For the third year in a row we made the trip to Vienna. Well, Julia and Tina went there. The bot of them were able to take part in several great workshops at this year´s edition of CarVie, or Caravanseray Vienna. And they finally got to meet some familiar faces in person for the very first time.

At the Restaurant Show “Feast of Desire” our duo got the chance to perform two times. In the first half they danced to NEFFEX – Free Me and after the break to Betty Booom – Puttin’ on the Ritz. The skirts decided to misbehave here and there, but the audience was amazing. What a night!

We had an amazing time and we are looking forward to our next meeting in Linz at Skills `n’ Zills!

Video by Dani Niemietz <3
Video by Dani Niemietz <3
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In mid-May, the “Anam Ladies” headed to Rome for the absolutely brilliant Roma Tribal Meeting. Workshops, performances, shopping, sightseeing, great conversations and hugs…. so many wonderful memories in such a short time!

For Julia and Tina in particular, things got really busy on the very first day. As soon as they got off the train, they had to get to the studio right away to take part in the preparations for the Performance Intensives. At the Dreams Show they helped to bring the Dance Sisters Collective´s vision to life as part of a “school of fish”. Julia was also part of the Open Stage Show in the “Flock of Birds” performance led by Taisa Jah Surya.

The selection of workshops was really great and we were able to take away many new and deepen other things. We did manage to squeeze in some time for sightseeing before heading back home.

We already miss this amazing city and most of all the wonderful dancers, teachers, friends and dance sisters we met at Roma Tribal Meeting. 🥰

A huge thank you to everyone who shared this weekend with us and made it special…. And of course to Isabel De Lorenzo and her team for this amazing event!

Damhsa Pics:

Photos by @roberto_radimir:

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In August 2022 we held our first event as a group. Here’s a little look into how it came about and what we did! For years, our mother group Anam Chara had been invited by the Ur Ton Drummers of Linz, to dance in their annual drumming circle next to the Lentos on the banks of the river Danube, Linz. As Julia is an active member of Anam Chara, and her student Christina is a member of the drumming group, it sparked an idea.

Julia decided it would be fun to provide a way for Fat Chancers to connect in a relaxed setting after the stress of the pandemic. What could be better than in a live drumming circle?

Then came another idea as she and Tina got chatting. Why not connect the event to a workshop or two and make a day of it? And who better to ask than our teacher and mentor Gudrun Herold? So, Julia chatted with Gudrun, Tina created the online poster and registration form and together they privately invited dancers from all over Germany with the assistance of their dance sister in Bavaria, Lisi Brümmer!

Two skirt workshops and a frame drum workshop were on offer, at the incredible Sonnenstein Loft, Red Sapata Tanz Fabrik, followed by Hafla style dancing with the drummers to close the day. Dancers from Tanzerei Adabei, Tingula Tribe and our very own Anam Chara came, and we had a blast. Gudrun took us through her, and Philippa Morai’s skirt dialect and we practiced hard and tried out our new moves. Then came the drum workshop which Julia and Tina also attended. We tapped out rhythms that we dance to in our style such as Maksoum and Baladi. There are different ways and parts of the drum to hit, which are connected to different elements. This was a fascinating insight into an instrument which has been played by women for thousands of years. For more on this, if you are interested, please reach out to Gudrun Herold at Many Moons Collective.

After that we all got ready, with our skirts, scarves, belts, heavy jewellery and a little makeup and hair styled with flowers and then made our way over the bridge and excitement mounted as we heard the drums pounding. Gudrun led us in a gratitude meditation for ourselves and then to the drummers and afterwards we danced and zilled till our arms almost dropped off!

We chatted as the sun set and connected over a small picnic as we sat on the grass and just took in the atmosphere. The ladies dipped in and out of the circle to dance as the general public watched and enjoyed the show!

Thank you to the UrTon Drummers, the dancers who came and of course Gudrun Herold, our teacher for the day! The event was so special, we’ve decided to expand on it and do something a little bigger next year, but more on that another time!

Here are some pictures:

Photography at Donaulände: Johann Lackner, Fotoklub Feldkirchen

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And the fun continues! After we already thought we would have to miss #CarVie22 this year, Julia and Tina were able to go to the absolutely 💕brilliant💕 workshop “Formations Micro- & Macrocosmos” by Agata Zakrzewska and Katarzyna Lidia Weichert from Hamsa Dance School and Siren Society last minute. It was so awesome, though unfortunately way too short!

A huge thank you to Nakari Dance Company for organizing this event. We are looking forward to returning next year… hopefully with a lot more time fore workshops and performances.

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In October of 2021, I experienced some of the most intense days of my dance life so far. The Fat Chance Belly Dance General Skills online course is taught over ten days, is 30 hours long, has limited places and covers the steps of the classic and modern FCBD style dance vocabulary. Upon completion, you receive a certificate of attendance.  There is also an option to pay an additional fee and take the GS exams at the end comprised of written and practical components. If you pass these, you are then GS certified and therefore eligible to apply for the separate Teacher Training course. Naturally, having a somewhat ambitious personality, I decided upon this option!

In the course I attended, we were taught by Carolena Nericcio, the founder of the dance style, DeAnna Padron Freeman, director of FCBDu, the online Fat Chance university, Liz Malcom, Kelley Beeston, Philippa Morai, Lore Rojas and Michiyo Salisbury. All of whom are part of the advanced teacher training team and the Fat Chance® Continuing Education (FCCE) Program. To say I was excited would be an understatement! The GS teachers change per course, but they all hold the Advanced Teacher Training status, and some are also alumni of the Fat Chance troupe.

We began with introductions and the basics. Carolena told us the history of the dance from her viewpoint and often regaled us with snippets of information throughout the course to give us background and context. We always began our online time with the gratitude meditation which is a core element of our dance form and shows gratitude to the dance, our teachers, our dance community, and our audiences etc. We were put through our paces each day, following an instructor as she drilled us while being observed with the hawk eyes of the other instructors. Feedback would follow and we were given homework to complete.

One of the homework’s given, was to write a piece entitled, ‘What is FCBD Style?’ As an English teacher, I endeavoured to convey what this dance form is, beyond the obvious steps and costumes. When asked to read our pieces to everyone, I went first and nervously read aloud my piece. Hearing silence afterwards, I thought, ‘oh no! They don’t like it’, but instead I saw some tearful faces and Carolena told me I’d verbalised what she’d been trying to get across for years. DeAnna asked me if she could use it and the piece has now been translated into several languages. You can find the videos of it on this website if you’d like to listen to it. It’s one of the proudest moments in my dance life thus far.

As the days went on, we fell into a rhythm and were polished into Fat Chance style dancers. I took some notes… This became a 53 page google document which I am still adding to. I am a nerd… It can only attest to how comprehensive the course is and the amount of information you receive.

There was a lot of emotion and excitement at graduation on day ten. We were all sorry the course had ended, as well as feeling tired, and some of us were nervous about the impending exams. After a week or two, we completed the written component and depending on if we’d passed, we received the steps we were to record ourselves dancing for the practical part. I can’t tell you how many times I recorded my steps…I couldn’t seem to get them perfect enough but decided to bite the bullet and just send the videos.

After that came the wait. Finally, the email arrived. I was so nervous as I opened it! There it was, in black and white. I had passed the General Skills course that I’d been dreaming about taking for years! I was so happy, and I almost couldn’t believe it!

So, that was my General Skills experience. What a ride! I am so grateful to the teachers for giving me such valuable feedback and to Carolena for enriching the course with her memories and extensive dance knowledge! I’m also grateful to my fellow classmates. We became firm friends and supported one another through each day.

So, what’s next? Well, as I mentioned, I took the additional exams and got the GS certification. As soon as I received the notification, I applied for the Teacher Training which will take place in Soest, Germany in the Summer of 2022. I was lucky enough to obtain a place and am looking forward to the next ‘step’ in my dance journey.

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After only 5 hours in the studio, the lockdown unfortunately got in the way. But we didn’t get discouraged and just continued our course online via Zoom.

Of course, it was an adjustment at first, but it actually works surprisingly well. From learning new steps, fine-tuning the technique to joint flows, where you can also swap the lead. Of course, you can’t go around in circles and do fades together… But we are very happy to at least have this option.

At the end of the first beginner course, there was even a small online performance for the members of Anam Chara. Here we have collected a few impressions from our first course for you:

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This year presents us all with new challenges. So how do we deal with it? What does that mean for Anam Damhsa?

Let’s say in advance that of course we dove into this new project full of motivation and would love to do everything at the same time. But in everything, safety always comes first!


Fortunately, we are currently able to run our first course for beginners in compliance with all regulations. We are a very small group with enough space and distance. Nevertheless, caution is of course called for and we adhere to all recommendations, such as regular airing or hand washing and have equipped the studio with disinfectant.

If the situation continues to allow it, our following courses will also take place as planned. But of course we will keep you informed!


Even without Covid19, it is often not so easy to train locally with those who move us forward. After all, FCBD® is not limited locally, but a worldwide community. Fortunately, there was already the possibility of online trainings via video chat before…

For example, Julia regularly participates in the online classes of Gudrun Herold from Dance Sisters Collective.

Participation in Events:

As a young group, we would of course be happy to soon be able to participate in workshops and events and exchange ideas with others. We just stay optimistic, focus on our training and see how it will go in the coming year.

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The idea for Anam Damhsa grew and flourished over a longer period of time. As a daughter group of Anam Chara, the idea was to offer a place to go for those who want to train pure FCBD® and really focus on technical accuracy.

Name and colors were chosen, plans were made and then it was time to plan the first course, carried out by Julia, in her double role as Anam Chara member and Anam Damhsa Director, and of course with Marisa as support.

The start date was 1.10.2020 and during the course Nicole and Tina joined Anam Damhsa…..

We are still a very young group, at the very beginning of our journey together, but it is already clear to us that the right combination of people has found each other. It is all the more exciting to see what the future holds for us. We will of course keep you up to date here and also on our social media channels and offer you a look behind the scenes every now and then.

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What defines us

Love for the dance
Positive thinking
Thirst for knowledge
Full of energy
Open and honest
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