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22 August 2006 @ 10:58 pm
this is my first post here. i really feel led to belly dance. my back ground is in burlesque, but i haven't danced professionally in 8 years and have had knee surgery due to use and bone disease. anyway, my doctors want me to exercise, and this is where God led me. but of course i have lots of questions. firstly, what are all these abbreviations for dance styles y'all are using?
i know what tribal is cause it's all over the web, and i have found a certified teacher here where i live. but i wanted to hear from you all too...thanks...
cannot make bricks without clay: veiledshes_unreal on August 23rd, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
Welcome to the community! Shira.net has a good description of different bellydance styles on her website right here: http://shira.net/styles.htm

Unfortunately she doesn't include Turkish, Greek or Folkloric on that particular page. There's also raqs gothique, a more recent offshoot that seems to be causing a stir in some circles. So here are some other sites I found though I just googled them and didn't read over them so I'm not sure how good they are:

Turkish & Egyptian Bellydance... What's the Difference?

Tsifteteli (Greek Bellydancing)

Hahbi'Ru, a Folkloric troupe

Gothic Bellydance DVD & description - clearly focused on the tribal aspect of gothic bellydance but there are some people who want to do it as more of a "tribaret," or shiny tribal/cabaret blend (like me!)

The major differences, aside from the obvious historical and cultural ones, are in costuming and music. There are some dance steps (generally because of different traditional rhythms being used) and a general "technique" that may vary by style, for example Egyptian Oriental (or Egyptian cabaret) tends to have smaller, more controlled movements and Turkish tends to be a little more boistorous.

I think the best way to really tell the difference is to see if you can find dancers in action on DVD's, on movie clips online, or at performances, and just see how they move and what they wear.

shimmer_of_lightshimmer_of_gold on August 23rd, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)
it wasn't until i got deeper into some of the community posts that i realized there was more than one style.

what about flamenco, is it related to bellydance?
@>~~>~~~caliginous on August 23rd, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
Not to be a wet blanket on the teacher finding, but certified doesn't necessarily mean anything yet in the bd community. there is no regulatory board, or standards of teaching accpeted as universal. There are all kinds of teachers who offer certification, some great, some as a get rich quick scam, and teachers can claim just about any kind of certification without having to put it in context.
Just go to class with your eyes open, and if something feels funny about it, find someone else.

After a quick skim of shira's descriptions (which are good) I do want to add that there are a lot of different interpretations of tribal, and what is most prevalant now as 'tribal' is a minor point of contention between ats dancers and 'tribal fusion'-namely how do you be a tribal soloist? and a lot of the 'tribal' fusion folk choreograph, which is away from the heart of tribal style, which is cue-based improv. I personally feel that tribal fusion is best classified as tribaret (a term which I feel is accurate, not derrogatory, however that again is up for debate).

You might also want to join some of the other communities here on LJ, bellydancing is rather active and geared toward all forms.

and welcome!
shimmer_of_lightshimmer_of_gold on August 23rd, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
yeah, i understand
i live in a small, small town, and she's the only one around for 2 hundered miles, at least that i can find. i bet our college doesn't even over belly dance, but i'll look it up. thanks!
@>~~>~~~caliginous on August 23rd, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: yeah, i understand
ouch. hope she's a good fit for you, a bad teacher is really tough to deal with. best of luck, and there are a ton of great videos out there too when you want to expand your vocabulary!