Zil Cubbies, what they are and why you need them.
Zil Cubbies are a patent pending design available here:
To welcome Spring I thought it would be nice to focus on grounding and centering, so follow me through a short ATS® dance segment that will help you balance your Root Chakra.
that Skirt – ATS® Style:
An ATS® movement dialect for skirt created by Krisztina Clark with extensive consultation and creative input from Carolena.
I have been dancing for most of my life and teaching ATS®, World Fusion, Turkish and Roma styles of Belly Dance for over 15 years. ATS® was the first style of dance I taught, but with no tribe to perform with as I was the only one in the area doing ATS® at the time, I performed mostly solo Fusion and Turkish Roma styles with theatrical skirt dancing taking a front seat in many of my performances. As a result I quickly became known for my skirt technique and had many requests for classes so I started teaching a class focused on skirt technique.
Developing the dialect:
Even though I have developed a movement dialect for ATS®, I am very much a purist at heart. With that in mind, it was very important to me that this dialect kept true to all the ATS® standards; keeping the ATS® posture, keeping the steps as close to the originals as possible, only adding skirt to steps when the skirt would enhance the step, and never adding it to steps where it would add nothing, or worse, detract from the original step.
What makes it unique:
I have been asked what makes the Work that Skirt ATS® Style dialect different from other skirt dialects. I have not studied any others and actually made it a point to not even watch video of any other skirt performances during the time I was adapting my skirt steps into the ATS® dialect so that I would not be influenced by anything anyone else was doing. Since solidifying and filming the instructional DVD for the Work that Skirt ATS® Style dialect several years ago, I have seen a few live performances and noticed that there are a few unique differences, especially in the way the Arabics and Egyptians are performed in the Work that Skirt ATS® Style dialect.
The other thing that I think makes it unique is that I worked closely with Carolena in developing this dialect. Throughout the course of working with her, some of the steps were changed from the way I had originally done them with a more Romany flare to more closely fit within the ATS® framework, making her input in developing this dialect invaluable. There is nothing quite like having someone to not only bounce ideas off of, but who is in the unique position to know the ins and outs of the entire vocabulary.
Work that Skirt ATS® Style on a global scale:
Skirt-work adds such a fun and sassy element that you can’t help but get lost in the dance and just live in the moment in total dance bliss. I love to see all of the dancers who have studied the Work that Skirt ATS® Style dialect, either by DVD or in workshops with me, performing it with their troupes. It is amazing to see something that you dreamed up come to life in others and to see the incredible joy they feel as they are doing it.
The future of the dialect:
The Work that Skirt ATS® Style instructional DVD was released about two years ago now, but the dialect has continued to grow. I am working on filming Work that Skirt ATS® Style Duets and Work that Skirt ATS® Style Slow Vocabulary.
My mentors <3
I am so very thankful to be blessed with such amazing teachers whom I have had the pleasure to work closely with over the years. They added so much to both the development of this dialect and my background in ATS® and theatrical skirt-work, Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman and Artemis Mourat. I wouldn’t be the dancer I am today without them and this dialect would have never been created.
back in the next few weeks for a video preview of the slow dialect, a
new fast step that isn’t on the DVD, and a detailed look at the arms
in the Egyptian. And as always feel free to contact me with any
questions you have and keep sending video of your troupe performing
with your skirts. :)
Ever wonder how the ATS® Drill Companion DVD series came to be, what makes it a unique learning tool, and what goes into the production of each DVD?
I first presented the my idea to produce the ATS® Drill Companion to Carolena in spring of 2013. I wanted to provide a tool that dancers of all skill levels could use in their daily practice to help them take their dancing to the next level.
As a lifelong dancer who started in ballet I had learned that repetition, having a strong foundation and practicing the basics on a regular basis all lead to successful growth and progress. I also knew that you should go back to the base step whenever building on to it for ease of learning the new additions.. The main aspects are: drilling each step individually for three minutes, starting with the basic steps and adding on the variations, filming from the duet position in the mirror so the dancer can follow along exactly as they would in a formation, staying within one family per DVD, chaptering each step individually for ease of finding, labeling each step with a reference as to where to find the instruction on the FBCD® Tribal Basics DVD, and including longer drills that combine each level of steps in the family and ending with an even longer drill that includes all steps in the family.
Unique Learning Tool:
Part of what makes the ATS® Drill Companion DVD series a unique learning tool besides the format is what goes into making each DVD. Before I film each DVD, I meet with Carolena and we go over the outline and I present each step to her. She then works with me on my technique on each and every step to make sure I am presenting it as close to the FCBD® standard as possible. I then set a filming date and film each individual three minute step drill. Next Carolena and I go over all of the footage and if there are any parts of any steps that are not being executed correctly, we make a list and re-shoot those steps. We then repeat the process going over the film of the re-shoots of the individual steps. From there we film the extended level and all level combo drills for that family. When I feel it is finally ready (I am a bit of a perfectionist, so that part is difficult) and I have Carolena’s final approval on the content, we then publish the DVD.
Producing a DVD:
I am only going to go into this briefly here as I could write an entire paper on how to produce an instructional DVD. I will make another post about the actual production of a DVD, including both instructional and drill. But basically after you have your project plan, including your outline, music with proper rights to use, and filming set up you are ready to start. Having done both instructional and drill DVD’s, I have to say they are done in completely different ways. Instead of going into the actual production I thought I would share with you some challenges of making the drill DVD’s:
*staying in a very small space while keeping the angles to the camera correct,
*sometimes dancing on a different angle or moving in a slightly different way than usual to make sure it presents correctly on camera (this is fun for my muscle memory)
*maintaining energy, posture and correct movement for the entire drill (those drills are not edited, if I mess up I start over).
*filming for a DVD is nothing like performing except for being in the hot lights and butterflies in your stomach :) and there can be no fans running as the noise distorts the sound
Conclusion of the Project:
This project is going on four years now and is coming to an end soon with the release of the final DVD which will be a two disc set containing the entire slow vocabulary this spring. This has definitely been a long but amazing journey and one that I am very happy I decided to take. I have learned more about myself as a dancer and teacher, my personal technique has grown by leaps and bounds as I have gotten the unique pleasure to pick apart each and every step (and I love details) with Carolena, and during that process I have learned how to watch for those details when teaching others.
As with all labors of love, the culmination of this project is bittersweet, I will be happy to have accomplished it but sad that it is done. I suppose that means I will have to move on to my next project soon. Wonder what that will be? I am sure it will be dance related as that is my passion and I can’t sit still for too long.
As a dancer, it is important to warmup and stretch all of the muscles we use and we sometimes forget about some of the smaller, but very important ones. This video has a few forearm and hand warmups and stretches that can help you prepare to play your zils while dancing.