Tribal Dance began to take shape in the sixties and its evolution has been unstoppable. Know its history allow you to understand its secrets, its captivating force and virtuosity. From the original ATS (American Tribal Style) to the Urban Style, Tribal Fusion, ITS (Improvisational Tribal Style), Cabaret, Burlesque, the new trends influenced by vaudeville and cabaret shows, the vintage look, the Balkan notes...
We can not claim that the tribal dance, as we nowadays interpret or understand in Bellydance has its origin in a specific culture or region. Tribal Belly Dance is considered a style that was created in the United States, particularly in San Francisco, California. Although its´ true that Tribal Style developed taking references of dances and costumes of the Ouled Nail & Ghawazi ethnicities, as well as influences of Gypsies.
The ATS (American Tribal Style), is considered the original style of the Tribal Bellydance. Three important dancers stand out in creating of this style: Jamila Salimpour, Masha Archer and Carolena Nericcio.
Jamila is credited to the general category of Tribal Style. In the 1960s, Jamila took what she observed in the dances of Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon and created her own version of Bellydancing, with a basic vocabulary which remains the basis of tribal repertoire.
Masha Archer, student of Jamila, introduced the idea of unity among the dancers, taking the group as protagonist, and highlighted the turbans, tattoos, jewelry and accessories characteristic of the style.
In the eighties, Carolena Nericcio, who was student of Masha Archer, picked up the influences of Jamila and Masha, adapted to her vision of dance group and ended up giving structure to the tribal style. Carolena is usually attributed to her the final creation of the Tribal Dance. In 1987 she founded the company Fat Chance Belly Dance, where she introduced the method of improvisation through codes and calls between dancers. Then it begins to be called American Tribal Style or American Tribal Belly Dance Style.
Nowadays there are three distinct categories remarkably: ATS (American Tribal Style), ITS (Improvisational Tribal Style) and subsequent Tribal Fusion styles.