I recently stumbled upon a wonderful post by Tribal Fusion bellydancer, Rachel Brice.
There are very few rules in Tribal Fusion, but in my humble opinion the one constant is that the dancer or group is versed in American Tribal Style as taught by Carolena Nericcio. Her stylistic approach to existing vocabulary, her theatrical approach to costuming, and the incredible invention of group improvisation, has allowed infinite variations that all have one thing in common: powerful presentation.
I'm so glad that she made this statement. There are so many dancers labeling themselves as "Tribal Fusion" who have no trace of tribal in their dance. Maybe some of them have never even studied ATS. I know that there are fiercely dedicated students and performers of ATS that will preserve the integrity of the dance, but I am often disappointed when I see performances deviate so far from the format, and even more saddened when I see "professional" performers lacking in tribal technique. I know this might make me sound like a "tribal curmudgeon" especially when I leave a performance unenthused, but it's just that when I see an artist or show billed as Tribal or Tribal Fusion, I expect to see at least some reference to an understanding of ATS.