CTS (Cardio Tribal Style) Belly Dance

Robin and Aeron have been influenced most recently by Rachel Brice through their training in her Eight 8 Elements program.  The description of CTS below uses the 8 Elements framework.

Element 1.  The fundamental movements of CTS are shared with all the other belly dance styles.  Like all belly dancers, in CTS, we snake, shake, and isolate; we use undulations (snakey moves), shimmies (shaking moves), and isolations mostly of the torso and pelvis.  So many of the movements in CTS are just like those we see in other belly dance forms – Egyptian Cabaret, Lebanese, Turkish, ATS (American Tribal Style), etc.

Element 2.  The music we use includes middle eastern rhythms, but we also use modern, retro, electronic and world music for our routines.  We do teach and play finger cymbals (zils).

Element 3.  What differentiates most of the belly dance styles from each other is typically the movement vocabulary.  CTS has its own dance vocabulary – combinations of movements.  The vocabulary was developed by Robin J, influenced by a wide range of styles from her belly dance teachers over the last 20 years – styles including classical Egyptian, folkloric, tribal, ATS (American Tribal Style), ITS (Improvisational Tribal Style), Gypsy Caravan, Datura Method, etc.  CTS has 25 core combinations.  The CTS workout teaches you the foot patterns and basic movements for the 25 core combinations.  If you decide to move into a CTS Belly Dance class – you learn more dance technique for those combinations, how to use finger cymbals and dance at the same time, and how to use props – swords, fans, skirts, etc.  We note when a combination or movement has strong influence from Datura Method/Rachel Brice, ATS, ITS, or other teachers.  In many cases combinations are named for the people who inspired them or just loved them.

Element 4.  The “Tribal” in CTS is because we dance as a group (our tribe) using cues for each of the combinations.  When the combos are cues in random order, the dance is a form of Synchronized Group Improvisation (SGI) with a lead and follow component as you would see in ATS (American Tribal Style) or ITS (Improvisational Tribal Style).

Element 5.  When the combos are cued in a specific order, we have cued choreography.  The choreography will also include variations in Timing, Relationships, Action, Quality, and Spacing for the dances.  Robin choreographs routines that she shares with the CTS Dance Crew (students from our classes) and with subscribers to the CTS workout format.  You can see a sample CTS performance here.

Element 6.  Students learn CTS combinations in live classes most of the time, with additional practice using online videos where we have demonstrated the combinations.  We also strongly encourage our students to subscribe to DaturaOnline.com for specific belly dance technique instruction, and to take workshops when they attend belly dance events. 

Element 7.  Costuming in CTS is about comfort – clothing that allows you to move and breathe, that you feel looks good on you, and that works with the dance movements while not obstructing others in the group.  Zaltana is typically covered, including the midriff, and wearing harem pants or a skirt.  At the moment we’re loving the faux assuit by Melodia because the bamboo fabric breathes, washes, and packs well.  The CTS crew often wears a CTS T-Shirt with harem pants or skirts.  We do not use glass beads because they tend to fall off potentially harming your, or others’ feet.

Element 8.  Performance is up to you.  You can take the workout classes and never perform.  You can join us for a flash mob at a benefit, or for a local friends-family hafla we attend several times a year.  You can be part of our annual performance at Cairo Shimmy Quake.  And you can always audition for our performance troupe Zaltana.

CTS is low impact and heart healthy.  CTS is fun, easy to learn, and a great workout.  On the Instruction page you will be able to connect to video instruction.  As a CTS Belly Dance subscriber you can download routines with audio cues if you want to practice at home.