Tribal Fusion Belly Dance

In the late 1990s, Jill Parker, original member of Fat Chance Belly Dance, founded her company Ultra Gypsy developed a more complex and expressive style that the ATS, with more repertoire of movements, less ornate costumes (she removed the turban and choli), music-varied, from traditional to modern. She opened the door to a new form of tribal, more creative, expressive and theatrical. Thus began the Tribal Fusion style.

In early 2000 in San Diego, California, it emerged Urban Tribal Dance, a company directed by Heather Stants with a style inspired by hip-hop and modern dance. They stressed stretching, flexibility and freshness in this style, and why the costumes had to be modified again. Mardi Love and melody, members of this company, shaped the costumes used in Tribal Fusion. Today Mardi created a more soft and delicate trend in in headdresses and belts. Melody designed a line of dance pants. The costumes for Tribal Fusion began to be standardized.


Rachel Brice was the first soloist of Tribal Fusion, and thanks to this style became popular around the world, by her spectacular technique, isolations, muscle control and movement complexity.

Rachel was student of Carolena Nericcio and Jill Parker, and in 2003 created The Indigo Belly Dance Company, with Janice Solimedo, and two of her students, Michelle Campbell and Ariellah Aflafo. Ariellah and Janice withdrew to continue their careers as soloists, Michelle retired to focus on motherhood. Later Sharon Kihara, Mardi Love and Zoe Jakes joined The Indigo.

The artists mentioned here initiated Tribal Fusion style, and many more have contributed to its development, but it is still a relatively new style that continues to evolve, and that can lead to confusion, since its quite broad, full of possibilities and lends itself to multiple interpretations. You can mix ATS with Belly Dance and incorporate elements from different ethnic dances (flamenco, African, Indian dance...) and other disciplines not associated with Belly Dance (hip hop, break, jazz, popping and locking...). Tribal Fusion presents nuances of various dances but taking as a basis those basic elements that give name to the Tribal Dance, respecting its essence and being predominant in the execution of the dance.