#1 - I don't like dancing solo!
The difference between Tribal Style bellydance and most other Middle Eastern
dances done in Australia is fundamental - bellydance (as practiced in the West) is traditionally a women's solo
dance, whereas tribal has been specifically engineered as a group dance. Bellydance is one woman's interpretation of
the music, Tribal is connection between dancers.
#2 - Lazy brain
A solo bellydancer listens to and interprets the music, whether in choreography
or improvisation. A tribal dancer listens to the music but follows the dance of her fellows, until called upon to lead.
No dancer has to come up with ALL the moves, everyone takes turns so I can rest my brain.
#3 - Variety
You could dance tribal all day and not get bored - that's my theory and I'll
test it one day soon... to dance tribal is to thank your teachers many times over for an abundance of
movements to suit every concievable type of music. Every day, every class, every song is a new dance. Every
dancer has her strengths and favourite moves, and an accomplished troupe can produce an entirely novel dance every performance.
#4 - Being in the moment
There is a strong sense of meditation in tribal dance, whether in class or
on stage - before tribal I'd never had the sense of the dance moving me. Slow moves are perfect
for meditation - they don't conform to the beat of the music, so following the leader exactly requires intense concentration.
#5 - COSTUMES
Old things. Real, natural materials. Fairly-traded goods from
all over the globe. Jewellery with history. BIG SKIRTS! Yeah baby.
#6 - Everything old is new again
Bellydance has it's own culture and history apart from the traditions of
any one country or ethnicity. Tribal dancers are encouraged to respect their teachers and influences, including the
long history of women (usually marginalized by their societies) who have kept the dance alive throughout the centuries.
Once you start learning about the dance, the people, their culture and symbolism you delve into other worlds,
older worlds, ancient wisdom and ways of knowing the universe.
#7 - Noise
I love the music used for tribal bellydance (go to my Links page for more), from heavy, earthy beats, to ethereal, mesmerizing flutes,
ouds, strings and electronica. I love playing zills - big brass zills are amazing! I love zaghareeting and making
a variety of animal noises to encourage and entertain my fellow dancers.