Sometimes we all need a little inspiration…and so on a day when I just couldn’t get myself to practice the American Tribal Style (ATS) belly dance movements that I love so much, I decided to quit trying to force it, and instead sat down to write a list. “27 Reasons…” was born. These are in no particular order, and I share them in hopes that they inspire you, and in turn, you can inspire me! I invite you to share the reasons you love ATS in the comments section. You can also check out a fun list that a friend and I made a while back, called “You Know You’re a Belly Dancer If…”

27 Reasons to Love American Tribal Style Belly Dance

American Tribal Style Belly Dance, Dante's Gypsy Circus, Mayan Ruins Tribal
My tribe, Dante’s Gypsy Circus, performing at the Loveland Castle in Ohio with Mayan Ruins Psychedelic Tribal.
  1. Dancing barefoot
  2. 20-yard skirts
  3. Tapping into mysterious roots of feminine movement
  4. Using ankle bells, coin belts and coin bras to contribute to the music/percussion
  5. Attending classes to learn new combinations
  6. Bindis and tribal markings
  7. Earthy, heavy drum beats
  8. Incredible melodies from string and wind instruments
  9. Community – close/local and national
  10. Individuality through personal costuming
  11. The spirituality, akin to yoga practice (the focus/be here now)
  12. Zils
  13. Sword work
  14. Sweat
  15. Haflas
  16. Sewing miscellaneous jewelry onto belts and tops to create costuming
  17. Ankle bells
  18. Playing with eyeliner
  19. Communication with other dancers and musicians
  20. Coming or going during any song as you please
  21. It just feels good!
  22. Finding, using, training new muscles
  23. Using intuition while moving to improvisational music
  24. Masculine (usually musicians) and feminine (usually dancers) energy, balanced and combined
  25. All the color seen while dancers twirl and move
  26. Dreadlocks and tattoos
  27. Learning to breathe with the movements

I’m sure there are many more reasons, and that this list could be potentially endless. There are parts of ATS that I love, that I don’t even have words for; perhaps mostly involving the bonds that I’ve formed within our community.

As always, thanks for reading, and happy dancing!
~Cherie Dawn


10 thoughts on “27 Reasons to Love American Tribal Style Belly Dance

    1. Bonjour Magali! Wow – what a compliment! Yes, feel free to translate this to French, with credit to my website/name. Thank you, and thanks for checking.
      Cherie Dawn

  1. Actually, I think the list can be applied to other belly dance styles as well! I’m not a tribal dancer (well I do a bit but its not my main passion) but I for one never dance in heels – yuk! Take out 20 and maybe have 26 as optional and the list works for what I do too. Good post

  2. Yes, yes, yes!

    I also love the learning around it – the historical roots and context, costume making skills, how to understand music.

    Add into the mix how magical it is to support and be supported in leading your tribe, how you learn to stand in your power without standing on other people, and how it is all about the unity of the dance… even when leading a performance.

    Plus I love being on stage, but that’s another story!

    I adore ATS!!!

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