About Tribal Belly Dance

Tribal Belly Dance
DeAnn and Audrey of Nomaditude
Med Fest
2006

Tribal Belly Dance is a fairly new art form, really only taking root in the last decade or two, though the concepts behind it have been around since the beginning of history itself. Tribal is a "structured improvisation" form of dance, which we liken to a form of language, only with movement instead of vocalizations. What that means is that in class, we study a set of moves (our vocabulary), a structure in which to use the moves, and a method by which to communicate intention nonverbally. With this knowledge and skill, we can then dance together completely in the moment, and though we would appear to be choreographed, we are in fact improvising. This ability to communicate with our bodies, our eyes, and with loud expressions of joy and encouragement fosters a closeness and understanding of one another that is difficult to describe. And the great thing is, we can take this dance with us, and anywhere there are other tribal dancers who share even some of our common "language", we can dance together! No need to have your set music on hand, no need to even know the other dancers before that moment. It is an amazing experience!

So what we mean when we say the concepts of tribal belly dance have gone back so far is drawing on the fact that tribal peoples used to dance much in this manner--hence the appropriateness of the name "tribal belly dance". These people grew up learning the dances of their ancestors, and as they grew, they had the chance to gather with others who also knew those dances. At family celebrations, they would come together and take to the floor together. No choreography. No planning. Just pure dancing. They expressed their joys and sorrows through the sway of theirs hips or the flip if their hair. Their hands would weave stories in the air and their eyes gleamed as they would zaghareet into the night. And this is just what we do. We have been known to gather outside of class, and as impromptu drummers strike up a rhythm, we dance in synchronicity, laughing and sharing in this unique connection. We truly feel blessed to be able to express ourselves through this beautiful art form.

Tribal Belly Dance
Shaia Tribe performs at
Dancers Supporting Dancers
2002

As Nomaditude is a student troupe, we can be found in class working hard within our "family" to improve our skills in the dance. Dancing together while developing our individual abilities is our main objective. We have a great respect for this art form and make every effort to do it justice, and in turn honor those creators and innovators who have come before us.

If you want to know more about us, click on the other links. Want to learn tribal belly dance yourself? There's a link for that, too!

Blessings,

Nomaditude