"we are Kalash Tribal
we love dancing
and Lesley's got a van"
Kalash Tribal, formed in 2008, are a dance troupe who regularly perform at celebrations, events and festivals
They are directed by Kelley Beeston who teaches classes ONLINE and also in Tiverton and Exeter and workshops both here in the UK and abroad
We are passionate about our dance and absolutely love sharing it with others
We also fundraise for our Sister to Sister projects which empower women in the Democratic Republic of Congo
meet the troupe
we are one of the UK’s best known and much loved FatChance® Style (ATS®) belly dance troupes
we’re a really mixed bunch of women based in Devon but we all have one thing in common – a passion for our dance
did we tell you - Lesley loves her van!
What do we dance?
There are many belly dance styles and ours is a relatively modern format born in San Francisco, USA in the 1980's and dubbed American Tribal Style® and more recently re-named FatChance® Style. It was developed and codified by Carolena Nericcio, Kelley's master teacher and mentor and director of FatChanceBellyDance®. She started as a 14 year old student of Masha Archer and back in the day became a member of her troupe the San Francisco Classic Dance Troupe. Masha in turn was taught by the legendary Jamila Salimpour.
The dance is inspired by traditional belly dance and the folkloric dances of the Middle East and India with further influence from Spanish flamenco. Mesmerising slow sensual movements combine with earthy energetic steps as the group of dancers talk to each other using a vocabulary of steps and movements, cues and gestures - a bit like playing ‘follow my leader’ - to weave a tapestry of improvisational choreography.
The effect is stunning - vibrant, eclectic costuming mixes old and new with authentic tribal textiles and ethnic jewellery from along the Silk Road to create a spectacular display of flying skirts and twirling tassels as the dancers spin and shimmy in unison, playing their finger cymbals to exciting world music and Middle Eastern drum rhythms
Kelley formed Kalash Tribal in April 2008, naming the troupe after The Kalasha people, a tribe tucked away in the Hindu Kush mountains of north west Pakistan.
She has travelled extensively over the last 30 odd years often visiting and staying with different tribal peoples of the world but it was the similarity between the Kalasha traditional dress and our classic dance costume that held a real connection
However the word 'Kalash' also has other special connections - there are many Indian influences in our dance and our logo depicts a 'kalash' a special water pot used in Hindu puja. Not only do we have a step named the Water Pot, which mimics both the shape of the pot as well as a woman carrying a large pot of water on her head, but we carry out a short ritual (puja), a moving meditation of gratitude before each performance or class which our master teacher Carolena Nericcio learned whilst studying Indian classical dance. It helps us to focus and become grounded and connected with each other and what we are about to learn or perform
Apart from all of this we just love the sound when our name is said out loud