Tribal Revelations…with a side of fries

We were forced to miss out on last year’s TR, because…life.  I didn’t realize how much I would miss it until I wasn’t able to go.  Not only that, but a large chunk of last year, and into the earlier part of this year, I was battling some persistent depression.  Which helps nothing.  Ever.

But, I am not going to write about depression today.

There are some interesting developments happening to us as individuals.  I’m moving at a slower pace (as is my nature), but bits at a time, I’m coming back to my Goddesshood.  Kat, on the other hand, is excelling at the speed of a supernova.

So…while creating new things…all these weird movements started happening.  We were digging on it, but wondered whether or not we were on the right track as far as where we were heading in the ever-evolving nature of our style.

And then Michelle Sorensen happened.  When the pupil is ready, as the saying goes…and it was validation after validation after validation.  Her teaching style, HERSELF, everything about that day resonated within us.  We LOVE her.  And it’s not like once we took the workshops, the love fest was over…she’s been there ever since, even in the smallest of ways.  I could go on and on and never say enough about how wonderful she is.

So, that was in May.


We crammed—in my basement of all places, because the studio moved—to get a new piece finished in time for Tribal Revolution.  Michelle’s influence helped us immensely in the creation process (thank you!), and we got it done with time to spare for running through—not much time, but still.

There were some nail-biting moments once we were in Wheeling, namely whether or not we would finish our costumes in time (we did, with some minor malfunctions…) and we were able to run through the piece several times before taking the stage at the Saturday night show.

This piece was different from the beginning…aside from starting out like we always do (center stage, side by side…my favorite place to be with my bestie).

That said, the reception was different as well, although none of it was bad feedback.  The thing is, like a dear friend of ours said, “I preferred your other piece, but it’s not fair to say you can only do one style of thing.”  Right you are.

We’ve done the creepy, and for a good while, we did the sad.  But the sad is just not where we are right now…we are in a time of transition, and a time of empowerment.  I anticipate our future numbers will follow in that vein of being powerful and strong, with a laser-like focus on executing our movements with the care and precision they deserve.  Too long we rested on our laurels and sank and reached and melted to music…we can still melt, but we want to show that there’s so much more to us than that.

I hope you will all stick with us as we trek this path.


The stand-out experience at this TR was with Miss Kami Liddle.  Kat and I both agreed that it has always been that way whenever we’ve had the opportunity to study with her–she always teaches a subject that we’re needing at that particular moment.  She’s an excellent teacher, and this year the workshop focused on moving the whole body.  It was liberating…and exactly what I have been craving as a dancer for some time now.  I gave zero fucks if I looked silly, because we were all moving together, and we were only thinking about our own bodies…no one was looking at us.  Well, Kami probably was, but she’s the teacher, so…

I think that’s all I have for the moment…thank you to Ruby Beh for getting the freedom ball rolling, Michelle for…I can’t even <3…, and Kami for bringing it all home!

xoxoxo –


Announcing: IGNITE

Buy Your Tickets Here



verb (used with object), ignited, igniting.

  1. to set on fire; kindle.

verb (used without object), ignited, igniting.

  1. to take fire; begin to burn.


Since 2012, our showcase had gone without a name.  Each year we tried to think of something that would encompass or describe what it is we were bringing to Traverse City.

Out of nowhere, one word appeared:  Ignite.  You may be wondering why this is the The Word.  Creativity, artistry, our dance community, and the cultivation of performance pieces, is our passion.  What we have wanted from the first moment we decided to make this event happen, is to spark that passion in others, instill it, and share it.

So, without further ado, we give you Ignite, the first of its name, and our 4th annual belly dance showcase.  Please join us, and let your heart be set alight.


Impromptu Workshop Saturday, March 21st!

We are pleased to welcome back Izgreyala Saturday, March 21st at Crystal Bindi Studio!

11:30am – 1:30pm — $20/person

10660 E. Carter Road

Traverse City, MI 49684



Description here:

“In this two hour workshop we will explore a variety of techniques for establishing accurate communication between a musician and dancer.

Heather Marie will guide the dancers through specific movement combinations while Ryan Paul Gates introduces rhythmic ideas for the musicians to accompany these movements.

We will introduce many cues for enhancing communication during an improvisational performance thereby creating a flawless presentation.

This workshop is open to all dancers and musicians looking to improve their performance and communication skills.”

Autumn Mourn Choreo

Hello loves!

As promised, here are the choreo notes for “Autumn Mourn (Raks Incendia Edit)” by JMBZ, and don’t forget the  song can be downloaded here:  Autumn Mourn (Raks Incendia Edit)

Here’s a PDF of the choreo:  Autumn Mourn Choreo

*Video has been taken down for…reasons*

The 2nd Annual World Fusion Dance Showcase (coming soon!)

We’re doing it again!  Please come and see Michigan’s finest in the belly dance community…it’s going to be a real knockout this year!  Purchase Tickets Here


Tribal Workshops with Leilani: March 8, 2014


heather workshops




Early Bird Pricing ’til February 8th – $40/workshop or $70 for both

From February 9th until the day of the workshop – $45/workshop or $80 for both

Two Workshops!

**WORKSHOP 1 (1:30-3:00):  “Birds the Word”

Through repetition in learning a craft, you are blessed with the magic of muscle memory. With proper muscle memory you are then blessed with the beautiful art of the Flow!  Quieting the mind and remaining present. Staying cool, calm, and collected creates freedom within the body.  Allowing the Flow to take over and weave a colorful tapestry during Improvisation.

This workshop will present American Tribal Style® theory and concept, as well as working with both fast and slow movements. We will build up formations, begin non-verbal communication between you and your fellow dancers, and dig deep into the mechanics of Tribal Posture, which gives this dance and the dancer such a strong presence!! Whether you are a beginner or an advanced dancer, this workshop is for you…Providing growth, refinement, and confidence.

**WORKSHOP 2 (3:30-5:30):  “Elemental Flowz”

Utilizing the ATS® vocabulary we focused on in the first class, along with temple-inspired poses fused with sharp articulation and isolations.  We will build four combinations, creating a short choreography.  Each combo will be driven by one of the four Elements:  Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.  We will transition through strong and grounded, to slow and soft, to sharp and quick, and finally to seamless and fluid movements.  Dive in and embody a dance full of intention and creativity, strengthening our musicality and brushing up on technique.  This class is designed for the beginner student as well as the advanced dancer.


Leilani is based in the Detroit area and discovered her love of Middle Eastern Belly Dance more than ten years ago.  She is a Fat Chance Belly Dance Sister Studio certified in GS, TT1 & TT2 within American Tribal Style® belly dance.  Her unique style has various influential flavors from Flamenco, Rajasthani, African, Folkloric, and Gypsy in addition to Hip Hop/Pop & Lock and Liquid Dance from the 90s electronic scene.

A seasoned performer, Leilani can list opening for Beats Antique and performing in full stage productions, such as Club Belly Dance with the Belly Dance Super Stars, among her many accomplishments.  Leilani on Facebook


The Children’s House

5363 N Long Lake Rd

Traverse City, MI 49684

More on March 8th…if you haven’t seen the FB pages…

Raks Incendia Presents:  Workshops with Leilani!

Raks Incendia Presents:  A Fusion Dance Showcase!