We want you to enjoy yourself when you attend classes and workshops at OTBS, so please take a moment to read our FAQ sections ‘Tribal bellydance FAQs’ and ‘Registration FAQs’ below. We look forward to dance with you!
1. Where can I find the class schedule?
We post all upcoming classes and workshops in the OTBS calendar. See the calendar here
2. Which class is right for me?
If you have no previous experience, start with an introductory class or a beginners class. You need no previous dance experience to begin, just a willingness to learn and have fun!
It’s important that students are competent in the level that they are at, before moving up. Move to intermediate classes as you master the basics. Advanced classes are performance oriented and require a high degree of physical fitness and mastery of basic technique.
3. Do I need to register for class / workshop or just turn up?
Students are welcome to drop in to the beginners / open level classes, but to gain the most out of class, we encourage you to sign up for a full course. It’s advisable to register before joining as space is limited. We currently don’t offer drop in for intermediate or advanced class levels, neither for workshops.
When OTBS has confirmed your class / workshop registration, your registration is binding. OTBS will not offer a refund unless you have a note from your doctor or in case of serious illness in the near family. If the instructors have to cancel classes / workshops due to illness or other circumstances, the full payment will be refunded.
4. How to pay for a class / workshop?
Please transfer the class fee no later than four days before the class starts or the workshop is held. We will provide the bank account number upon registration.
5. How to pay for drop in?
Cash only. Drop ins are currently NOK 150,- for a 1 hour class and NOK 200,- for a 1,5 hour class.
6. What to wear and bring to class/workshop?
Comfortable clothing which you can dance in – yoga/gym pants or a loose-fitting skirt with a tank top or choli and socks or dance shoes. Bring a waterbottle, a notebook, an open mind and a smile! Remember your zills if that is required.
Tribal bellydance FAQs
1. What is the difference between American Tribal Style® bellydance and Tribal Fusion?
American Tribal Style® is a carefully stylized bellydance format characterized by a confident and upright, open posture and the concept of group improvisation. Through the non-verbal communication of movements and gestures, the group dances together as a unit without using choreography. More info here
Tribal Fusion Belly Dance is a modern form of bellydance which has evolved from American Tribal Style® bellydance, blending elements of ATS® with many other styles of dance. Tribal Fusion tends to use choreographed routines in place of improvised dances, and is mostly performed as a solo dance. More info here
2. How long does it take to learn Tribal Bellydance?
Like any other dance form, learning to bellydance takes time, and all people learn at a different pace. The key is regular practice, but generally it takes 6 months to 1 year to master the basics. If you have training in other dance forms you may be able to progress more quickly.
3. Do I need to be a certain age, size or shape to bellydance?
The wonderful world of tribal bellydance welcomes all ages, shapes and sizes. Tribal bellydance provides a moderate workout that is beneficial to the health for most people. If you have a medical condition, injury or are pregnant, please consult your doctor and let us know before starting class.
4. What are zills, and why and when do we play them?
Zills, or finger cymbals, are the traditional rhythmic accompaniment to tribal bellydance. Zills can be played in several ways, to produce either ringing tones or a harsh “clack” sound, and in different rhythms.
A set of zills consists of four cymbals, two for each hand. Different sizes and shapes of zills will produce sounds that differ in volume, tone and resonance.
5. What kind of music do we dance to?
In tribal bellydance we mostly dance to traditional music from North Africa and the Middle East, but also modern music like electronica and Bollywood music.
ATS® has two musical concepts: ‘fast’ and ‘slow’, and this includes both tempo and feeling. There are different steps for fast music and slow music.
The most common fast rhythms for tribal bellydance are the fast to very fast 2/4’s; Fellahi, Malfuf, Ayoob and Karachi, and the medium fast to fast Saaidi, Maqsoum and Masmoudi Saghira (aka Baladi). You are bound to the beat with a fast song.
A slow song for tribal bellydance could be a melody instrument played at a meditative tempo. If a drum is added and the tempo of the drum is slow, it’s a slow song. You are not bound to the beat with a slow song.
In Tribal Fusion, dancers are free to use all of the above as well as mid tempo music because Tribal Fusion is not bound by the format of group improvisation.
Cover photo © Andreas Ulvo