Tribal belly dancers, do you ever feel like your mind turns off after practicing and practicing tribal combinations? If so, I have a game for you!

It’s been named “dance for your life” and goes like this: each dancer takes a turn cueing one tribal combination/movement sequence, then passes the cue to the next dancer. If someone cues a move that’s already been done, she’s out. Each dancer can use up to 16 counts in basic singles, for example, while she comes up with her next move.

This game came about somewhat organically during a rehearsal last night with myself, Dex, Laura and Megan from Dante’s Gypsy Circus. We were going over our tribal moves (new and old) while getting ready for our next show at the Leapin’ Lizard Gallery. We changed formations, passed cues, worked on couples combinations, etc., for about 30 minutes straight at Master Pokes’s house (while he kindly served us with cheese, crackers, chips and humus!).

tribal belly dance, Loveland Castle, Mayan Ruins Tribal, Dante's Gypsy Circus
Dex, Ladi Blaze and I tribal belly dancing with Mayan Ruins at the Historic Loveland Castle in Loveland, Ohio

Although I love, love, LOVE tribal, I began to feel like my mind was going on auto-pilot, and remembered a juggling game that I played at Circus Mojo recently. It took the basic practice of juggling to a competitive level, and simply made it more interesting and fun than standing still and juggling nonstop for an hour.

Because of the nature of tribal belly dance, I wouldn’t suggest playing this game in a group of dancers with mixed experience…one of the things we all love about this art form is its non-competitiveness. But, if you’re in a tribe and everyone’s comfortable with each other, then go for it! During the first minute or so, when Megan named the game as she said, “I feel like I’m dancing for my life!” The four of us played for quite a while (I think we only stopped because someone had to use the restroom), and ended it with laughter. Each of us felt like we had to step up our game and really pay attention to what had been done, what we were planning to do, and be ready to change at any minute.

I hope you enjoy this, and please, don’t take it too seriously, friends…consider it a mind drill, and be willing to laugh. 🙂


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