Blackthorn Bellydance


LA Update - Recent Performances

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Jennifer has been exploring and enjoying the true power of ATS® in Southern California - improv! She's had the opportunity to join several groups in their performances through the LA area. Here are a few videos, and more about each group.

Tribe of Sahlah - Photo by Aubre Hill PhotographyTribe of Sahlah

Tribe of Sahlah (sahlah means "flow") is Laurie LA Tribal's latest project. She wants to showcase the true power and flexibility of the ATS® improv language, so for each performance, she gathers a different set of dancers, who collaborate for one rehearsal, and then one performance. 

  • One Billion Rising, February 2014 - Five dancers (four of whom are sister studios) came together for this inspiring event. OBR is a campaign to rise and dance to demand an end to violence against women and girls.
  • A Taste of Bellydance, January 2014 - Seven of us on a tiny stage, with sister studios and dancers not only from across LA, but also Yvonne of Samsara Bellydance in Venezuela. 
  • Belly Fusions LA, April 2013 - I joined Laurie on stage at this monthly hafla for a fun duet. We focused on the newer ATS steps as we wanted to show the mostly tribal fusion audience the latest and greatest within this dance form we love.

Photo, above: Tribe of Sahlah at Taste of Bellydance. Photo by Aubre Hill Photography.

Tribal Flow

Nancy of Sunroom Bellydance often invites other dancers to join her as "Tribal Flow" for local themed hafla performances in and around Claremont, CA. We always have fun trying to weave the theme into our dance and costuming, but making sure it's organic with our ATS® aesthetic. Here are a few of my favourites.

ATS® Flash Mob World Wide

An annual event, I was in San Francisco for the 2nd year's celebration of the ATS® Flash Mob Worldwide. I joined FCBD students as well as a few other visitors downtown SF for a fun, casual performance.

Other dancers from around the world came together to dance to the same song, too. More videos on YouTube.

Filed under: Performance by jennifer

November 2013 ATS Workshops in Kelowna

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Jennifer returns to Kelowna with a weekend of ATS® workshops with her latest learnings from FatChance BellyDance® and other southern California sister studios. Revisit your basics to get the most out of your dance, and then challenge your mind and body with intermediate and advanced topics throughout the weekend.

Times & Topics

Jennifer of Blackthorn Bellydance

Sat, 12:30 - 2:30: Back to Basics
FCBD® Level One* moves with a focus on posture, lines, and energy.

Sat, 3:00 - 5:00: Advanced Movements
Let's fine-tune technique of a few FCBD® Level Two and Three moves*. Requests will be taken in class.

Sun, 9:00 - 11:00: Formations & Utilizing Space
Getting the most out of duets, trios, quartets, fades and circles, changing direction when audience is many-sided, and chorus transitions.

Sun, 11:15 - 1:15: Musicality & Finger Cymbals
Understanding the phrases within the music, how understanding the music makes you a (better) dancer, and using the music to your (and the audience's) advantage. Will include some finger cymbal drills to challenge the mind and re-inforce musical phrasing.

*List of FCBD Levels and movements can be found on

Pricing & Registration

  • $40 each class
  • $70/2 classes
  • $120/weekend

Note: Workshop 1 is a prerequisite for all other workshops.

Email Dawn to register or with questions:


All workshops located at DanceForce, 1774 Baron Road in Kelowna. Map it.

Filed under: Classes by Jennifer

Kelowna ATS Workshops: Dec 1 & 2

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

JenniferSaturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2: American Tribal Style Bellydance® Workshops

Jennifer is excited to return to Kelowna for a weekend of workshops, incorporating her latest learnings from the FatChance BellyDance studio, and training with additonal southern California sister studios.

Revisit your basics to get the most out of your dance, and then challenge your mind and body with intermediate and advanced topics throughout the weekend.

Times & Topics

  • Saturday, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm: Enhancing Your Basics
  • Saturday, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Advanced Movements
  • Sunday, 9:00 am - 11:00 am: Powerful Duets
  • Sunday, 11:45am - 1:45 pm: Planning a Performance Set

Enhancing Your Basics

Revisit the FCBD Level One moves to gain fluidity, strength, and beautiful lines. Work into your muscles and bring new focus to your moves. Because the basics are the building blocks of all ATS moves, enhancing these brings new life to all of your dance vocabulary.

Advanced Movements

We'll choose four movements from the FCBD Level Three syllabus and review them in-depth, focusing on technique as well as how to incoprorate them in dynamic combinations. Students should be familiar with the Level One and Two vocabulary and formations.

Powerful Duets

Duets allow for a very different presentation than our standard trio and quartet formations. We'll explore how to make the most out of duets with their unique formations and passing movements. The connection between two dancers is very dynamic, and we'll look at ways to share this connection with the audience while keeping it strong between the dancers. Students should be familiar with the Level One and Two vocabulary.

Planning a Performance Set

While our movements may be improvised in the moment, creating a set involves some planning. We'll consider the audience, location, music, number of dancers and other factors to plan to perfect set for a specific performance. Pre-requisite: Students must attend workshops 1 - 3, and should be familiar with the Level One and Two vocabulary and formations.


  • $40 each class, OR:
  • $70/Saturday, OR:
  • $120/weekend

Class 4 pre-requisite: Classes 1, 2 & 3.


Please email Normajean to arrange payment via PayPal or cheque.

Filed under: Classes by Jennifer

BTBD Farewelll

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

I am sad to announce that Blackthorn Bellydance is closing its doors in Kelowna. I have taken a job opportunity in California, and will be moving there soon.

The last three years have been an amazing journey for me! I truly feel honoured and blessed to have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful women and to have watched my students grow into beautiful dancers. I am most proud to have witnessed so much personal growth in many of students, and to have seen new friendships blossom, and a new passion for dance ignite in so many.

Thank you to all of my students (current and past) for the opportunity to introduce you to American Tribal Style® Bellydance and to share my passion with you. Whether you've taken one session with me or have been dancing with me for years, I am grateful to have met you and danced with you. Teaching dance has been a life-changing experience for me, and I am so grateful to have shared this time with you.

Please stay in touch, and I hope to dance with many of you again soon - in Kelowna for a workshop, or maybe the Cues & Tattoos Festival next year. Let me know if you're ever in LA, too.

Filed under: General by Jennifer

New! Blackthorn Bellydance Lip Balms

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Blackthorn Bellydance is now offering lip balms for sale. These lip balms are a partnership between Jennifer and Herb & Petal, a local natural herbal skincare company. Danika of Herb & Petal is also a BTBD student.

Here's some more information from Danika about the ingredients and creation process:

Blackthorn Bellydance vegan lip balms are crafted by hand with all natural, locally-sourced or supplied materials, like moisturizing wild-crafted plant butters and waxes, and nourishing cold-pressed oils and healing herbal extracts. They are flavoured and scented with a small amount of pure steam-distilled essential oils. Custom made with love by Herb & Petal, Kelowna, BC.   

The lip balms are available in two yummy flavours:

  • Orange Blossom
  • Lavender Mint Chocolate

They can be purchases in class for $6 each, or if you can't decide between flavours, 2/$10.

Filed under: General by Jennifer

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