What is Tribal Belly Dance?

Tribal Belly Dance is a fusion dance form that has the look and feel of an ancient tribal gathering of women (and men can do it, too!). We learn a language of combinations of movements from traditional Middle Eastern dance, flavored with a little flamenco, African, and Indian dance, and we learn to “talk together” as dancers, where a lead dancer will show the others what to do next using body cues and gestures.


The result is beauty in motion, as dancers react to the music, become empowered, connect with their fellow dancers, and create living art.



Carolena Nericcio of FatChanceBellyDance® ( is credited as being the “Mother of Tribal Belly Dance” for codifying the idea and the first language of steps to be used in this “lead and follow” format with a tribal aesthetic. Dancers who adopt Carolena’s original stylings are called “American Tribal Style®” or ATS® dancers. Other groups have adopted this revolutionary format, and created their own unique steps and adopted others, further expanding the creativity of this dance form; these groups are usually referred to as “Improvisational Tribal Style” belly dance. In Sabine’s Tribalation! dance troupe format,  ( dancers learn movements based in the FatChanceBellyDance® vocabulary, but also including steps adopted from other troupes and unique steps created by Sabine and Tribalation!  All beginning tribal dancers, whether ATS® or  Improvisational Tribal, learn the concept of following a lead dancer, and using a repertoire of movements, to connect to the group as a whole.


handsandzilsPeople observing a tribal belly dance performance often comment “you look like you are having such fun together!” and “you look like you are dancing for each other, rather than just for your audience!”  That energy and feeling of sisterhood and togetherness is at the heart of tribal belly dance. You can watch a short video here to see how fun it is! Video of tribal belly dance with Troupe Tribalation


Come join us! Weekly Improvisational Tribal Belly Dance classes are taught by Sabine of Tribalation!  Mixed level 2&3 Tribal Skills: Wednesdays 5:45-6:45pm (starting in October).  Level 4/5: Wednesdays 7-8:10pm. Troupe Azhaar and Tribalation: Wednesdays 8:20-9:30pm.

FatChanceBellyDance®, FCBD®, ATS® and American Tribal Style®, are federally registered trademarks of FatChanceBellyDance, Inc. For more information, please visit

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