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Terri Allred has an FCBD® Sister Studio, is owner of Third Eye Tribal and Third Eye Tribal Consulting at MN and was Business Consultant for FatChanceBellyDance®.  She is the co-creator (with Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman) and producer of ATS® Homecoming, an annual international conference in San Francisco. She was also the Program Manager and Advertising Director for The ATS® Magazine published by FCBD®.

She utilized her multi-faceted dance background to create an improvisational veil dialect for ATS® and shares that dialect via her DVD, ATS® with Props: Veil, Fan and Basket (with Dawn Ruckert and Super Beth).In October she will be guest at the 7th Black Forest Tribal Fest in Wolfach near Offenburg.

FROM SOLO IMPROVISATION TO
GROUP IMPROVISATION

Interview with Terri Allred

-  by Marcel Bieger

At your introduction on the "ATS® Homecoming" site we learn that because of health problems your doctor advised you to take belly dance lessons, but how did you find to American Tribal Style and what made you stick to it?

I had a traumatic brain injury about 15 years ago.  Because of the dizziness and vestibular problems, my doctor wanted me to take a dance class. It just so happened that a belly dance class was about two miles away from my home.  I began dancing in Egyptian style belly dance and loved it.  However, I was very fortunate that in the general area where I lived, I was able to take Turkish, Moroccan, Folkloric, Indian, Tribal Fusion, and American Tribal Style® classes.  I moved from North Carolina (on the East Coast of the USA) to Minnesota (in the Central part of the US near Canada) about 9 years ago.

The cabaret community here was very territorial and unfriendly.  I began reaching out to ATS® dancers in my state and surrounding states. They were kind, friendly and welcoming. 

My favorite part of Egyptian dance was solo improvisation and that translated very well to a love of group improvisation. I began to find a family of dancers and loved spending time with them.  Of course, with the creation of ATS® Homecoming (which is now called ATS® Reunion), I was able to expand my community across the globe.  I love having connections to dancers from all over the world, speaking the same dance language and enjoying spending time together.
You were one of the leading figures in the FCBD(R) organisation. How did you get there and what were your responsibilities at FCBD®?

Several years ago I began working with Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman (creator of ATS® and owner of FatChanceBellyDance, Inc.) as a business consultant.  I was hired to help with strategic planning and programming.  I helped her develop the Sister Studio Continuing Education program and the Advanced Teacher Training.  We also created ATS® Homecoming and The ATS® Magazine together.  After about 3 years and with all of the new initiatives created, I worked myself out of a job!

I recommended that she find local folks to help her manage the programs that we had developed; it just made sense to have people in San Francisco to help with daily operations.  I took over full responsibility for the annual conference at that time and continued to work with her on the ATS® Magazine until it closed.  Now I am the sole producer of ATS® Reunion and don’t have an official role with FatChanceBellyDance® anymore.

Of course, I still love American Tribal Style® and work closely with my friends at FCBD®.  I still teach ATS® classes locally and workshops around the country.   I specialize in ATS® with Veil, the movement dialect that I created to allow dancers to incorporate veil into their performance while still improvising.

I also have continued my business consulting work for the broader belly dance community with the Belly Dance Business Academy.  This online resource provides online classes and coaching for belly dancers around the world.  Unfortunately, right now it is only in English, but I hope to expand the offerings to other languages in the next several years.

You are not only a dancer and teacher, but also active on quite a few more fields. For instance you are Program Manager and Advertising Director of the ATS® magazine.

I loved my time at The ATS® Magazine with Editor Tina Berezhnaya (from Moscow).  We published 6 magazines that were pieces of art.  The stories and images were fabulous.  Unfortunately, we closed the magazine last year because we didn’t have the income to make it the way Carolena wanted with the beautiful lay out and high quality printing.

You also coordinate the annual ATS(R) homecoming, wrote a book, published an instructional dvd, are a sister teacher - where on Earth do you find the time for all these activities?

I really love to stay busy and dance is one of my passions.  As I mentioned before, I love getting together with my friends from around the world and ATS® Reunion allows me that opportunity.  Although it is a lot of work, it really just feels like planning a large party!  I always make sure I have time to enjoy my friends while they are all together in one place for the conference.  Right now, my biggest project is the Belly Dance Business Academy (www.bellydancebusinessacademy.com).  In the first year, we attracted 800 students!  It is free to enroll and many classes are free as well.  We have 15 instructors and over 80 online classes on topics including business planning, marketing, photography, ethics, social media, self care, and more.  It is really a culmination of my first life as a nonprofit and small business owner and my second life as a dancer.  I am thrilled to be teaching a business class at The Black Forest Fest.   

This is  reflected in one of your workshops at the Black Forest Fest, "BUSINESS WORKSHOP: Ethics in Belly Dance". Woud you be so kind and comment on that, please?

I have a Master of Theological Studies in Feminist Theology and one of my primary areas of study was ethics.  I am always concerned with the ethical issues that face teachers, troupe directors and students.  This workshop will offer the participants an opportunity to explore their own values, their community’s ethics and their interactions from the perspective of an ethical framework.  We will get really practical about ethical dilemmas that instructors, troupe directors and students face in their dance lives.  I love thinking and talking about ethics because they are so closely tied to our most fundamental beliefs and impact our behaviors whether people realize it or not.

Please introduce to us your two other workshops, "Dancing with Veil for ATS® " and "Dance Your Chakras: Belly Dance Meditation”.

The Dancing with Veil is a further exploration of the ATS® with Veil dialect that I created on the DVD.  I have some innovative new movements that I will teach beyond what I presented on the DVD.  This workshop is perfect for anyone who dances with a veil or wants to do so no matter what style they practice.  Because I have a background as an Egyptian and Tribal Fusion dancer, I break down the material in ways that dancers from multiple genres can relate to and integrate into their own practice and performance.

Dance Your Chakras is an exercise in meditative movement.  I knew instinctually that belly dance was helping me heal after my head injury.   It was only many years later when I began practicing Reiki that I understood the energetic re-alignment that was taking place during the practice of belly dance.  Now, as a Reiki Master, I love to provide an initial chakra testing before the class and then demonstrate to students how much their energy has been positively impacted through the isolations of belly dance.  This class is perfect for any style of dancer as we will be focusing on the isolations that make up all dance styles.  Even if you don’t believe in energy, chakras or any of that “woo woo” as some folks in the US call it, you will still leave this workshop feeling energized and great!

What will we see from you on stage?

I will be performing ATS® with Veil on stage.  I have been experimenting with this dialect as a solo and may decide to dance alone.  However, I am bringing my identical twin sister, Lisa Allred, with me this year so I may end up dancing with her.  (She came with Dawn Ruckert last year.)  We live in different parts of the country and don’t often get a chance to dance together.


Workshops with TERRI ALLRED:

FRIDAY, 20. OCTOBER
12:30 - 2:30 pm

Dance Your Chakras: Belly Dance Meditation

Center your body and mind in order to create optimal conditions for dance. Release your body’s natural energy through this series of isolations and belly dance movements.

Utilizing movements and music including basic drum rhythms and Tibetan Bowl Healing Sounds, you will learn to balance your chakras, become more in tune with the messages your body is sending you, practice relaxing breathing, and learn ways to de-stress through dance.

Celebrate your body, the uniqueness of your movement and the energy that motivates you.

FRIDAY, 20. OCTOBER
3:00 - 5:00 pm

Dancing with Veil for ATS®

Adding veil to your ATS® improvisation creates a new dimension of movement and texture. Terri will teach you how to choose the right veil for you, how to make friends with your veil and how to trouble-shoot common veil performance problems. We will adapt several ATS® movements for use with the veil and learn a few of Terri’s own movements that are beautiful for highlighting the veil. You will leave the workshop with the ability to integrate veil into your ATS® slow and fast performance sets.

Although this workshop is targeted for ATS® dancers, cabaret and fusion dancers will also find helpful information about dancing with a veil and learn some new ATS® movements that they can integrate into their own performance.

SATURDAY, 21. OCTOBER
10:00 - 12:00 am

BUSINESS WORKSHOP: Ethics in Belly Dance (Level open)


please register here ...

Teaching ATS® with veil at ATS Homecoming
ATS® with veil-Solo
performing at Tribal Fest California
Terri's DVD "ATS® with Props"
Terri hanging out with students at a local performance in MN
Terri Allred ist guest at the 7th Black Forest Tribal Fest in Wolfach (near Offenburg)
20. - 22. October 2017
https://tribal-festival.jimdo.com/