A Tidbit or Two
Tha Realm is Abbotsford's Home for Bellydance, specializing and offering weekly classes in classes in:
American Tribal Style Bellydance, Raks Sharqi Bellydance and Fusion Bellydance.
In this interview, Nicci Marsh discusses:
What sparked her interest in belly dance in the first place. [2:43]
How she overcame her fear of performing. [5:28]
Tips to those with stage fright. [6:48]
What made her go back to the veil? [9:20]
Her future plans. [13:10]
Tips for those who wish to start bellydance. [15:05]
How to best hire Nicci for your events. [18:46]
A story of a student who overcame a belly dance struggle. [21:00
Cover page photo credit
Peter Paradise Michaels of RavenWolfe Photography from Danse Macbre, Montreal 2012
What is the Mission of Tha Realm Dance Studio?
To create and cultivate a space that embraces and encourages dancers to discover and develop themselves and thier Art. Focusing on the importance of knowledge and technique for each style of bellydance is key for both Instructors and dancers of Tha Realm; technique leads to freedom of dance expression. All bellydance classes are based and are developed around a strong understanding and execution fo bellydance technique, fun and diverse choreography and the elements for performance training.
Tha Realm is a space where all those who enter its doors are encouraged to take the time to Reconnect with themselves, Reclaim who they are and Rebirth into a new path through Bellydance. Dancing by "In a world where you can be anything, be your yourself" which is more than a tag sticker on a wall, but a moto.
Dancers, seasoned or just taking their first steps, are provided an environment to feel safe and secure to let their guards down and dance it out. Join us wont you!
Who's behind Tha Realm?
Hi! I am Nicci, I am the Owner and Creative Director of Tha Realm Dance Studio; but I am more than that, I am a forever a student, a dancer, a performer, an instructer and choreographer; oh and the crazy woman behind Tha Realm Dance Studio. When I took my first class in 2007 I had no idea of just how deeply Bellydance and the passion for it would impact my life. Bellydance truly changed my world.
Bellydance has been an unexpected life journey that has taken me from being strictly a student who "would never perform" to a performer who "isn't doing this to teach", to a teacher who wrote a dream on a board and is now blessed to share it each week with dancers discovering thier Bellydance story. My desire to "do something different" has taken me on an adventure of self discovery that I could have never imagined and it continues to do so. What adventure will Bellydance take you on?
Why call it Tha Realm?
When I first began working with the my troupe mates, Tha Fae Bellydance, we would refer to my small home studio as "Tha Realm" our place where we as developing dancers and artists felt safe, felt free to play. Then as time passed we began realizing, 'in order to grow as a dancers, artists, performers and eventually instructors one must push themselves out side their realm of comfort'. I believe that in life we are constantly pushing our own boundaries or "realms of comfort" and thus we have a place that is both safe and challenging in our growth. So, when I was given this opportunity to open our first location, it only seemed fitting to call it Tha Realm Dance Studio.
What led you to open Tha Realm?
At somepoint in this crazy dance journey, I realized that my love for Bellydance was moving beyond just doing it for myself and I really wanted to share it on a different level. That I wanted to share this thing that had changed personal outlook, my body and my life so deeply and wanted to do so by teaching. When I was contemplating if I was ready to begin teaching a mentor asked me "Why do you want to teach?" and my instant reaction "Because I must!" it seems like a silly answer but it was raw and instant... from the heart.. So I opened my small home studio to public classes and the first Realm Dance Studio was born, I never imagined where it would lead me next.
Well it led to Tha Realm 2.0 where we spent 2012-2014 cultivating "Abbotsford's Home for Bellydance" in Historic Downtown Abbotsford at our Essendene Location. Time at this space was filled with amazing milestones from our first theater show Beyond Tha Realm featuring Sharon Khira to Student Soirees, Community Events and more! Oh and we had some great bellydance classes too!
Come Fall of 2014 we transform once again as we move to our current home, Tha Realm Dance Studio 3.0 on George Ferguson Way. This past year at Realm Studio 3.0 has been and amazing year! This year dancers of Tha Realm had the opportunity to facilitate and participate in some amazing events inviting in and involving within the community to experience the Diversity and Art of Bellydance. From the Art & Wine Walk to our theater show A Few of Our Favorite Things, from the annual Berrybeat Festival to Fraser Valley Pride, from a spotlight showcase at the The Reach Art Gallery's creatiValley Celebration of Culture to the Abbotsford Business Excellence Awards; our passion for this dance was shared and felt by all that saw it. Who knows what 2016 will bring but stay tuned!!!
My vision/goal/mission for Tha Realm, wherever it may be, is for it to be creative, safe, inspiring, collaborative space where dancers of ALL walks of life and ability come together to share and inspire through dance. Where the heartbeat of the space roots in Bellydance and is inspired by ALL world and modern dances. Where the dances of Tribes, Folklore and History are shared and cultivated; where modern dance takes on these ancient dances. Where ever evolving dance, is ever evolving.
A place where barefoot dances rule.
How can I be a part of Tha Realm Dance Studio?
All classes at Tha Realm are Independently run.
Are you a Dance Instructor, Dancer or Troupe looking to rent space for teaching and or personal practice? Are you a Yoga, Zumba or Pilates Instructor looking for a new location? Are you a photographer looking for space to shoot in? If yes, Tha Realm may just be the fit for you. Tha Realm Dance Studio currently has day time and weekend hours open for rental.
We would like to have the walls of Tha Realm Dance Studio brimming with the sounds and passion of dancers at work. Contact Nicci at
for information on rates for hourly, weekly and monthly rates.
Visit the "Studio" page for Studio images and descriptions