FatChanceBellyDance American Tribal Style by Kajira Djoumahna The roots of American Tribal Style dance can be found in the late 1960’s in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Jamila Salimpour is credited with beginning this eclectic fusion approach to Middle Eastern dance in her presentations at the Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire with her seminal group, Bal Anat. However, it is important to recognize that Jamila did not call this fusion blend of influences “Tribal” or anything other than “Bellydance.” In fact, her daughter, Suhaila, told me, “The whole split in America between Tribal and Cabaret styles is really funny to me. My Mom never taught any differences. My Mom’s troupe was a little of this, and a little of that. Many of the costumes and dances were inspired by pictures in the National Geographic, but our finale was always a cabaret style dance. So, it wasn’t tribal style, it was more like an attempt to give the audience a thirty-minute education in the dances of the Middle East, cabaret style included!”1 I believe what people remember most from these influential beginnings is more a certain feeling derived from watching Bal Anat, as the ancient roots of past and … Continue reading FatChanceBellyDance