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Thread: Zills for ATS

  1. #1
    Junior Member Silverfyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Question Zills for ATS

    Hi there everyone,

    I've been studying Fat Chance format ATS for 1 and half years now, its my dance-iversary in February and I really feel like I want to add to my study now.

    In class we learn the standard R-L-R for dancing, and the occasional military pattern for the couple of moves it's used with. We've also briefly touched on the baladi, although we never seem to dance with it in fact we rarely use our zills at all in class, I mostly practice them at home.

    But I've noticed when watching some troupes perform that the chorus play different rhythms, like for a solo or to accompany sword or floor work.

    I love my zills and want to learn more with them, so basically my question is what rythms should I be learning? And can anyone recommend any DVDs, CD's, books or online tutorials that might be useful?


  2. #2
    Member ana_bat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    Hi Silverfyre! And welcome! Now, for your question. Undoubtedly, this is going to be one of your best resources for learning zills:

    Tribal Basics Vol. 3 Zils Yin and Yang - $25.00 : Fat Chance Belly Dance, Catalog

    Boy that's a messy link....Any who, I have an older edition of that DVD but it pretty much covers all the zill patterns you're going to be using in FCBD format ATS (R).

    As far as using other zil patterns go, well you pretty much summed them all up. 4/4, military pattern for for 2 Up 3 Down and for the Doubleback, Baladi for for certain songs (usually this will be discussed before hand rather than whipped out on the fly).

    Now with respect to the other zill patterns you might be referring to, it might be that a particular troupe discussed beforehand to try something new, or to use a zil pattern that varies from the above ones because it went nicely to a song, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you will have to use them as well. When it comes to zil patterns, ATS (R) doesn't generally have lots of varying patterns played throughout the song because it would make it really difficult for those who are following the leader to be able to follow along. Also, the performances you were watching, were they FCBD style ATS (R)? It could be that they're performing a different style of tribal belly dance all together.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Silverfyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012


    Hi ana bat,

    Thanks for your reply, I actually don't have the FCBD zills dvd, it's the only one i dont have!! But I'll definately get it asap.

    The performances I saw were defiately ATS, however I'm pretty sure they were indeed loosely choreographed so I'm sure the zill patterns would have been discussed beforehand like you said.

    I'll definately keep working on the patterns that we have (briefly) covered in class and get used to dancing while zilling.

    Thanks for your help


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