was quite busy; I did a 6 week course with my Suhaila-trained ATS teacher, to learn to dance with zills better; afterwards I started level 4 classes with Hilde in Brighton while she was still running them, I was still doing the local Egyptian practice, and was still doing ATS. Work has also picked up considerably, so basically when I’m not dancing, I’m working; the downside of it is that I’ve had a sciatica flare in the past month, which I *hope* is under control now, but did break some havoc. I also, unluckily enough, got into an accident during a workshop and got another ankle sprained, the right one this time just so I can have both equally screwed up. Yay.

The upside from the accident is that I’ve again had a bit of time to get back into sewing, and to try to work out a work/break routine (again!) that will not make my poor muscles tighten enough to pinch nerves, and that will allow me to do things like practice, stretching and conditioning. Right now it’s mostly for some conditioning, physio for strengthening both ankles, and some drumming, but it’s starting to become habit and it feels good. On the sewing front, I’ve learnt to do shrugs, have done a modified, better fitted version of the ShimmySista shrug in a cool shredded fabric, and a more typical type of shrug, of which I’ll be posting instructions later on, once I can trace down the pieces to offer a pattern.

So what can you expect I’ll be posting soon? More info about upcoming events in the South East, there are new haflas and events happening, offering a lot more opportunities to learn, watch other performers, and why not, perform yourself. Some more sewing when I can do it. Reviews of more DVDs and CDs, and some more writing about my dancing journey. In the meantime, hope you enjoy the ride.

Inspiration: Maraia’s Saidi

I love raqs al asaya, and I love folkloric styles. I know it doesn’t really show much in here, because I talk a lot about fusion and ATS, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy or appreciate the more traditional forms. I also love dancing them, although I really, REALLY cannot jump gracefully enough -or at all, really, and I get sprains at the drop of a hat so I avoid it-, and therefore I don’t really do it in public if I can help it, although I’ve done raqs al asaya performances in years past. And no, I couldn’t jump then either.

I found this performance through a fellow dancer. I really liked it, even if the video quality was low. It was fun and charming, the dancer was enjoying herself, and the folkloric vibe was right on the spot. And for those that want to know the name of the song used, don’t go by the comments on YouTube. The song is available on Hossam Ramzy Presents Gypsies of the Nile, and it’s called “La, La, La Omri Manhounik”

Upcoming Event: ATS World Wide Flash Mob

ATS World Wide Flash Mob logoOctober is rapidly approaching, and with it comes the ATS World Wide Flash Mob, now in its third year. The song used will be Solace’s popular “Bounce”, in a special remix that Solace’s Jeremiah Soto has done for the occasion.

The special remix of Bounce can be listened to and bought at Solace’s Bandcamp mini-site, here:, and it is not only very reasonably priced, and in several looseless formats for the audiophiles that don’t want to pay for an MP3.

And if you want to get some inspiration on how the track can work for ATS, just take a look at the video below, from Ghawazi Caravan.

Inspiration: Katerina Shereen’s Golden Era Oriental Dance

I’ve been posting quite a bit of ATS and Fusion, and I thought it was time to get back to some classic Oriental. Even though I got this video through my ATS teacher. I just loved how elegant this looked, no frantic movements, no manic popping or devilish technique, just good old elegance.


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