What is Tribal Bellydance?

image Tribal bellydance is a dynamic dance form that began its development in America in the 1970's. Tribal is an ethnic fusion style, influenced by Far and Middle Eastern dance but inspired by American artistic sensibilities of style and form.

The tribal format is synchronized group improvisation, cued by various leaders who spontaneously select from a vocabulary of movements. Each move uses a specific cue based on body position and/or a vocalization to indicate which one is about to be executed. A leader chooses movements that fit with the music for all to follow. In this way, an improvisational group dance is created. Every performance is a unique combination of moves chosen fresh in the mind and body of each leader as she interprets the mood and phrasing of the music.

The music that is commonly used for tribal varies from traditional Mid Eastern rhythms to funky Western grooves. Typically, it is a fusion of these styles that is both motivating to the dancer's body and easy on the western ear.

Tribal is learned in stages, similar to learning a language, starting with a basic movement vocabulary. Each stage builds on the previous one, adding more dance elements to the vocabulary and allowing each dancer to develop the ability to smoothly communicate in the language of tribal in both the leading and following positions.

One thing that makes tribal so wonderful is the community that develops among the dancers. When we dance, we really dance 'with' each other, relying on each other to both lead and follow. Over time, friendships naturally form as each dancer connects into the joyful sisterhood that is fostered through tribal bellydance.

This American developed style is not limited to our borders. Many other places enjoy tribal bellydance as well, like Canada, Hawaii, Germany, England and Australia, just to name a few. So, tribal dancers across the globe can enjoy dancing together, spontaneously!

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