Cross training can mean a few different things, it could mean adding pilates or swimming to your fitness and movement practice to strengthen and balance you body. It can also be training in other dance forms in order to improve our raqs sharki/oryntal dansi technique. This post is about the later meaning.
A lot of people advocate for having a background, or adding classes, in ballet or other classical Western dance styles. There are two places this is coming from, one is an innocent misattribution of where some dancers' ease of learning came from, and the other is, frankly, rooted in a colonizer hierarchy.
First, it's important that we remember this dance is whole on its own. We don't need to add other things to it in order to make it good. You certainly CAN, I really enjoy good fusion, but you don't HAVE TO. This goes for performing and it goes for practicing. Bellydance does not have the same pedagogical structure that more formal Western dances have, which makes it very important to find a good teacher/guidance on where to focus your energies, but that is part of the beauty of our dance. There isn't a formula made for your performance style, and there isn't a prescribed curriculum handed to us as teachers either. (You can read more about my thoughts on that in this other blog post.)