The next chronological step in our styles journey, Improvisational Team Synchronization and ATS!
VERY recently a movement has begun to change the name of these styles, to respect the Native American/First Nations community. Previously, offshoots of bellydance were called "Tribal Fusion" and the T in ATS and ITS stood for tribal. ITS became Improvisational Team Synchronization. (ATS (American Tribal Style), which was trademarked by Carolena Nericcio. in the late 80s hasn't updated as of the last time I updated this blog post.)
Because of the nature of the format you have to really be able to anticipate the music changes with ATS in order to keep it matching and catch any accents you want to emphasize. Fat chance and Wild Card (see below) are both usually great at this. here's a performance from the original troupe, Fat Chance BellyDance.
You might have noticed that there is a little R next to ATS on their site. The name is specific to the Fat Chance format, and many troupes have taken the general format and use their own cues, formations, movement combos, and costuming that are unique to their format. For example, Unmata is a popular format, especially with those who lean further into the Fusion style (come back in two posts for that story ^_~). Wild Card is one of my favorite group-improv troupes, and they have their own format as well.
This is one of the first youtubes I ever saw of bellydance and is a big part of why I fell in love with it. They are dancing to the introduction to Alf Leila w Leila, a classical Om Kalthoom piece (and my favorite version too!). I fell in love with the women dancing together and the music and it all grew from there ^_~
You can find more videos on Shem's playlist.