a little Hotpot in your life.....7:45 PM
Soooooo last week I had the super cool experience of doing a level 1-2 ITS intensive in Sacramento at the famous Hotpot studios. If your not familiar with what ITS is.....it stands for Improv Tribal Style Bellydance. It has all the elements and foundations of ATS (American Tribal Style) but of course with the special Unmata flair! Amy Sigil of Unmata starting developing her form of Improv over 10 years ago. She had started with ATS but at this time of tribal history Carolena Nerricio had not yet cemented and branded ATS. When she had done this several years ago with her famous fireside chat on the internet as to what she wanted for ATS and that ATS should only be FatChance Bellydance language. Alot of improv dancers out there struggled to where they fit in. Amy Sigil came out and decided to go forth to label her unique brand and style of improv ITS....and the foundations of a format was born.
All this hard work did not just happen in that moment.....essentially ITS was already created with a whole language that the dancers at HotPot in Sacramento have been using for years. Its only been in the last little while that this ITS format has been ready at a level to present as a format to be taught in levels to people outside the Hotpot community. Now I know alot of us Tribal Fusion bellydancers have hit up Amys workshops at bellydance festivals....but we were only getting a piece of the puzzle.
While I was living in Germany....I had the incredible opportunity to be teaching and working at many dance festivals throughout Europe, which had me interacting and many of my favorite teachers from North America. Which of course included Unmata! I had previously experienced Unmata and Amy Sigil at many events and workshops...but never before had I had the opportunity for hang out time. When your co teaching at festivals you get to spend alot of time with your colleagues! This is when I really got to hear about the ITS format....and really I got excited. I hadnt realized that Amy was gonna go global with her format....and man she was serious to get ITS into a user friendly format for dancers to learn.
Alas to be able to do an intensive in Europe did not pan out for me.....life happened again!!! Tony got laid off and we had to move our family to the United States. But then....Tribal Fest happened....and Amy put the idea back into my ear to get my ass to Hotpot to do the ITS level 1-2 intensive at HotPot.
So I did....and really truly it was awesome.
Coming to Hotpot was a super great experience...I mean ITS is super cool..and to have The Unmata team there to support you and teach you something they all clearly love very much was a really cool experience. The Level 1-2 is intense. ITS is intense....it has a HUGE vocabulary. It was pretty overwhelming because I never have learned any type of improv from the bottom up before. But thats why I wanted to do this! To learn a tribal dance improv format from the bottom up!!
I must say Amy and the Unmata girls have their shit together on this format. Its super organized, its very clear on their esthetic. And it actually runs like well oiled machine when you see it in complete motion with experienced Hotpot members. The instruction was super high level...the support from everyone was amazing...and I am so so grateful to have learned so much in one week. Is it hard. Helllllllls YES. Have you seen Unmata dance....yes its hard. But thats why the ITS format is awesome. Its a language that communicates really well....creates beautiful lines and formations with really unique combos that has the flexibility to allow your personality to shine through.....
Ok ok ...so enough gushing!!! Here are the pics......
many many thanks to the Hotpot team for all there love and support that week....huge Thanks to Unmata....Amy, Kari, Shelly, Sarah.....really truly thankyou....
yes Kari im getting my ass in gear to get you my test video:)))xoxoxo
Did we have a little hafla fun......yes we did!!! Even Sam and Amar came up from SF to crash!!
man, Sac was HOT!! a little wet squishees with Mat Jacob
Random Zoe sighting...with a little random ITS thrown in...
Hanging with Joanna and Kari!
a little love in house....