About Tribal Belly Dance

We often get asked: how is Tribal Belly Dance different from other styles of belly dance?
There are several different styles of belly dance, they include Egyptian, Cabaret, Tribal, Gypsy among others and in recent years we have seen many emerging modern fusion styles.

Egyptian and Turkish
Most of us would have seen some form of Egyptian or Turkish belly dance whilst on holiday in the Mediterranean. Egyptian or Turkish style dancers would normally wear bright and fully beaded costumes, performing to traditional Egyptian or Turkish music, which tends to be quite fast. Egyptian moves tend to be very precise, with hip movements kept directly under ribs, and there would be little movement around the stage.
For more information on Egyptian and Turkish styles visit this web page.

Cabaret style or American Cabaret, created by generations of European immigrants in America and made popular by early 20th century hollywood films, is very glamorous and flamboyant. It usually incorporates extensive use of veils, various dance props and luxurious fabrics in costumes, there's also much more floorwork.
For more information visit this site.

Gypsy belly dance (reference to style, rather than to people) is thought to have been introduced by Romani people and then evolved into various styles around the world. Modern gypsy belly dance incorporates flamenco and folk dance moves, music and costume styles. Dancers will normally wear long colourful skirts, fringed hip scarves and Spanish style cropped tops with flowing sleeves.

Tribal belly dance is relatively modern style that fuses and takes inspiration from many folk and middle eastern dance styles. It emerged in 1970's in California and focused on very earthy and ethnic feel in both movement and costumes. Tribal belly dance is usually a lot slower, more snake-like and sensual, with multi-layered skirts, very full harem pants, earthy natural fabrics, coined bras, 'tribal' or 'kuchi' jewellery and head dresses. Tribal style also allows for a variety of music styles - often a mix of modern beats and estern melodies.
Older forms of belly dance would normally be performed as a solo, or gypsy dance - as a group. Tribal belly dance introduced a chorus into group dances allowing for individual improvisation whilst dancing as a group.
Video by Fat Chance Belly Dance, one of the first American Tribal Style dance groups, explaining the background of this dance form.
For more information visit the Tribal Bellydance website.

Modern Fusion
Because Tribal Belly Dance is still relatively new and perhaps lacks clear definition, it keeps evolving as many groups create their own interpretation of 'tribal'.
As a result, there are a lot of modern tribal fusion styles, such as:
- Tribal/Gothic fusion. See Ariellah perform this style
- Tribal/Hip-hop fusion. See Anasma perform
- Industrial Goth fusion. See Belladonna perform