American Tribal Style and American Tribal Fusion have been developing since the 1960s in America.
American women wanted something different from traditional Egyptian and Turkish styles of Middle Eastern dancing known as belly dancing.
Another reason for designing these newer dances is the many folkloric and ethnic public performances. Renaissance festivals inspired belly dancers to make costume adjustments to fit in with the medieval theme.
The original Medieval gypsies were street dancers. However; their costumes of black and white or shades of gray is boring to an audience. Dancers made their costumes more colorful and created original designs to attract interest for their stage performances.
Costume style, dance steps, and body movements are the main elements of ATF. “Fusion“ is the key word in ATF. The dominant movements of the borrowed movements of a dance are combined or fused to belly dancing movements. For instance, the characteristic flamenco movements are merged or fused with Turkish style belly dancing. Asian influences are integrated or fused with Egyptian style belly dancing movements. In each of these examples, choreography is interesting and challenging for dancers. The audience finds the performance interesting and entertaining. Audience reactions are mixed.
Music and dance are living arts and change as people’s interests evolve. It creates other changes from other world dance styles and American women make changes as needed.
The creators design and incorporate the new style arrangements into folkloric or ethnic dances that attract women of all ages and sizes who feel comfortable wearing the new costumes and dancing to their favorite music. There are influences from Spain, India, Asia, Africa, Middle Eastern countries, tropical islands, and more.
These two styles of dancing are still changing as they attract other sub-culture groups. Examples like underground, dark side, burlesque, and tattoos are finding comfort in the new styles.
American Tribal Style (ATS) ATS:
ATS vs ATS Dancing
ATS or American Tribal Style, developed by Carolena Nericcio and Fat Chance Belly Dance, is the first tribal dance invented by American dance artists.
These ladies perform duets or troupe choreography. Solo performances are rare. Public performances welcome their presence for their colorful modest costumes and upbeat troupe dances.
American Tribal Fusion or ATF by Jill Parker and Ultra Gypsy followed ATS, but it permits other dance cultures, thus the word fusion.
They draw attention to their bodies as they perform their dance movements. Tattoos are popular among American Tribal Style Enthusiasts. The majority performances are solos. Performing as a troupe is rare.
Students have a choice of learning two different American tribal originals. The ladies enjoy this style of dancing for group fun, exercising, dance interest, and social activity.
Teachers, performers, and students borrow music and costume inspirations from the Middle East, India, Asia, Africa, Spain, and many other countries. The creative imaginations of the participants are endless.
There are many peoples in America with many ideas of dance and it is these elements which are entering the “fusion movement”. Many music types such as jazz, electric, and pop, are being added. There are seven types of popular styles in the tribal category.
Read more about 3 styles of belly dancing.