23 August 2013

From Megha's perspective

Hello friends, Megha here.  I'm writing from our cute little apartment in Vancouver to let you all know that everything is fine.

There seems to be a lot of concern and confusion over Carolena's latest Fireside Chat where she announced the changes taking place at FCBD®.  Many people have said they are sorry to hear of her health issues and sad that the troupe is being disbanded.  I think her message wasn't received clearly by everyone so I thought I would jump in and try to shed some light on the situation from a different perspective.

First of all, Carolena's health is fine. She is happy and healthy and really excited about her upcoming wedding.  She (both of us really) just meant to say that all of the traveling has been exhausting and she was feeling it's toll on her body.  The smart thing to do is take care of herself to make sure she stays healthy and able to dance and teach for a long time.  The slow down in travel is simply a preventive measure rather than running herself into the ground and creating a situation whereby she would no longer be able to do this amazing thing that she does.

Regarding disbanding the troupe, it's actually an expansion rather than a destruction.  The idea is simply to allow all level 3 students the opportunity to qualify for a gig and make it more of a community based experience rather than a closed group.  This idea encompasses the basic nature of ATS as being all-inclusive.  There's no reason to fear that FCBD® is going anywhere.  The studio is still open and going strong, the company is well intact and the performance opportunities are now available to more dancers.

So, let's all celebrate this step forward for FCBD® and continue to share in the excitement that is ATS®!

With love in dance,


15 August 2013

addendum to {fireside chat} 11 Aug 2013, part one

While things are changing at the Studio,  FatChanceBellyDance® stands strong; the studio is open, the merchandise is available, all workshops will proceed as planned, on-going classes are still on-going, Carolena is here, rested and inspired and waiting to talk with you.
Thanks for your support.

11 August 2013

{fireside chat} 11 Aug 2013, part one

Past, Present, and Future: The Only Constant is Change
A few months ago I was on a plane, bound for a ten-day intensive.  I found myself wrangling with my conflicted thoughts. I picked up a pen and began to write. When I came out of my trance, I read: “I want to disband the troupe and work as a consultant.” I was shocked at my own transmission,  but for the first time in a long while, I felt completely free. And I knew what I had to do.
The Past: I am 52 years old. I have been dancing for 38 years. American Tribal Style® is 25 years old. The FatChanceBellyDance® Studio has been open for 13 years, and I have been traveling around the world to teach and guide ATS dancers for the last six years. When I came home at the end of 2012, I could barely walk. I had arthritis, a torn meniscus, bursitis and menopause. It took a few months to get myself back on my feet, both literally and figuratively. I had been in denial about the need for a change in my agenda. Some members of the troupe have been involved with FCBD® since the 1990s. This group did a lot for FatChanceBellyDance®. They  helped me keep the studio open when I started taking ATS® and Tribal:Pura on the road with Megha Gavin in 2006; they taught almost all the classes, especially Level One and Level Two, the classes from which I most needed a break; they were aces at nailing a concept for a show (small show or big show, no problem) and could set the stage on fire. I would come back into town and they would present me with a concept: the music, the intention, the costumes. We would hit the stage at a festival or theater show. They kicked it, and they propped me up. I was rarely in top form because I had been on the road too long.
Present: I now love going to the studio every day. I am once again delighted to teach all levels of classes. I’m officially hanging out my shingle as Consultant for ATS® troupes, teachers and students via Skype, and in-person if possible. Though I face challenges such as the rent going up and sales going down, I have a great office staff. After traveling the world, I can really see that the dance is a global phenomenon, and I continue to have an unending flow of ideas for getting the dance out into the world.
Future: I am getting married next month. I want to write my book. I will continue to travel in small doses, but am realistic about how much I can do well in one trip. And yes, I want to retire someday, but not yet.
In the balance: What happened to the troupe? I disbanded it as a closed unit and will reform it on an as-needed basis. I see a lot of talent and skill at the studio, but not necessarily all in one person. I am interested in exploring what happens when a varied group of dancers come together to share strengths and weaknesses. I want to work with everyone, not just one troupe.  I will form the troupe one gig at a time with dancers that attend Level Three (L3) classes on a regular basis. The former members of FCBD® will continue to perform and teach at the studio if they desire, they are also free to work on their own.
While things are changing at the Studio,  FatChanceBellyDance® stands strong; the studio is open, the merchandise is available, all workshops will proceed as planned, on-going classes are still on-going, Carolena is here, rested and inspired and waiting to talk with you.
Thanks for your support.

Week Four and Dueling Duets

09 August 2013

On-line classes vs Skype lessons?

Hi All,
Help me to understand the brain of the ATS® consumer!

It seemed like everyone wanted private Skype lessons, so we set that up.
Now people are telling me that they want On-line classes instead of Skype lessons.
On-line classes won't be ready until the end of the year.

What is the difference, in your mind, between the two? Because maybe I don't understand what it is that you want.

In my mind, a private Skype lesson is and On-line Class that is created especially for you, live and in person.
An On-line class is a pre-recorded class that you watch, sort of like a DVD, but streaming and more up-to-date than the Tribal Basics series.

Is it the price? A private Skype lesson is $100/hr with me, $75/hr with the FCBD® teachers and there's a deal on a package of classes. Info is here.

I'm not sure how much the streaming On-line Classes will be, but likely $15 per class (like a drop-in class at the FCBD® Studio)  or $72 for six classes (as if you had bought a class card at $12 per class.)

I'll create whatever you want, I'm just not sure I know what it is!

01 August 2013

Tribal Fusion Belly Dance: A Workshop Companion

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