Friday, June 27, 2008 - Separating the Grist from the Chaff

I'm sure many of you are familiar with and are perhaps members of, an online social networking website that is just chock full of bellydancers. can be a great resource if you just know which tribes to join, however there are a lot of fan tribes that don't offer much substance, and personal/troupe tribes that mostly offer performance and class information for a particular city or area.

To save you some of the hassle of finding the tribes worth paying attention to (in my not so humble opinion), here are the ones that I find the most useful and informative.

  • The Biz of Belly Dance
    • This tribe is a fantastic resource for dancers who are either dancing professionally or who are seeking to do so in the near future. Moderated by Samira Shuruk--who has been an activist for professional ethics and standards in the bellydance community for several years--this tribe and its members provide quality discussion that rarely becomes uncivil or destructive.

  • Bellydance Health, Fitness, and Anatomy
    • I've turned to this tribe several times seeking advice and input from other dancers in regard to anatomy and health. While this tribe, of course, is hardly a substitute for seeing a physician, moderator Aubre and its members are chock full of knowledge on the human body and how bellydance affects it.

  • Bellydance Feedback
    • This tribe, unfortunately, is greatly underutilized. I'd like to see it grow a little bit more. This tribe offers dancers the opportunity to post their own performance videos and solicit constructive feedback from other dancers. Sometimes responses can be confusion, as each dancer might have a different opinion of what would improve a performance, most of the time the responses are honest, helpful, and--as far as I've seen--never hurtful.

  • Belly Dance Legacy
    • Know your history! This tribe is another great untapped resource. This tribe mostly focuses on the history of bellydance from the 1970s and earlier. I highly suggest you check it out, if only for the amazing photos in the gallery.

  • DCTribal
    • Created by community maven Mab, just Mab, this tribe serves the DC-area tribal and fusion bellydance scene, but its members span from all over the country. If you're not in DC, then you might not find this tribe as helpful as I do, but if you're ever in the area, this would be the first place to check for upcoming community events, performances, and workshops. This tribe really helped bring together disparate dancers from the area to launch a community in the true sense of the word.

  • Suhaila Method Resource Group
    • This tribe is limited to those who are at least Level I certified in the Suhaila Salimpour format. If you are Level I certified and haven't joined yet, let moderator Kitiera know that you're interested. It's a fantastic resource for anyone involved in the format.
There are many other tribes out there, but these are the ones that I check the most often and the ones that consistently have some of the best discussions and content.

Are there tribes that you frequent that you feel have helped your dance? Leave a comment. :)


Anonymous said...

Now, if only Tribe would work on something approaching a regular basis. :)

Lisa said...

Great list :) I like the Lyrics tribe. And ditto on the wanting more up-time.

I would love to use the BD Feedback tribe, but if I'm getting feedback on something that I feel needs polishing, I am not *at all* ready to post my works-in-progress on the Internet for all the world to see. I'm not even ready to have already-performed works posted on the Internet for all to see and critique! If there was a way to have a non-public (to the world) BD Feedback tribe or at least have some way of having restricted access to locked-down videos (like a shared youtube login), I think I'd be more willing to put my works up for the not quite so public to shred.

It's not that I don't solicit feedback -- I have my own small army of people from whom I seek feedback -- but having works-in-progress 100% public is really not appealing to me.

Anonymous said...

I like both of the bellydance instructor tribes I'm on. I've learned things from each, it's good to talk with people who are teaching cabaret, teaching tribal, teaching folkloric and mixed styles.

I like Bellydance for Life because of the Arabic lessons and generally sunny nature of the mods.

And Gothic Bellydance is a good place to share information about music, costumes, culture, etc.

Desirée said...

Thank you for the recommendations, I will definitely have to check them out! I agree with your assessment of a lot of the other types of Tribes you mention.

Amy said...

I like the DIY Bellydance on a Budget tribe, it has great info on making dance items and I get really inspired seeing what other dancers are working on.

I can't like it right now but there is the ATS FAQ tribe that started recently that is just info on ATS moves, formations, and theory. There are links to it in posts at the main ATS tribe. I'd post the link but (all together now!) Tribe is currently down.