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Tribal Odyssey Bellydance - ITS

Updated on August 25, 2013

How Does Group Bellydancing - Without Choreography - Work?

Choreography's hard to remember sometimes... or doesn't work in a particular performance space... or someone's missing from the lineup and now your choreography's not gonna work right!

There IS another way for a group to dance together that's not only lots of FUN (like a bellydance game!) but looks great onstage!

It LOOKS Like Choreography... - but it's not - it's different every time!

Tribal in the street
Tribal in the street

HOW does a group of bellydancers dance together in sync, in step with each other, doing the same movements, without choreography?

Group improvisation is like "Follow the Leader" with bellydance moves.

- First your group learns all the same combinations. You learn to recognize them JUST before they start so you can follow along.

- Then you learn how to lead the group yourself, cueing the movements you want so the others can do them too.

- You learn special ways to give someone else a turn to lead (so you don't have to lead the whole time).

A Quick Look - Level One gives you enough material for a complete performance, including group formations and endings.

Tribal Sword group improv
Tribal Sword group improv

We use Tribal Odyssey Bellydance (TOBD) because it feels more Egyptian-style than ATS(R). Specifically, TOBD uses a more natural posture, as well as both sides of the body.

The format is extensive, with Slow Combos, Fast Combos, Finger Cymbal Patterns, and Specialties like Veil, Skirt, and Sword. Two or more dancers are all that's needed, but it works just as well for large groups of a dozen or more.

There are also several ways to change leaders, and create various group stage formations as well.

Beginners start with the Slow Combos of Level One. They're also introduced to the group stage patterns, from Center Dancers with a Chorus Line in back, to dancing with the entire group. They learn how to Lead, and of course, how to change leaders so no one has to lead more than they want!

Level Two features Fast Combinations; Level Three introduces more moves and staging, including Skirt and Veil moves. Level Four focuses on stage presentations, music interpretation, and Tribal Sword.

One of the best ways to help new dancers build confidence onstage is using the Chorus Line, and pre-arranged Duet partners, so that in a mixed-level performance group, all the dancers are comfortable dancing at their level.

video: "What is Tribal Odyssey Bellydance?" - View the Playlists of on-demand instructional videos on YouTube

Besides this quick intro to this beautiful, fluid, group bellydance format, see a sample of other topics including sword and skirt. These topics and more are featured in How-To videos available on-demand on Kawakib's YouTube channel, DanceEternal.

video teaser for Tribal Odyssey Bellydance

Beginning Blades - Tribal Sword Improv.

Lead-and-follow Skirt Combinations.

It's easy to begin finger cymbals with these slow combinations.

Info for Teachers and Troupe Directors - TOBD Topics for Beginner to Advanced Dancers

Each topic below includes lead-changing, group travel steps, and diverse group stage formations. The Slow Combos are best to start with, but each topic can be taught by itself.

  • Slow Combinations, Cues, and Lead-changing Moves
  • Fast Combinations, Cues, and Lead-changing Moves
  • Specialties: Veil Dancing, Skirt Combinations, and Tribal Sword

Other ITS and ATS Bellydance Links - Teachers who specialize in Group Improv Belly Dance

Want to add another? Let me know.

Amazon MP3 - Tribe O music on amazon

Questions or Comments? - Please share below, I want to hear from you!

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