My Creative Journey: Hoop Dance to Rockabilly

My Creative Journey

Vaudeville Hippie has been a creative journey.  Initially sparked by learning the art of hoop dance, which was the gateway to discover other dance forms and styles.  This post tracks that creative journey.

Hoop Dance

Hoop dance became a massive turning point in my life. This is me in 2008 when I first discovered the joy and addiction of hula hooping.  It is also the first hoop I ever made.

From Hoop Dance to Rockabilly (The Journey of a Tangent!)
My first ever hoop

Hoop Dance Aesthetic

Like many newbie hoopers I became obsessed with all things hoop related from learning tricks, making hoops, visiting forums and the hoop dance style that seemed to be emerging. At the time I would not have known how to describe this style but now I would say that the hoopers fused styles from cyberpunk, tribal fusion belly dance and hippie faerie festival wear, amongst other influences. This is probably most notable in ‘The Good Vibe Hoop Tribe’s‘ video.  One of the first hoop dance videos to inspire me. Despite the low quality I still enjoy watching this from time to time.

Melodia Pants

I kept watching these hoop videos on YouTube, desperately trying to find information about a particular a style of trousers that many of the hoopers were wearing.

Melodia style tribal fusion belly dance pants

After a lot of searching on google images, and even eBay using terms like ‘hoop trousers’ or ‘split flared trousers’ I discovered that this style of trouser originated from tribal fusion belly dance and they are called Melodia Pants.  This style is also worn for yoga.


Tribal Fusion Belly Dance

Belly dance performance at Play Festival 2013 wearing a more cabaret style costume

Up until this point I was only aware of Cabaret Belly Dance.  Therefore, the discovery of Tribal Fusion was really exciting. My interest with this style of belly dance, was not just for it’s aesthetic but also for new ways of moving with the hoop. There are differences in dance moves and technique too.  When compared with each other, visually they are very different.  Tribal Fusion and Gothic Belly Dance  are much darker in colour using heavier fabrics and embellishment.  Whilst reading up on the Tribal Fusion style the phrases ‘earthy’ and ‘grounded’ kept cropping up and it took me a while to fully understand what that actually meant.

Illustration inspired by the East Coast Tribal DVD cover

During my quest for comprehensive belly dance instructional DVD I came across the World Dance New York series who specialise in all genres of belly dance, as well as other forms of dance. Here I discovered Sera Solstice and her East Coast Tribal Belly Dance DVD.

For a time, I became a little bit obsessed with belly dance and felt compelled to dig a little further. This led me to the discovery of Rachel Brice and I fell in love with Rachel’s style. Brice has collected and combined a range of accessories from around the world, allowing her to achieve her unique tribal fusion costume style.  Sometime later, I discovered that Rachel also dresses and dances in a vaudeville style.


Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Screen Printed Tote Bag
Vaudeville Hippie Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Screen Printed Tote Bag

Pin Up and Rockabilly

I loved the diverse selection that World Dance New York  had to offer, and as a subscriber to their YouTube channel I was instantly intrigued by the release of their ‘How to be a Pin Up Model’ DVD.

Although I was aware of the ‘vintage look’ it had never occurred to me to explore the style visually.  I love the elegance, but also the bright red hair and lips.  Whilst delving into the world of pin up I stumbled across rockabilly.

A modern take on Pin Up/Rockabilly shoes

Pin Up and Rockabilly are similar in style.  This is through make-up and choice of 1950s fashion.  Pin Up, however, is more glamorous and focuses on modelling.  Whereas Rockabilly grew out of the rockabilly music.  It has a bit more attitude with tattooed and pierced girls.

So there you have it, my creative journey from hoop dance to rockabilly.