Tribal fusion bellydance is the fusion of American Tribal Style (ATS) mixed with other influences, such as burlesque, bhangra or bollywood style elements, or even traditional folk style dances. The possibilities are endless and limitless as the dancer's imagination.
American Tribal Style bellydance has its roots in San Diego with Fat Chance Bellydance and its founder, Carolena Nericcio. Of course, it has its beginnings in what most people know as traditional, or cabaret, style bellydance as well as elements of . Either improvisational follow along or complex choreography, bellydancers in this style will look dramatically different than their cabaret counterparts. Click here for a great article about the beginnings of ATS!
Traditional bellydance, which in reality can range from Egyptian Cabaret to Raqs Sharqi (which roughly translates to "dance of the east") that most people envision can be described as light, airy, and almost flirtatious in an innocent manner. Tribal fusion, on the other hand, is very earthy and grounded. Movements are often snake-like, with muscular isolations that are sometimes powerful and at times, subtle layers of shimmy goodness.
Beyond the movements (which can often have the same basic parts but because of execution a distinct difference) costuming is dramatically different. The cabaret bellydancer often wears the most well known idea of what a bellydancer looks like, with coins shimmying and sequins blinking.