SHORT History of American Bellydance: Salimpour to I.T.S.

Here is a small grouping of videos and pictures to illustrate the journey from Jamila Salimpour’s visually learned belly dance style & Bal Anat, to Masha Archer with the San Francisco Classic Dance Troupe, to Carolena Nericcio and her American Tribal Style format, to Amy Sigil’s Improvisational Tribal Style format.

(THIS IS BY NO MEANS A COMPLETE HISTORY!!) There are numerous other dancers that have influenced these format creators. This simply illustrates the most direct line of our modern Tribal Belly Dance.
**Photos courtesy of Larissa Archer

For a more complete (And well-written) history of the Salimpour-Archer-Nericcio lineage, please visit: FatChanceBellyDance®’s History of American Tribal Style

Jamila Salimpour & Bal Anat

Jamila Salimpour learned most of her belly dance technique from strictly watching Arabic dancers in movies, and at shows. When traveling dancers were brought in from the Middle East, she would watch closely and make notes of the movements. This is where she started coming up with terminology and “families” of movements, the basis of her teaching format.

Jamila was an acrobat and was part of a traveling circus when she was young- Her training with this traveling form of entertainment lead to the “Variety Show” format of Bal Anat

Jamila Salimpour- Photo By Charles Homer Archer
Jamila Salimpour- Wearing a dress made by Masha Archer – Photo By Charles Homer Archer

Masha Archer & the S.F. Classic Dance Troupe

All Photos of Masha Archer and the S.F. Classic Dance Troupe by Charles Homer Archer

Masha Archer was a student of Jamila’s. She took the costuming styles of Jamila and Bal Anat even further into an amalgam of European and Middle Eastern folk wear.

Carolena Nericcio & FatChanceBellyDance

Amy Sigil, Unmata & Hot Pot Studios

Amy has taken Carolena’s ATS format and modified it to suit her style- incorporating elements of team sports, Tahitian dance, martial arts, and more. It is extremely articulated an structured.

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