Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 30, 2011.

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NYC's very own American Tribal Style belly dance troupe announces our first ever West Coast Belly Dance Festival Tour!

Two West Coast belly dance festivals - one New York-based belly dance troupe... it’s Manhattan Tribal’s first ever West Coast Belly Dance Festival Tour!

This spring, we’re journeying to Seattle and California to premiere our 2012 repertoire at two renowned dance festivals! We are thrilled to bring our style of dance to the West Coast for the first time, and to infuse the New York tribal belly dance scene with new ideas from our West Coast sisters.

Manhattan Tribal is New York City’s first and only professional American Tribal Style belly dance company. Mimi Fontana, founder and director of Manhattan Tribal, has been invited to teach at two of the most prominent tribal belly dance festivals in the country: Cues and Tattoos, in Seattle, WA and Tribal Fest 12, in Sebastapol, CA.

At each festival, Mimi and Manhattan Tribal will perform new work, participate in workshops, and teach our innovative style of tribal belly dance to a whole new community of dancers from the West Coast and around the world. A special focus of Mimi’s workshops will be the introduction of a traditional Turkish folkloric rhythm to this vibrant and modern form of world dance.

Manhattan Tribal troupe members are director Mimi Fontana, Heather Bondra, Rachel Ehrlich, Debbie Lakis, Kate Reid, Maria “Naja” Richardson, and Stephanie Rubino-Ginsburg.


So what is this Kickstarter campaign, and how will it help?

Mimi and Manhattan Tribal have been invited to teach and perform at both festivals. In order to create our 2012 repertoire and travel west for the premiere, we need to raise $3500 by November 30.

We started this Kickstarter campaign to ask our friends and supporters to help send our troupe on this exciting journey. Since we perform only in a group format, our goal is to raise funds to cover lodging and a portion of travel expenses to take our New York City style to the West Coast for the first time ever.

Any contribution you can make will help us succeed, because Kickstarter will only fund our project if we reach our fundraising goal of $3500. That means if we don’t meet our goal, Kickstarter will return your pledge and our project will not be funded. That’s why every little bit counts!

By giving to our West Coast Belly Dance Exchange Tour, you are:

  • Supporting a burgeoning and totally unique dance format.
  • Increasing the exposure of Manhattan Tribal by helping to introduce our take on tribal style belly dance to a whole new community of dancers and belly dance enthusiasts.
  • Advancing the NYC tribal belly dance scene. Mimi and Manhattan Tribal will take what we learn from participating in these two West Coast festivals to inform future classes and workshops to be taught along the East Coast.

We are thrilled by this opportunity to perform among the stars of the tribal belly dance scene, a flourishing and diverse community of dancers that was founded on the West Coast. This is our chance to bring Manhattan Tribal back home to where it all began, and we need your support to bring this goal to life. Thank you for supporting our tour and our vision for this creative exchange!

Will I receive anything for pledging my support?

Yes! In addition to our eternal gratitude, we’ve created rewards and thank-you gifts at every level to thank contributors. Every pledge will bring us that much closer, so we've created special rewards to include supporters along every step of the way. You may specify any amount you wish to contribute, and every pledge will be deeply appreciated!

So, what exactly is American Tribal Style (ATS) belly dance?

American Tribal Style (ATS) belly dance, is a modern style of belly dance created by San Francisco-based Carolena Nericcio.  The style is most commonly associated with the troupe she formed in 1987, FatChance Belly Dance, and they continue to inspire fans worldwide. ATS belly dance relies on a movement vocabulary integrated with non-verbal “cues” that empower a group of dancers to improvise together while giving the appearance of a choreographed dance piece.

While preserving ATS belly dance in its true form, Manhattan Tribal adds our own brand of NYC flavor, infusing our performances with high energy and exciting combinations that have become our signature style. Manhattan Tribal performs regularly throughout the New York tri-state area, and has taught workshops and performed across the US and abroad.

In 2011, World Dance New York released the instructional DVD, “Tribal Revival: American Tribal Style Belly Dance Variations and Combinations with Mimi Fontana,” which showcases our distinctive interpretation.

That sounds cool!  But... I’m still not totally sure I understand what ATS is all about?

American Tribal Style belly dance may be one of those things you have to experience to really “get.” This is why we’re so excited to make it out to the West Coast to show people what we do, and to share this campaign with as many people as we can! We've included links to the right to help show what we and the founders of this style are all about, but if you can, check out our Events page and try to catch a live performance!

Thank you!

This spring, we're dreaming of packing up and heading west to perform and enrich our own interpretation of tribal style belly dance... if you can help send us on this amazing journey, please make a pledge to help us keep the momentum going. We're on our way!

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    18 backers

    Thank you! Every dollar counts! Your name will be listed as an official contributor on our website and you’ll get exclusive access to our blog that will document preparations and what happens on our West Coast Belly Dance Festival tour!

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    Name listed as a contributor on our website, exclusive access to our tour blog, and personalized photo postcard thanking you for your contribution!

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    8 backers

    Name listed as a contributor on our website, exclusive access to our tour blog, personalized photo postcard, and exclusive access to rehearsal videos and other behind-the-scenes Manhattan Tribal footage as we create our 2012 repertoire!

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    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    Name listed as a contributor on our website, exclusive access to our tour blog, personalized photo postcard, exclusive access to rehearsal videos and behind-the-scenes footage, and limited edition Manhattan Tribal tote bag (limited quantities - act now!)

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    9 backers

    Name listed as a contributor on our website, exclusive access to our tour blog, personalized photo postcard, exclusive access to rehearsal videos and other behind-the-scenes footage, and a signed copy of our DVD: “Tribal Revival: American Tribal Style Belly Dance Variations and Combinations with Mimi Fontana”!

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    Name listed as a contributor on our website, exclusive access to our tour blog, personalized photo postcard, exclusive access to rehearsal videos and other behind-the-scenes Manhattan Tribal footage, and six-class card for dance classes with Mimi Fontana and Manhattan Tribal (classes held every week! Check website for the schedule) OR one hour virtual or in-person private lesson with Mimi! (Some restrictions may apply)

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    All of the above! OR Manhattan Tribal would be honored to perform at your next event! (Some restrictions may apply; travel outside the New York metro area not included.)

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