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Tribal Belly Dancing

May 31, 2008
The Enigma of Tribal Belly Dancing

You may have heard that there are many different types of belly dancing. It is quite normal for any art form that has been influenced by so many cultures to be varied. Belly dancing varies primarily according to where it is performed. Tribal belly dancing is a branch of belly dancing that you may have heard of.

The thing is that there is no true form of tribal belly dancing, though the name may lead people to think that it is an authentic form of the dance. It is in fact a fusion of styles inspired by ethnic elements. Dancers who admire it in different parts of the world have then further adapted this art form.

A Question of Authenticity

The reason that there is no true picture or form of tribal belly dancing is simply that there is not enough information. At the time when 'real' tribal belly dancing was being practiced there was no documentation of the dance. If there was documentation such as pictures, painting or oral histories, they are no longer in existence.

Instead what we have today is a dance that has taken different elements from the various tribes of the Middle East and made it into something completely different. Usually elements of Turkish, gypsy, Moroccan, Algerian, and frankly whatever strikes the dancers fancy are incorporated into a routine.

Costuming and Style

There are also no authentic costumes in tribal belly dancing. The costumes are mostly inspired from what the dancer might believe tribal women wore. Usually the costumes are one-piece costumes rather than the traditional two-piece costumes worn by most belly dancers.

The fact that the nomadic tribes that inspire these modern day costumes probably borrowed and were influenced by other tribes and cultures makes this approach to costuming particularly appropriate. The great thing about this is that you can really choose whatever you feel suits your body and dance moves.

While traditional belly dancing of the Egyptian and Turkish traditions tend to be slower and more sensuous, tribal belly dancing tends to be faster paced. The dances usually have a more energetic and exuberant feel to them. Singing, clapping and ululations may also be incorporated into the routine.

The music also reflects this type of dance form and less classical instruments usually accompany the dancing. This is a great style of dance to experiment and explore. It gives dancers a lot of freedom to choreograph. A little research will help to inform and create something that is at least close to the original dance forms that inspired this genre.
About the Author
Charlie Reese enjoys giving belly dancing and guitar lessons. Charlie also enjoys giving a good psychic reading to his other fellow psychics .
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