Laurie (aka Lulu) Martin is the director of Blue Amber Belly Dance and provides certified FCBD ATS® instruction based in Richland (Tri-Cities), WA.
Lulu offers American Tribal Style® classes and follows the FCBD® vocabulary of movement, the original and most well known improvisational tribal style belly dance format in the world.
What does all this mean? She is committed to providing the best in FCBD ATS® instruction by studying with the source of the format through intensive training and workshops. This ensures students attending her classes are able to travel anywhere and be able to dance with others trained in the FCBD ATS® format seamlessly and with confidence.
Having no previous formal dance training, she started in 2005 by learning to dance from a bootleg video of the original FCBD® Vol. 1 series. Blown away by the strength, beauty, elegance and poise of the dancers, she started looking more into what it was about, and placed an order for the Vols. 1 and 4 instructional DVDs. She soon after started taking classes in the Tri-Cities (Richland), WA with the Sultana Dancers, a Middle Eastern Fusion troupe. In early 2006, she was very fortunate to be asked to join the Sultanas, performing throughout the Pacific Northwest, and was co-director when she departed for Ukraine on an extended work assignment at Chernobyl in 2010. There, she lived as an American expat in Slavutych where she taught FCBD ATS® to a group of fabulous local women until 2013, when her work assignment came to and end and she returned home to the Tri-Cities, WA area.
During this time abroad, she was lucky enough to travel throughout Europe, attending tribal belly dance festivals where she was fortunate enough to experience this magical concept of ATS® first hand with dancers from all over the world! She performed, studied and occasionally taught at such festivals as Tribal Umrah, Tribal Fest Budapest, The Oriental Pearl in Israel, Tribal Weekend and Tribal Spring both in Kiev.
Over a period of 8 years, she explored Tribal Fusion, Egyptian/American Cabaret, Turkish Rom and various folkloric styles. Each expedition into another style brought her back to wanting nothing more than to dance FCBD ATS® in its original form. She obtained FCBD® General Skills Intensive certification in 2008, and in early 2013 completed Teacher Training to establish her FCBD® Sister Studio status. In 2015 she was honored to be one of 10 dancers worldwide selected to complete the inagural FCBD® Advanced Teacher Training program, which involved spending 2 weeks in San Francisco studying intensively with the creator of ATS®, Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman and her Tribal Pura partner, Megha Gavin.
Wanting a well-rounded background in the genre, she has also earned certification in Rachel Brice's 8 Elements weeklong intensives Phase I - Initiation and Phase II - Cultivation.
She is grateful for the opportunity to give those living in Southeastern Washington a chance to learn and participate in this interactive group style of improvisational belly dance; that has been therapeutic, uplifting and empowering for dancers around the world.