Tribal Style Belly Dance has become its own subculture in the Belly Dance community. The movements are similar to Cabaret and Egyptian styles, but have been redefined to suit this new urban art form. The costuming often shares many elements with other forms of Belly Dance, such as coins and ornate jewelry, but many elements are unique to Tribal style. As this diverse dance has evolved, it has split into two major sub-categories: Group Improvisational (American Tribal Style) and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance.
Tribal style belly dance was born in San Francisco, California, with Jamila Salimpour and her troupe Bal-Anat. However, the style was defined and refined by Carolena Nericcio and FatChanceBellyDance, creating what is now known as American Tribal Style (ATS). Carolena's unique group improvisational technique based on a series of predefined cues was an instant hit with hip underground artists and performers as it was a style that welcomed all ages and shapes, and modern urban culture. Tribal dancers became well known for their multiple tattoos and piercings, along with their unique, earthy costuming that originally consisted of large gypsy style skirts, large tassel belts, sea shells, ornate jewelry influenced by Middle Eastern, African, and East Indian cultures, and decorated turbans worn on the head. As the dance evolved, some elements became less common, such as the head turban, but much of the basic costuming and the spirit of the look have remained.
The music most commonly used by American Tribal Style (ATS) is traditional Middle Eastern music. Due to the nature of the dance – having multiple dancers interacting with one another - this style is not very common in nightclubs or restaurants. However, it is extremely fun to participate in and has created a sisterhood that is unrivaled in the Belly Dance community.
Here our some great items that can help you get started with your American Tribal Style Belly Dance library and wardrobe: