Tribal Belly Dance
Tribal Fusion Belly Dance originated in the SF/Bay Area and is spreading throughout the world-wide belly dance community
I decided to start doing tribal belly dance almost two years ago. It was something I'd always wanted to do, and I wanted to literally shake-up notions our society has about older, non-skinny women. I've found it's been a great antidote to sitting in front of a computer all day. A chronic hip pain I'd had for years disappeared after the first six weeks (never to return) and my torso is slowly toning. Not a bad deal for playing dress-up while exercising, eh?
What is Tribal Belly Dance?
The phrase "tribal belly dance" is most often used to refer to what is more properly called "American Tribal" or "Tribal Fusion" belly dance.
The style is a modern fusion of elements from other forms of belly dance, with a few touches from other dance styles. It is meant to be performed as a group dance, where the dancers all know the same vocabulary and then the main dance is actually an improvisation guided by a leader in the troupe.
The style first came to wider public recognition in the US through the work of Caroline Nericcio and her Bay Area group Fat Chance Belly Dance. Founded in 1987, the style immediately had visual appeal to audiences and was fun and challenging to the dancers. Much of her dance theory and style of costuming has shaped and informed American Tribal Style (ATS) even though there were dancers working along those lines before her.
You can now find variations of ATS or Tribal Style belly dance being performed and taught all over American, throughout Europe and even Australia. I am learning dance that is part of the Gypsy Caravan style of tribal belly dance that stems from Portland, OR, as taught by Sharon Moore in Seattle.
Music For Bellydance - traditional to post-modern
For tribal belly dance music, find things with a good beat and give it a go. Since tribal belly dance (and most dance) works with counts of "eight" for learning moves, finding something that matches up with that is often good for beginners.
I'm constantly surprised how "regular ol' music" is often really fun use for belly dance practice. I'll often hit shuffle on my iTunes and make a spur-of-the-moment belly dance mix. Here are some recommended CDs that will keep you shaking and shimmying!
I'm really liking this CD for dance practice. The variety of songs let's me do a warm-up and dance all with this one collection. I can do moves anywhere from slow to moderate to fast tempo too.
American Tribal Belly Dance Explored
These links and articles are here to help you get an idea of just what defines tribal belly dance and to see what people doing this type of dance have to say about it.
- What is American Tribal Belly Dance?
Short answer: it is not cabaret style, it is not 'authentic' ethnic. It is fantasy, archetypcal, interpretive tribal style.
- Many Styles of Belly Dance
Listed below are some of the styles of belly dancing with articles and websites that represent these styles. I will be adding to the page when I find new sources and when new styles are born.
- Pedralta Magazine: Tribal Belly Dance
About Tribal Belly Dance, from the UK magazine
- Tribaret/Glamour Tribal Belly Dance - tribe.net
A tribe for the glamorous tribal belly dancer. This tribe is for all who are stuck between two worlds!
- Tribal Belly Dance - tribe.net
This place is for our whole fabulous tribe, all around the world--the beautiful dancers who are moved by the beats of tribal and tribal fusion styles of belly dance.
- Styles and other names for belly dance
From Modern Egyptian, American Tribal and Folkloric Belly Dance to the new Goth Fusion bellydance styles, Learn-to-belly-dance.com offers a look at the various belly dancing styles of today. This page includes a description of costumes, history and a
Bellydance Hip Scarves - Yes, it's written both as "bellydance" and "belly dance."
Bellydance hip scarves let you clearly see the hip line when practicing. This combined with a longer mirror is a great way to be able to check your posture and form while drilling or dancing.
During performances, a fancy hip scarf adds sparkle and some jingle to the rhythms. A hip scarf can be solid color or patterned, fringed, beaded, coined or plain. Dancers usually have a signature or favorite color, and with troupes there is often an agreed-upon metallic accent, either all gold or all silver, so that their look coordinates but isn't exactly identical.
Add Some Swing and Sway
A fringe belt is a versatile accessory. It's quieter for practice than a coin belt, and layers with other hip accents for when you want your costume to really MOVE!
A Touch Of Red Flair
This lovely top can be layered under a coin bra or vest, and the flared sleeves add elegance and flair to your dance.
See Live Tribal Belly Dance
These are all substantial clips which will let you see the similarities and differences between everyone's different styles. Making videos is a good way to see your own form and refine your dance practice. It's also a great resource for seeing how different dancers use lots of different types of music, and you can get great ideas for costuming as well.
Troupes and Groups
With the expanding interest of Tribal Belly Dance and American Tribal, it often doesn't take too much effort to find a belly dance teacher or a group to go watch not too far from wherever you are. Renaissance Fairs are a great place to find belly dance performances, as are Middle Eastern restaurants.
- Fat Chance Belly Dance
Bellydance is both a celebration of the female spirit and a physical display of the strength and beauty of women. FatChanceBellyDance - a dance phenomenon as unique as the city of San Francisco.
- Belly Dance UK
Britain's largest Belly Dance Site of interesting and authoritative information
- Rachel Brice
When not teaching on the road, Rachel Brice lives in Portland, Oregon where she's opened a studio, Datura which lives in the real world and online, and has begun a production company, Little Scarab, with her partner, Sol Crawford. Together they've cr
- Hipnosis Tribal Belly Dance Home Page
Philadelphia PA based tribal belly dance troupe offering classes, performances, workshops, and henna.
- Turbans, Tassels and Tattoos! - American Tribal Style Belly Dance in Australia
Tribal Style Bellydance in Australia! These pages contain tribal belly dance costuming ideas and free patterns, Australian and New Zealand resources, The Kismet Tribe information, and tribal links with an Australian focus!
- Read My Hips - Chicago - American Tribal Bellydance in Chicago
Read My Hips is a Tribal Fusion Bellydance Company located in Chicago. Now celebrating their 9th anniversary, the troupe is available for shows at clubs, festivals, private parties and special events. Individual and group classes are offered at conve
- Gypsy Caravan Dance Company - A Modern Tribal Bellydance Troupe
The Gypsy Caravan is a modern tribal bellydance troupe, founded in 1991 by artistic director Paulette Rees-Denis. We are a contemporary family, urban berbers, of dancers and musicians dedicated to performing middle eastern inspired rhythms and dance
- Kajira Djoumahna's Black Sheep Belly Dance
Welcome to the home of Black Sheep Belly Dance, Tribal Style dance troupe directed by Kajira Djoumahna -author of the Tribal Bible and co-director of Tribal Fest !
- Welcome to the Hahbi 'Ru Web Site
Belly dance and Middle Eastern dance instruction and performance by John Compton and Hahbi'Ru
- Tribal Bellydance with Shay Moore in Seattle, WA
Deep Roots Dance offers ATSÂ®-based tribal and tribal fusion instruction and performances in the Seattle area.
TribalCon is au courant in belly dance festivals produced by Awalim, Atlanta's own Tribal Belly Dance Company.