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Cabaret or Tribal? Suhaila Speaks

We are starting our Old School Bellydance series again in August, and I was recently asked what makes it “old school”–basically what is the class about?

We base our Old School classes on the root form of tribal bellydance, which is the traditions and stylings of Jamila Salimpour. Jamila is credited as the American bellydance momma whos influences grew and evolved into modern American cabaret, ATS, and tribal fusion styles. Students who take this series learn some of the foundation elements to which our tribal bellydance lineage can be clearly drawn. I have given lectures and workshops on the topic of this shared history and have great love for all the iterations that have grown from it. In this class, we learn finger cymbals and movement families, which we compose into fun, creative combinations and choreographies. We get to play with musicality and staging in ways which are familiar to us as ATS dancers, yet very different and challenging.


Suhaila released a video recently discussing the history of this shared bellydance legacy, which is wonderfully composed and clearly presented. Give it a listen for yourself! (Note not all browsers will display this Vimeo embedded player, so follow THIS LINK if you can’t view it here.)

Cabaret or Tribal? presented by the Salimpour School from Suhaila Salimpour on Vimeo.

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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

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