Hipnotic says "Farewell"

It's been an awesome 10 years.


Five women of varying ages, shapes, heights and sizes that wanted to learn how to belly dance met in beginner tribal belly dance class. Serious, having fun, excited or quiet - We somehow all ended up together in that moment in time.

We wanted to dance and create our dance art together. Later that year, Hipnotic - the fourth tribal style belly dance troupe in the Chicago area, was formed. At the time, there was only Read My Hips, Blue Lotus Tribe and Gypsy Queens. Theresa Miles, Pal Dybel, Amie Wilkinson, Mary ‘Neta’ Smollack and Jatare ‘Jacy Ashcatrel’ Barrett were all members and co-founders.


Theresa, Neta and Jacy went to their first Tribal Fest® and came back with the ‘Daisy’ as known as ‘the Jump’ which we learned from Heather Stants, a former member of Read My Hips and director of Urban Tribal.

Pal Dybel and Amie Wilkinson left shortly after to pursue other life ambitions.


And then there were 3. We explored the tribal fusion landscape that seemed to be travelling through the West Coast belly dance community. Theresa, Neta and Jacy continued to build Hipnotic name in the Midwest belly dance community. Pushing the boundaries and possibilities, we created a three person Turkish drop sandwich for our first Tribal Fest® performance and our second Tribal Revolution performance to Lose Yourself by Eminem.

Then Theresa moved to Cary, Illinois.


And then there were 2. Neta and Jacy continued to branch out as Hipnotic. We taught workshops in Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota. We performed in the Devil and Deep Blue Sea show featuring Rachel Brice as the headliner. Neta choreographed a creatively brilliant two person choreography that was dark, eerie and challenging – full of drops, pops and drama. And we brought the full to its feet. We continued performing at Tribal Fest®, teaching workshops, classes and creating choreographies in addition to our improvisational belly dance. And we danced, dropped and taught for 4 more years.

2008 - Midwest Tribal Mafia was born out of our desire to help promote local Midwest dancers that we know and admire that aren’t teaching at the large well known events. For five years, Christina King of Blue Lotus Tribe and Hipnotic put together MTM to support the community. 

We attracted (and captured) some students. Melinda, Dawn, Amona, Erin and Nancy became Hipnotic’s first student troupe, Legacy.  Erin moved to Hawaii. We grew again to include Ladaska and Carrie. Melinda, Ladaska and Carrie became Tonic under the direction of Neta. And Dawn, Amona and Nancy continued as Legacy under the direction of Jacy.

And now, we say goodbye. Hipnotic was a gift. For 10 years, we have lived, laughed, and loved tribal belly dance together. We plan to continue living, laughing and loving belly dance as separate entities now. Legacy and Tonic will remain troupes under our direction. Jacy and Neta will continue dancing and supporting the community. Occasionally, we might dance together again as Hipnotic.

We’d like to thank everyone that has known, supported and encouraged us. Thank you to every teacher that has taught us, every performer that has inspired us, every friend that has encouraged us and every person that has supported a workshop, class, performance and event that we have put together been a part of. We appreciated every moment of applause, every glass of wine, every moment of laughter, every moment of uncertainty, every moment of movement, sound and grace. We could not have been Hipnotic for 10 years without you.

Thank you for everything.

Hipnotic (Jacy and Neta)