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EAST MEETS WEST

Interview with Anita Blake

by Marcel Bieger

ANITA BLAKE'S WAY TO “SISTER STUDIO”

End of November I went to California. I thought about going to Carolena to make my “Sister Studio”, which allows me to teach “ATS”®, long before. The new course, which started last November, was already sold out half a year before.

It was a big decision to make and my husband Alexander helped me with it. Actually it was his idea for me to make “Sister Studio”. The difficulty for me was that I have never travelled so far, so I was afraid of travelling along. But I did it! (smiles).

It was a long travel and I liked everything in America a lot – the food, the people, everything. Carolena’s classes were just the greatest experience in ATS® I ever had. The courses were worth every penny I paid for them. After “General Skills”, where you learn everything that is important to know about ATS® we had “Teacher Training”, where we learnd how to teach ATS® and Carolena supervised us, corrected our mistakes and made suggestions. And she was available all the time for questions.

I also took an additional one day course in “Teacher Training”, which she doesn’t give in Europe. You can only get it in America. It was called “ATS® For Business”. It’s like a Question-Answer-Session, where Carolena teaches us how to make a business from ATS®. She was a great support for us. After this I asked her about “Sister Studio” and she explained to us, what to to.
After being home again I sent her an application for “Sister Studio” and in a matter of a few weeks I received the title. The big surprise that came with it is that “Sister Studio” is not just a piece of paper that you can hang on the wall or put on the mantelpiece. But it includes a really big support from Carolena. She has special communication ways for her “Sister Studios” through which we can ask her anything at any time. Questions how to make a certain step or how to react at a rather difficult situation with students. Her support for us comes every day, she writes messages to the community quite frequently.

It is really a great thing and I am proud because I belong to it. And this is the speciality of her way, you do not get just a piece of paper, but you
get a big support.
There is talk at the moment that Carolena is making her classes bigger, up to sixty people in it. Did you notice anything like that?

I don’t know, really, how this could be, because her studio is quite small, no more than about twenty people fit into it. This would also be the limit for a “GS” course. And only 15 people she takes in for “TT”. Sixty people sounds very much and I can’t imagine how students learn something in
such a mass class.

I could only think that bigger classes come together when Carolena is travelling, because mostly it’s up to the promoters, how big there rooms are and how many people they want to see in the workshops. This was also a good idea of me to go to California for training and education.

Was the education very stressy?

No, not at all. We learned for about five hours a day, some days longer, some days less. It was also very wonderful to be in San Francisco, especially at Thanksgiving Day. Carolena made a big party for the all of us. We all went to the party and Carolena cooked some vegetarian food, some of us also brought some dishes and all in all it was great fun.

Did you know somebody there already?

No, but we introduced ourselves to each other. We founded a facebook group there, well some of us, and we will meet in May at Tribal Roma.

So, now “Lamia Dance Company” is officially allowed, prepared, licensed to teach ATS®?

No and No. I as Anita Blake am “Sister Studio” and “Sister Studio” doesn’t mean that I am licensed to teach ATS® in the first line, but it is a guarantee of quality of my teaching. It is a quality certificate not a allowance certificate. Everybody can teach ATS® without any saying so from Carolena.

ATS® spread all over the world due to her DVDs, she could not have been everywhere at any time. Carolena also said it is a rumor that she is controlling all this, she will not do such a thing.

You also brought the sad news that Carolena won’t travel anymore.

Carolena said she is tired of all the travelling and she wants to spend more time at home at San Francisco. And also her teachers should teach the students more often. Her teachers are the members of Fat Chance Bellydance®. Only these and
nobody else.

Are you teaching ATS® at the moment?

Yes, I have two courses, one for beginners and one for level 3. At my “Zaghareet Fetival” I will give workshops for ATS®, and – and this is a big AND – for the first time I will give workshops at Tribal Festival in Hanover in June. Guess what, I’ll be teaching ATS® for beginners! Can you imagine that?! I am thrilled beyond measure.

Homepage Anita Blake:

www.lamiadance.com

Anita Blake und Carolena Nericcio during the handover of the certification
Anita Blake
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Graphics WebDesign: Konstanze Winkler
Photos © 4 and 5 Lux-Light-Art, all others Alexander Demenshin
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That is new to me, we thought, only those people were allowed to teach ATS® who were allowed to do so by Carolena.