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Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman

Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman is the dynamic founder of the worldwide dance phenomenon called American Tribal Style® Dance.

An early fascination of permanent body adornment lead 8-year old Carolena to request that her Father, Carl, a collector himself, to buy a ring she could “wear always and not take off.” This concept evolved into the study of folkloric textiles, a body full of tattoos and a collection of jewelry and textiles from around the world.

The discovery of belly dance led to the creation of her own dance style, American Tribal Style® (ATS®) Belly Dance. FatChanceBellyDance® was founded by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman in 1987 and immediately captured the attention of audiences worldwide with stunning dance performances featuring majestic costuming and layers of tribal jewelry. The music, a carefully chosen collection of both traditional sounds and modern fusion adds to the effect. American Tribal Style® looks old, but it is actually new.

Carolena has compiled a montage of different “tribal” elements into what has been coined American Tribal Style® Belly Dance. ATS® movements are inspired by folkloric dances of the Middle East and India. Aesthetically ATS® is based on the richness of textiles and jewelry from North Africa and India. ATS® is a method of improvisational choreography, using a vocabulary of natural movements and cues allowing the dancers to communicate via gesture and eye contact when dancing together. The effect is vibrant thread drawing the audience into the tapestry.

Students can find studio classes in San Francisco, via Skype, and On-line Classes. Instruction is further augmented by a collection of instructional DVDs and international workshop travel.

After 30 years of promoting ATS® and directing FatChanceBellyDance® in San Francisco, Carolena is enjoying semi-retirement at her new shop, Studio 508 in Half Moon Bay CA.
She is a consulting member of the newly formed FatChanceBellyDance® Teaching Collective and minds the business side of the Nakarali Jewelry Company, co-owned with Colleena Shakti.
When she’s not traveling the globe or working at Studio 508, Carolena enjoys spending time with her partner Loretta Nericcio-Bohlman, exercising, sewing, knitting and reading.


Cues & Tattoos Intensive with Carolena Nericcio of FatChanceBellyDance®


Cues & Tattoos is thrilled to host our fifth intensive with the originator of American Tribal Style®, Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman.

The two day intensive will feature 7 hours of instruction. This intensive is sold as a package only, please plan to attend both days.


Craft an ATS® Set and Perform it at Cues and Tattoos!-Wednesday & Thursday March 29 & 30 – 10:30am-2:00pm

Limited to 20 students


The fine art of crafting a performance. Students will be challenged with a set of music and performance situations based on real life (a small party, a big outdoor festival, etc.) We will form small groups, discuss and drill through the songs in the set, choose who is dancing to which song, rehearse again, critique the progress and then present our show at the Instructor Showcase at Cues and Tattoos!

(Please note that students who want to watch the entire Theater Showcase will need to purchase a ticket)

Get ready for a full ATS® headdress, Carolena will create a custom wrap to suit you. A list of simple costume requirements will be sent when you register.

Dancers must know (I mean, really be able to do it!) the basics of Taxeem, Bodywave, Hand Floreo and Arm Undulations, Shimmy, Arabic Basic, Egyptian Basic, Pivot Bumps and Choo-choos. Also, be able to use ATS® formations: Duet, Trio and Quartet. Please review the FCBD® dvds Vol. 1-7 if necessary. Your success in this class relies on your ability to communicate (non-verbally!) with the other dancers.


2017 Cues and Tattoos Workshops


Touch The Music- Friday March 31 – 3:00pm-5:00pm


What is your favorite song? What is it that makes it special? What did you feel when you first heard it, and can you express that feeling when you dance to it? In this workshop, Carolena presents a series of drills to help find the suitable combinations and exact formations to match your favorite music. Learn how to let the music push you, giving the freedom to simply respond, particularly when you know the steps and formations, and trust your partners and audience.
Please be versed in the basics: Taxeem, Bodywave, Hand Floreos and Arm Undulations, Shimmy, basic Arabic, basic Eygptian, Pivot Bump and Choochoo.
Bring: zils, a full skirt is recommended but not mandatory.


Zils-Yin and Yang-Sunday April 2nd –  3:00pm-5:00pm


Yes, you can play zils and dance at the same time! Learn how to hold your zils so you can play fast, what to do with your zils during a slow song, which zils are right for you, how to get a consistent sound, and a few other tricks. We’ll look at five Tribal Zil patterns (Basic RLR, Alternating RL, Military, Moroccan Six, Baladi) and apply them to your dance.
*Recommended but not mandatory: Dancers should know the basics of Taxeem, Arm Undulation, Bodywave, Hand Floreos, Shimmy, Arabic Basic,Egyptian Basic, Pivot Bumps and Choo-choos. Dancers without knowledge of the basic steps can drill finger cymbal patterns during the dance segment.