Fall Classes and What the Heck is Tribal Fusion?

Dancing at MEDGE Fall Festival

Photo by Jeannie Harriman

Well, I’ve gone and done it again.  I’ve procrastinated and because of it, I’ve had to schedule my fall classes on a Saturday.  Weeknights seem to have the best turn out, but a Saturday morning, well, I’d do it, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.  Space at dance studios in the fall seems to be at a premium.  (If you are a dance teacher, how far in advance do you schedule your classes?)

Dancing as The Bijou Project

Bollywood Bellydance Fusion with Dana & Leia

Bend, Oregon is an active town.  An abundance of yoga and dance studios offer classes, so starting from scratch, as I am, is a little tougher.  It’s been over a year and a half since I last taught class and I’ve missed it!  But due to some major life changes, I needed to take a break for a while.  It’s amazing how a ‘little’ thing like divorce changes everything.  2009 ushered in a waterfall of life changes for me and while it was tough, I’ll be coming back a better teacher because of it.

The style of belly dance that I teach and perform is called “Tribal Fusion” and I am the only teacher of this style currently in Central Oregon.  There are many interpretations of the concept of Tribal Fusion. Tribal Fusion, to me, refers to the marriage of choreographed and improvisational forms, while retaining significant emphasis on Tribal or ATS aesthetics and styling, but with the freedom to fuse  elements of various other dance influences.  Examples include movement and styling from ballet, modern and hip hop dance forms, elements from Bollywood or classical Indian dances such as Kathak, music and styling from Flamenco or African dance and so on.  Basically, the wonderful thing about Fusion is that you can be inspired and draw from many different cultures, including modern day American culture to create your dance.

Kamini performs @ Rasha's Hafla

Kamini performs Flamenco Fusion at Rasha's Hafla

Sometimes I refer to myself an ADD dancer.  I’m inspired by movement, music, dance and costuming from a variety of cultures so I can’t limit myself to just one or two.  If it inspires me, I take it in, it flows through me, processes, mutates, and is then expressed in a new form.  As revolutionary dancer Isadora Duncan said, “No movement is owned by any culture, only rediscovered.”

Current Fall Class Schedule
Beginning Tribal Fusion
@ Gotta Dance Studio, 917 NE 8th St.
(on the corner of NE Greenwood and NE 8th, behind Baby Phases in the Erickson Shopping Center)

Saturday Oct. 2-November 20
$70 for the full session (7 weeks)
$12 drop in
Learn basic isolations, Tribal Fusion movements and improvisational dance skills.
No prior dance experience is necessary.

Email kamini@bijouproject.com with questions.


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