08 September 2014

ATS® is an International Language, part one: Russia

Each day I watch the news, each day there are more and more stories of discord and strife in the world; this country is not getting along with that country, this culture does not approve of that culture, this person cannot understand that person. And each day I sit by the phone waiting for an invitation from the United Nations to hold a worldwide seminar in American Tribal Style®, because this dance is understood by all dancers and audiences, no matter what language or culture. ATS® is based on non-verbal communication, letting music and natural gesture set our bodies into the motion of leading and following, switching places effortlessly when the time is right. ATS® dancers don't stop to debate or throw stones when someone has a new idea, we just follow the cue and respond to the music. ATS® is the embodiment of harmony between people.

Here is part one of American Tribal Style® is an International Language. Let me know if you have a story about ATS® as an international language.

8 Sep 2014
I'm in St. Petersburg, Russia for Tribal Pura International. Two workshops and a dynamite show, produced by Svetlana Dvoretskaya and Oxana Peslyak. What a wonderful series of events; the organization was perfect, the hospitality-superb!

A few months ago, Sveta told me that she had learned English so she could learn ATS®. I was swept away by this concept and I asked her to write an essay to share with the readers of my Blog.

Have a look at Sveta's ATS® troupe, Ujbaba at Tribal Fest 2014 and enjoy her journey:

"FatChance=New Chance” or “The Great ATS® gate to the new world"
by Svetlana Dvoretskaya

"Once upon a time I felt in love with ATS®.
It happened later. But before…

I was born in USSR. I studied in the typical “Soviet school” in the small city somewhere in Crimea where it was impossible to learn English well. And honestly, in our USSR life we didn`t have any reason WHY and FOR WHAT we should learn it.

My adult life started with almost zero knowledge of English.

All my family moved to Moscow after I finished the school. At that time, Russia started to go to the new international way. The new idea of going abroad on holidays became more and more popular.  But Russians still mostly were without English. Without being “normal”.

After years of an office-life I`ve found myself unhappy and decided to do something with it. I started to change my life and occasionally added dancing to my boring business-woman life. First it was cabaret and Egyptian styles of bellydance. I liked it, but it wasn`t fully mine. It wasn`t enough for me.

It was 2006 when I found it. Tribal came to my life and changed it completely and entirely later. If only I knew. Teehee!

It was the beginning moment for tribal in Russia. Somebody had to start this process and to do something with this style. I`ve decided to be this person.
I started to teach ATS® 1 year later. It was difficult. I had only 2 Carolena`s DVD.
I came to Tribal Pura in 2007 in Italy. It was crazy to do it with the language barrier. I realized it only on the place. There was a precipice between us.
No English means no questions, no answers, no help!
But I couldn`t change anything.
I was purposeful. Nothing couldn`t stop me. I`ve been learning ATS® without the “native ATS® language”.

1,5 years in ATS®- diggings.

The end of 2008. It was the moment I got the information that Carolena has started to teach GS. It became the most important plan and the best dream for me. I had to do it as soon as possible. I needed to have the info and to find the right and normal way to teach my lovely ATS®!

I wrote the letter to Carolena about this idea:
“I`m dreaming to come to GS and TT in FCBD® Studio, I`ll try to come to USA (in spite of all problems for Russians with the Visa and others), I`ll do everything I can do for it, etc.”

I`ve beggarly asked her to approve me for this course.
First I wrote a big and very emotional letter in Russian. Then I put it into the “Google translate”… and…emailed to Carolena.

Now I know and I am so sorry dear Carolena for this gibberish.
People, don`t do it! It`s stupid and doesn`t help!

I got the reply really soon. With the quaking hands I opened the answer.
She said “YES, you can!... But …(OH MY GOD!!!) If only I`m what??? fluently in English?!?!?”


It was more than bad news. I`d been crying for 2 days.
I lost the chance to go to GS in San Francisco in February 2008.
And… maybe I lost the chance to do it at all! FOREVER! FATCHANCE!!!
Because it wasn`t possible. Just no way to do it. Never!

For some months I`d been really sad and frustrated.

And then…
News! Next chance in Europe, Finland! August 2009.
STOP! YES, It`s not possible. But…Doesn`t matter! I have to try… at least!
I`ll just check! I know it`s not possible… but… I MUST TRY! I MUST CHECK!

It was February 2009.
6 months in between. WOW!
It was the hard time. Difficult months for my brain.

I`ve found the best super intensive school in Moscow and some private teachers for learning English. I`ve been studying every day for these MONTHS! I`ve crashed my mind and brain. I`ve paid so much money for it. I`ve tried to put the new culture, emotions, ideas, life in my body in just some months. I had to build the new person inside of me.

I was on the train Moscow-Helsinki in August. I didn`t know was I ready or not.
The customs official opened the door to my train compartment, asked about my passport, talked and joked with me a little bit. Said some funny and good things to me and finally closed the door. I`ve been thinking a minute. And then… SHOCK!!! I realized I`ve been talking with him in ENGLISH! No way! The first door of my new real tribal life was opened!

I wasn`t fluent. But it was enough to start.
I`m still learning. Every day of my life. I`ll spend maybe all my life to learn this language, people, culture, country. I do love it! I`m ready and glad to do it. Still difficult. Still not enough.

I have a lot of friends all over the world. I`m travelling so much and finally I`ve been in so many countries these years! I`m teaching my lovely ATS® abroad in English. Wow! Still can`t believe.
I have my favorite people, real best friends, dancing families and my great teachers in US.

After all these years in July 2013 I came to Devotion and could tell THANKS to Carolena personally and by myself in English! She, FCBD® and ATS® changed my life. Completely. Perfect. It was the best present to myself because of this love. Love to this style, this idea, to my mentor.

I will not tired to tell it again and again:
Thank you for tribal!
Thank you for my English!
Thank you for the tribal people all over the world!
Thank you for my new friends!
Thank you for my new family!
Thank you for my new world!
Thank you for my new happy ME!
Thank you, the Great Tribal Mama C!

P.C. You`ve made it real! This perfect life concept for the dance style: Leading and following. Following ATS®, following your heart, following your love, following your people!

LOVE YOU, Carolena, my perfect leader and following!"


Alicia Foodycat said...

I love this! She writes English so beautifully.

Belly Dance Planet said...

I love her letter! So beautiful with real emotion!

Kathrina said...

So touching....

Silvia Aparicio said...

I like your post, you are a real warrior woman, I admire you very much, my english is not so good jejejeje but I'm learning too, I love the way you made your dream in a great reality, congrats for your ATS life.

Stania Muzikova said...

Sveta! You rock! <3

Teresa Kesselman said...

This is so inspirational!! We as english speakers take a lot for granted… I just love that we have a global community and we can lift each other up and inspire one another!! Rock on, Sveta!!

Charlotte said...

Sveta!! I was so amazed when I met you in Finland and you had only been studying English for 6 months! And doing GS and TT! Incredible lady you are!