One of my hobbies is a type of bellydance called American Tribal Style Bellydance (ATS). It is a danceform improvised in groups. There is a leader, but the leader position is switched spontaneously when dancing. Using hand signals, the leader communicates to the group which step to do, a kind of sign language. That way, you can dance ATS with anyone in the whole world as long as you both know the language. You can learn to dance with others pretty quickly, and at the same time there are endless possibilities to develop as a dancer and take your dancing to the next level, both as an individual and with other people. I strongly recommend anyone who is the least bit interested in dancing to try it! Moreover, the costumes are amazing, drawing inspiration from among other things spanish, oriental and indian dance. I think they area bit fantasy-like too.
Common elements of an ATS costume:
- Harem pants.
- Often a big circle skirt, prefereably several.
- Belts and shawls, and often so called tassel belts.
- Some kind of top, for example a choli or a vest.
- Headgear, for example a turban or lots of flowers.
- BLING! A lot of big jewellry that look a bit old-fashioned.
- Finger cymbals/zills that you play while dancing.