My Tribal Fusion Festival in Florida
by Maja, the Girl from the Nile
The Spirit of the Tribes is the largest Tribal Fusion Belly Dance gathering on the East Coast. Here in southern Florida, dancers and musicians from the Northeast to the Southeast gather to share their art, market their troupes, and learn new and different dance styles, combinations, and formations. The gathering attracts tribal belly dancers that range from beginning to advanced levels.
The Spirit of the Tribes offers dancers a chance to connect with other tribal sisters, make new friends, and partake of the wonderful energy, talent, and magic of this celebration. Myriad costumes of various styles grace the gathering and inspire many to shop like crazy at more than 20 vendor booths. The celebration is a tribute to all Tribal Fusion, Gypsy Tribal, Romani, American Tribal, Folklore Village, World Tribal, Neo-Tribal, and Ethnic fusion dancers from near and far.
I had the insight to promote the first Tribal Fusion gathering in the country after introducing this dance style in Florida five years ago. Since that time, I have witnessed how much the Tribal Fusion Belly Dance community has grown on the East Coast. Many new troupes have formed and expanded, and some have even acquired their own musicians. My hope is that the tribal community will continue to grow, gain recognition, and connect with other tribal sisters across the country.
If we have a dream, we should go for it..
I am very proud and honored to have sponsored a variety of dancers in South Florida: Delilah, Elena Lentini, Laurel Gray, Eva, Atesh, Fatima el Wahid, Taaj, Zhor, Azur Aja, Youkta, Zafira, Awalim, Khafif, Gypsy Caravan, Fat Chance, Jill Parker, Dalia, Neha Shah.
It is easier to promote festivals and gatherings on the West Coast, because the Tribal movement began with Carolena Nericcio of San Francisco, and most of the Tribal Dancers are there. The big challenge is to bring them here . . . to fly the teachers in and move them from the West to the East.
Another challenge I face . . . Miami's peak season is in March, so sites and hotels are more expensive and harder to find. We have tried various sites, such as gymnasiums and school auditoriums. Last year we used the Magical Rodeo, with a dirt floor. This year we were fortunate to get the sophisticated and stunning Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
I put this event together by myself. The road is lonely, but once it begins, my beautiful students and dancers of the Gypsy Tribe give me some help.
I relish the stunning feedback from dancers who attend the workshops, and from the pleasure I see in their eyes. They want me to bring the event again. We have so many talented performers and teachers on the East Coast and in neighboring states: Zafira, Awalim, Kafif, Megha, Kassar, Onca, Narah bint Durr, Sinduvalli, Rakadu, In Your Dreams(NE), Blue Moon (NC), Riel (FL). I make every attempt to bring teachers from both the West and East Coasts. Some of our area troupes have started teaching and performing in my festival, and now are teaching in other festivals and workshops around the country. This is the Magic of the Spirit of the Tribes.The fever that drives me, the determination to make it happen, and the will to present our dance with new styles and possibilities makes the long hours of organization and work my passion.
Talent, diversity and creativity have exploded, as many of these dancers research world dance and costuming, thereby, creating the most dynamic, refreshing, and innovative formations and movements. The magical, theatrical metamorphosis of our dance and costuming has generated a rebirth of this art form.
See you all in Miami!
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