Tribal Belly Dance

What is Tribal Belly Dance?

The concept for tribal belly dance originated from Jamila Salimpour credited by many as the creator of what is now known as American Tribal Style (ATS). Her idea of the half moon chorus and the dancers coming out individually to do a small two or three minute routine and then going back into the chorus is thought to be where the expression "tribal dancing" originated.

One of her students Marsha Archer took the dance to another level by performing at cultural events, she brought about an awareness that showed Bellydance can be seen as a theatrical event.

Carolena Nericcio began studying with Marsha at the age of fourteen. She trained with her for seven years before starting FatChance BellyDance (FCBD) in 1987.  By  combining the dance  style of Jamila and her use of heavy costuming and Marsha’s style of having the same fusion look for everyone the costuming and stage format for ATS was created.

ATS describes  Carolena and FatChance style of bellydance

One of Carolena's students Paulette Rees-Denis  further developed this style with her troupe Gypsy Caravan, also blending folkloric, nomadic and classical dances of the Middle East, North Africa, Spain and India.  She introduced her own dance vocabulary and renamed her style Tribal Bellydance, This dance is about empowerment and dancing as a community, it's spiritually, physically and creatively energising - a dance for everyone.


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Dancing Tribal Style

Tribal Style belly dance is about dancing together in the moment with your tribal  sisters, using a vocabulary of moves & combos, the focus is on connection and trust there is no room for ego 

It's an improvised dance performed by two or more  dancers, solos are performed, but are generally supported in a group environment.

The connection made with others is a vital part of this dance style, It's about drawing strength from the group and building up the whole unit in fellowship and fun.