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The date is the weekend of September 10th - 11th 2011 and I’m on my way to the dance studio “Upstairs”
in the posh quarter “Linden” in Hanover, Germany. The tribe “Perlatentia” has rented the rooms of this studio to give the tribal mad Hanoverian dance community the opportunity to check out a dance training, which is truly encompassing, thorough, and diversified. I’m talking about “Neas Fundamentals".
But what is “Neas Fundamentals”? Basically it’s the three pillars, on which the Nea Tribal Style Dance rests. Gabriele “Gabriella” Keiner, the creator of this format and dance education, says:

“Neas Tribal Style Dance is made up mainly of ATS® according to Fat Chance Belly Dance®, some Tribal Belly Dance after “Gypsy Caravan” and a smattering of Neas own or adapted (from elsewhere) compositions. This unique mixture is the distinctive style of Neas Tribal, which can be clearly defined as: vivid, group dynamically, and technically exact.

“The Neas Tribal Style is made up of the straight posture of FCBD® complete with their basics moves and turns. To these are added the art and the vivid formations of “Gypsy Caravan” and the power of Neas Tribal own creativity. Very special with the Neas Tribal Style Dance is its own intensity of intern communication.”

“Perlatentia” and Gabriella had invited me to take part at the lessons, to take photos of virtually everything, and to dance with them, of course. They didn’t have to twist my arm too long until I said yes and now I am quite curious, what they have in store for me (and the others).
The training begins ...

Yes, they are coming from everywhere and the big room is filling. Patricia, the art director of “Perlatentia”, tells me that twenty students have applied for the occasion. Most of them have registered for all four units (the full course). Amongst them some have volunteered for the two additional units, which you need to become a teacher for “Neas Fundamentals".
We start with a well thought out warm up, which is attuned to the moves and procedures, which will come later. But before we start with the training proper we deal with something a good dancer should never dabble with: the correct posture. Gabriella cautions us in a no nonsense manner to never let go of your dance posture. Not only doesn’t it look very nice, if you give the impression of being deflated. A bad posture might also hurt you while straining your back or your joints too much.
Gabriella “zaghareets” good natured the new students to catch their attention, greets us all warmly und introduces her workshop program for the weekend.
The training proper starts with exercising something which everybody believes to be the easy part: the tribal specific hand moves known as “floreos”. But they are by far not the easiest part. Gabriella is a strict teacher, who allows no negligences or “but we always did it this way.” No, she makes us do correct floreos just the way they have to be.

She controls this with every single one of us, walks through our rows, watches our hands critically, corrects a little here and there but also makes us laugh.
I like that (my floreos were incorrect, too, how could it have been else).
The first half of the lesson consists of slow dance moves. Aside of the floreos we learn about arm sweeps, arm undulations, hip eights (also known as takseems), slow turning on the spot (like the reverse turn or so called pivoting).

Since this is a Neas Tribal Style class we do improvised tribal, means we are doing everything two by two: giving commands, take over the lead and to take turns with the turns especially with more beautiful transition moves.
Gabriella’s training is made up of short blocks with breaks in between, when you can take notes about that what you have just learned. In this workshop you won’t get any scripts, all students have to write the lessons down in their own words. Some girls comment negative on that, but this system has definitely its pros. How often has it happened that you don’t quite get the meaning of the script when you are alone at home and want to exercise. But you will always get a sense in your notes, won’t you? And Gabriella does by no means leave her students with their notes alone. She answers to every single question, she shows a move for the umpteenth time, if asked so or the need arises. When she summarises the lesson all students sit on the floor and scribble down their notes.
The second half of the workshop belongs to the faster moves. Gabriella shows us the Egyptian, the Egyptian Half Turn, the Egyptian in circle formation, the ¾ Shimmy (also to the Turkish Step), the Arabic, the Twister plus Half Turn, Single and Double Bump and the Basic Choo choo. All of this is exercised with a partner, again and improvised with a frequent change of lead.

Gabriella takes a look here and there, helps when something seems to be done wrong, gives small and big advice and does her jokes, which seem the more funny as she speaks her own very special “fusion” of “Hessian English”. Yes, it is fun to learn with her.
forward ...
Neas Tribal
Gabriella
posture is what really counts ...
"Floreos" - are not really easy ...
we exercise the leading change in two by twos
Photos: "Gabriella" © André Elbing (www.andre-elbing.de), all others © Konstanze Winkler
Graphics and WebDesign: Konstanze Winkler
NEAS FUNDAMENTALS – The travelling dance format
Gabriella, co-founder and art director of "Neas Tribal", stops by at "Perlatentia's"
in Hanover, Germany
by Konstanze Winkler (translation: Marcel Bieger)