May 13, 2021

Zooming Ahead ........

Following the most unusually tumultuous year which began in March 2020, saw us all, globally, confined to our homes due to the worldwide Corona Virus pandemic.  This disaster heralded the age of Zoom and introduced the virtual world to all, and in our dance context, had everything from classes, workshops and parties both national and international taking place on a monitor within the comfort of our homes.  Ashnah have continued teaching and dancing via Zoom, throwing new light on how we look at our dance.

As I write these few lines in May 2021, restrictions are gradually lifting and Ashnah are making plans to return to the studio and already have a few outdoor gigs lined up for later on in the Spring / Summer.  Let me hear you: “Amen!!” 

Rita deChadarevian

October 22, 2020

Remembering Megha Gavin

Our ATS® world is in mourning for losing one of our foremost lights - Megha Gavin.  Her input into the FCBD® style along with her teaching made a huge impact globally, and Ashnah have been honoured many times to be taught by her.

Founder and co-director of Devyani Dance in Alabama, Megha Gavin was also the Administrator of the FatChance® / Tribal Pura International Sister Community and Continuing Education Programme.  In that capacity and along with Carolena Nericcio, this foremost pairing toured the world bringing with them their love of this art-form and teaching us all which we needed to learn.  We shall remember her as a gentle, charming soul with a lovely southern drawl, specifically her lilting ‘y’all’.


Rest in Peace Megha.

March 25, 2020

Turban Evening

My lovely Iridescence ladies I teach in Swindon asked for a turban evening - so, who was I to resist!!!  Chris hosted the evening in her house along with food and drinks, and we all came with fabrics, jewellery, flowers, pins and all manner of glittery objects to pin on, and I went over various headdress options from a sock bun, had much hilarity at the leggings turban, smaller headwraps, 'mock' turbans and finally leading up to the full turban.  I think the ladies favoured the leggings headdress as the most successful one - it being the most secure, simplest and looked great!

The ladies presented Rita and I with a lovely chocolate bouquet, sadly which didn't last long in my household nomnomnom.

Thank you ladies (for waiting on me as I had a bad back) and for a fun filled crazy evening!

March 08, 2020

Oxford Holi Festival

Ashnah were invited again to dance at this wonderfully colourful festival in aid of the Oxford Hindu Temple Project.  Along with our dance group, there was Dhol drumming and throwing colours (many people were covered in amazing vibrant paint colours), a kite flying competition, dancing with a narrated story of Holika, Holi Havan, Holi songs, many other dance groups along with some Bollywood, workshops and finishing off the day with more dancing and celebrations with a DJ.

With our Rita nursing an injured knee and stepping out for much of the faster elements of the dancing, we managed to turn out a good programme including our much favoured swords!

December 24, 2019

Casbah Cafe Hafla

Well this is something I haven’t done in many years - performed solo!!  This is the second Casbah Hafla I’ve attended, and this time I went along with my lovely Swindon ladies, Iridescence.  Chris and Fiona danced a lovely duet and I danced a solo.  It felt strange not to be in the traditional quartet formation, but going solo means you can break the rules a little and spread your wings.

And here’s my performance video:

June 22, 2019

Abingdon Pride

Esme and Rita
Ashnah were invited to perform at Abingdon's first Gay Pride event - and what a fabulous event it was!!!  I've never seen so many people gather on the Market Place for an event, and the weather played its part too.  

There was a whole host of superb professional acts performing - opened by the Mayor of Abingdon and Layla Moran MP, there was singer Andy Robbins, Ashnah (yay)!, Christopher Haul singing, steam-punk capella group Horatio Kuppa T and the Zeppelin Crew, Attitude Dance doing burlesque, the amazing Jelly Cube, Sophia Blackwell and Nina Jade.

l-r Rita, Esme, Kay, Philippa

Many thanks to all the organisers who, I believe, put all this together within 3 weeks!

What a fabulous community spirit!

June 21, 2019

Make Music, Abingdon

courtesy of Abingdon Blog
A new event for Abingdon - Make Music which is part of a global celebration of music in over 120 countries every 21st June.  From 3pm onwards there were numerous singers and musicians performing at the many venues across Abingdon.

We were invited to perform and danced in the evening on the Market Place.

June 15, 2019

Performing with Kalash

clockwise from L back - Kay Kemp White, Jo Taylor, Philippa Watts,
Lesley Chapman, Kelley Beeston, Tash Churchill, Bonita Davis
We were invited by Kelley Beeston to perform with Kalash at the North Devon Diversity Festival in Barnstaple and then in the evening at Nikki Livermore's Hafla in Minehead, Devon, where Kelley was also teaching an ATS® workshop.

Iridescence (my Swindon students) also performed a very well put together dance - was full of moves we'd recently covered in class and the flow was sublime.

Kelley kindly offered myself and Philippa a room for the night and along with Jo Taylor who also came to stay, we had a fabulous 2 night stay in the in famous (15th Century I believe) farmhouse.  I must say, the gin went down well ......

Thank you Kelley and all the lovely Kalashies who welcomed us and for sharing the dance floor.  We had a fabulous time!!!

February 25, 2018

Wendy Allen & Sandi Ball, Warsaw, Poland

What can I say about this almost week long break spent in Warsaw with temperatures dipping to -14°with an absolute darling of a man and ATS® Brother Studio, Marek Ciechanowski, and which included attending the weekend Tribal Vibes Intensive with Wendy Allen and Sandi Ball hosted by Agata and Katarczina.

It absolutely ticked all possible boxes and left me wanting more!!!  I made new acquaintances, cemented older friendships and Marek and I had the lovely opportunity to spend our last day with body Sandi and Wendy eating, drinking and getting to know each other better.

The organisation was flawless.  Thank you all - it was unforgettable!

February 17, 2018

Wendy Allen & Sandi Ball weekend, Devon

Pips and I travelled to Devon to take part in the Wendy and Sandi workshops which started on the Friday evening in Kelley's infamous barn, for the gather and greet evening.  Saturday kicked off in Tiverton in the newly refurbished studio, making it larger (yet it seemed smaller to me), where Wendy and Sandi took us through our paces with a variety of workshops.  I sat out a fair bit as I'm recovering from knee injuries ...... not sure which was more painful, the knees or having to sit, watch and not dance!!  Sniff.......

Saturday night was a cosy hafla where we dressed up, danced, ate, drank wine (of course) ...... and watched Sandi and Wendy perform which was fabulous.  Sunday brought more workshops with so much fun and laughter.

Great catching with old friends, making new friends again and coming home with mountains of ideas, improvements in what we already know and eagerness to bring it to our group.

Thanks for my assuit Denise (which I collected from the weekend too) .... its boooooootful !!!!

Here's a video snippet from the weekend (courtesy of Jacqui Spiers):