Dala Tribal Dance Company visits Columbiana

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

Columbiana’s Music on Main had something a little extra for the third show of the two-month concert season.

While local favorite DJ Fuzzy took on the main entertainment of the May 17 show, he generously shared the spotlight with four dancers from the Dala Tribal Dance Company who did two sets during the two-hour event on Main Street.

The Music on Main concert series is a free event open to the public every Friday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. from May through the end of June.

Each week features a different musical act, usually a band.

This particular week, DJ Fuzzy and Dala created a collaboration that was a hit with the locals.
Dala performs what is known as America Style Belly Dance.

This style of belly dancing combines traditions from Egypt, North Africa, India and Spain, and finds its roots in everyday movements as simple as walking.

ATS (American Tribal Style) is designed for group performances that are not choreographed, but rather relies on teamwork and a leader that is indiscernible to the onlookers. The result is a flawless performance that makes the dancers appear as a single entity.

Liz Malcom, the leader of this group, has been dancing since 1997.

She studied her passion with the originator of this style of dance, Carolena Nericcio, in San Francisco, where she was certified to teach.

Her group, Dala, has been dancing together for five years, and they teach in Homewood as well.

As a dance teacher, Malcom explains that in class every student practices both following the lead dancer and being the lead dancer.

“The support the women in class give and the weekly practice make leading seem more attainable,” she said. “Students have come to me in tears and told me how they have achieved things in their life that they felt were encouraged by their experience in dance class. It warms my heart that they had such a profoundly positive experience in their lives. We are all learning and none of us are perfect and that is absolutely OK. We must dance for joy. To bring joy into our lives and the lives of others.”

Music on Main spectators responded enthusiastically and enjoyed taking photos of the dancers after the show.

Resident Diane Moore shared how glad she was the dancers came to Music on Main.

“It’s always good to experience new things that will broaden our understanding of the world,” Moore said. “Their dress and makeup was tasteful as well as stunning, and their love of what they do was so evident. It’s always a delight to experience something so full of tradition and culture.”
If you missed the Dala dancers at Music on Main, you’ll have another chance June 14 when they teach a free class at the Mt Laurel Library from 6-7 p.m.

They also teach beginner level classes at the Dance Foundation in Homewood.

Find out more about classes at www.dalatribal.com.

For more information about the upcoming concerts for Music on Main, check the Columbiana Music on Main Facebook page.