Tula Tribe. . .
was founded in the spring of 2017 by four experienced dancers carrying forward their love of
American Tribal Style (ATS®) belly dance . . .
We are an American Tribal Style (ATS®) belly dance troupe based in Nashville, Tennessee that was created by former members of Tribal Sisters Belly Dance, Middle Tennessee's first certified ATS® belly dance troupe. When Tribal Sisters founder, Barbara Abernathy, made a move to North Carolina Tula Tribe Belly Dance was born!
Tula Tribe is a self governed collective of women of all ages and sizes. We are an active performance troupe offering ATS® belly dance classes.
. . . so meet the members of Tula Tribe Belly Dance!
Catlyn . . .
started out "just for fun" about eight years ago when she met a lovely, feisty 72-year-old dancer named Anna Tatman (a former belly gram dancer) who agreed to teach Cat, her daughter Coda, and a few friends belly dance. After several months Anna convinced them to take classes from "a real teacher", meaning Travis Jarrell in Cookeville, which they did for several years. While time has moved towards other dance adventures Travis continues to be tremendous inspiration and a dear friend.
With such a positive experience with Travis, Catlyn became obsessed with belly dance, buying every book and video she could find, which is how she came across ATS®, and “FELL IN LOVE!” Everything about it seemed to fit her; the ethnicity, the lead and follow format, the spiritual element and the connection to women throughout time. It was an empowering discovery!
Eventually Catlyn moved to Nashville and found Tribal Sisters Belly Dance with Barbara Abernathy. Both Catlyn and her daughter Coda became members of Tribal Sisters in 2012. After joining Tribal Sisters they transitioned to the original FatChanceBellyDance® – American Tribal Style®. In January of 2017 Catlyn was thrilled to receive her certification in General Skills and Teacher Training with her daughter Coda. In the Spring of 2017 Tribal Sisters morphed into Tula Tribe Belly Dance and Cat (that’s what we call her) became a charter principal member of our troupe.
Cat has studied with Carolena Nericchio Bohlman and Megha Gavin, Travis Jarrell, Amel Tafsout, Artemis Mourat, the mighty Liz Malcolm and many others during Tribal Fest, ATS® Homecoming and other FCBD® workshops. Other passions include gardening, family and friends and doing the Ataana Method Energy Work.
I am extremely proud to be a member of Tula Tribe, we have worked hard together to create a collectively run troupe as well as a teaching collective to ensure the future of ATS® in Nashville. as a teacher and dance sister, it is pure joy to watch a woman come to class and become totally absorbed and committed to this dance. This is a place of acceptance, encouragement, and ultimately self-empowerment . . .and did I mention fun? – Catlyn Rain
Rachel Charlene. . .
set in motion a new life's love through no real intention by noodling around with a belly aerobics fitness class in 2005 trying to burn some calories. Soon she discovered many styles of belly dance and found herself enchanted by Tribal Fusion. The wonderful performing arts presence at Global Education Center in Nashville introduced her to her first formal belly dance classes under the instruction of Gwen Lister Ross, founder and artistic director of Bodhicitta Belly Dance, and her teaching co-directors Stephanie Fields, and Jackie Cole Contreras.
After what seemed like years of practice she finally began to do some performances with her beloved Veda Belly Dance, Bodhicitta's student troupe in 2009, but settled more permanently into a new Tribal improvisational style troupe surfacing in Nashville in 2011 when Tribal Sisters Belly Dance emerged onto the local belly dance scene.
Although the roots of Tribal Sisters had began its journey based off Portland, Oregon's Gypsy Caravan tribal style, the troupe quickly latched onto a love for Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman's FatChanceBellyDance's® ATS® which was simply thrilling to Rachel! She had taken some ATS® classes in FatChanceBellyDance's® San Francisco studio over the years and long admired ATS® thinking its fierce elegance and acceptance of all ages and body types was just the right flavor of dance for her . . . and this is exactly where her heart's been ever since!
Today, Rachel is a charter and principal member of Tula Tribe Belly Dance and she completed her Fat Chance Belly Dance® General Skills and Teacher Training certification in 2017.
Many times I've wondered what my life would now be if I had not found belly dance. It has been the single most empowering and healing experience for me. Its never been about gaining a power to attract but ever always about finding courage to live a life of artful creation and spiritual freedom. I feel so blessed to be a part of this ATS® sisterhood. - Rachel Charlene
Sol. . .
began studying American Cabaret Belly Dance in Aguascalientes City, Mexico in 2006. Some years later she became interested in Tribal Fusion and began dancing ITS (Improvisation Tribal Style) and ATS® (American Tribal Style) falling completely in love with ATS®.
As soon she moved to the USA in 2015 she started researching ATS® finding formal training as a student of Fat Chance Belly Dance® and other instruction opportunities such as workshops and annual events hosted by Fat Chance Belly Dance®.
She has attended Fat Chance Belly Dance® ATS® Homecoming in San Francisco, CA not once, but two years in a row (2016-2017). Sol was asked to dance in an impromptu performance for the 2017 Homecoming Participants Showcase. It was there that she drew the attention of her dance sisters in Nashville, who were blown away by her performance. Yes, Sol’s strongest skill is the ability to improvise with any dancer!
Tula Tribe proudly added Sol to our membership this summer! She says:
The thing I love most about ATS is how the dancers learn to be good leader but also good followers that gain the ability to improvise so that it all comes together magically in a song. - Sol Calderón
Teri. . .
began dancing as a young girl, taking tap and ballet classes through elementary school. She didn’t dance again until adulthood, when she was drawn to belly dance for its mesmerizing and feminine mystique. She started her study with Barbara Abernathy of Tribal Sisters ATS® Belly Dance, as well as taking classes in Egyptian and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. She fell in love with the magic of improvisational group dance, and joined the Tribal Sisters troupe in 2015. She is a charter and principal dancer with Tula Tribe.
She completed her Fat Chance Belly Dance® General Skills certification in Hawaii in 2016, which was a dream come true. She received her Fat Chance Belly Dance®Teacher Training certification in 2017. She has studied with Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman, Megha Gavin, Liz Malcolm, and Teejei Brigham. Teri emphasizes precise and detailed technique in her practice and teaching. She loves breaking down the minute features of a move. When she’s not dancing, she likes doing yoga, catching live music and festivals, and hanging out with her fur babies.
I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon a style of dance that embodies the tribal sisterhood we are so sorely lacking in our modern culture. There is something deeply fulfilling about coming together with my dance sisters and being able to dance together as a group with no need for choreography. No matter our differences, we share a bond that seems ancient and spiritual. I love seeing new students get a taste of this magic! - Teri Melissa
Alanna. . .
appeared in her first tribal lead and follow class with her mother, Colleen, in toll in 2012. Yes! Mother/Daughter dancing was a thing in Tribal Sisters Belly Dance! A traditional that carries forward now even in Tula Tribe Belly Dance! Back in the day though, they both attended regularly and then took a little hiatus in 2013 while Alanna attended school.
After graduating, Alanna found her way back to us. She brushed off her dancing feet, got back in the groove, studied it up, practiced hard and she was welcomed as a troupe member in 2015. And, what a beautiful dancer she is! Graceful and poised in quiet way . . . but she can rock the socks off the dance floor and give the audience a pout that rules the stage!
Today she is a principal member of Tula Tribe Belly Dance, and attends college working on a nursing degree she hopes to complete in 2018. We don’t get to have her in class as much as we would like because of her heavy academic schedule, but when she is hanging around she’s either teaching a class or joyfully dancing with all her dance sisters.
Coda . . .
Since Coda was a little girl, she has been creating and learning the ways of the universe through any form of art she could get her hands on. Being raised in a family of all women helped her grow into a strong, independent woman with an amazing support system.
It is because of that support she and her mother, Cat, started dancing together a little over 8 years ago. They started learning with beginner cabaret style classes taught by Anna Tatman, who used to do bellygrams in her home town, but then moved on to taking classes from Travis Jarrell focusing on improvisational pan-African movements. And finally, in her senior year of high school, they moved to Nashville TN and started taking ATS® classes from Barbara Abernathy.
The strong, feminine power that came from the combos are what drew her in initially. It's now been 5+ years since she was accepted into the ATS® sisterhood, first with Tribal Sisters Belly Dance and now as a member of Tula Tribe Belly Dance, Along the way she's attended many workshops with her dance sisters instructed by members of FCBD® including Carolena and Megha. She is beyond grateful for this form of dance and would love to spread it to more women so they may feel the same energy and empowerment as she does. For the world needs more empowered women.
Dakota now lives in Greeley, Colorado and we don't see her as much as before, But since her Mom, our Catlyn Rain, is still living in Nashville she pops in from time to time. The one perfect thing about American Tribal Style Belly Dance ® is that no matter where our sisters are, they can come home and drop in for a class or performance and fall right back into our style of improvisational dance!
Follow the link below and see what she's up to in her new home town where she teaches Beginner ATS Belly Dance® classes every Thursday at the ArtWerx Studio!