Kelley formed Kalash Tribal in April 2008, naming her dance 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 the real connection
Her travel experiences have resulted in two humanitarian projects called Sister to Sister which empower women in the
Democratic Republic of Congo
In September 2020 Kelley formed a collaborative troupe as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. A truly international dance troupe, named Panacea after the goddess of healing.
As a virtual troupe we face the challenge of creating performances whilst having to dance in isolation and in some cases thousands of miles apart. That is the beauty of this dance style - it has its own vocabulary so we can dance with any other FatChance style dancer anywhere in the world with no language barriers
We are all passionate about our dance and absolutely love sharing it with others
We are one of the UK’s best known and much loved FatChance® Style (ATS®) belly dance troupes and regularly perform at celebrations, events and festivals
We’re a really mixed bunch of women based in Devon but we all have one thing in common –
a passion for our dance
depicting crossed arrows for friendship and double mandala
founder and director of Kalash Tribal
met Kelley at a local belly dance class and has been with Kalash from the very beginning in 2007
Lesley joined Kelley's local classes and fell in love with the dance. So much so that when she moved house she would travel 70 miles every week to attend classes
After many years of dancing Egyptian belly dance Jacqui discovered tribal in 2002. She is probably the first teacher to engage in FCBD style encouraging one of her students Samantha (Hasthorpe) Emanuel to explore tribal
joined classes in 2010 having been handed a flyer at the Aeon Festival where she saw us perform
is Nessie's best friend but took several years of persuading to come and try out classes in 2010. Something she never regretted and wished she'd done sooner!
saw us at a haflah and was blown away by our performance. She started classes the following week April 2015 determined to make the troupe - which of course she has
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®. Carolena 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, India and 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
We just love the sound when our name is said out loud