Do you have to? Choose a style, that is. Can you be a bellydancer and dance both tribal and cabaret styles? Some students of mine recently took a tribal workshop and expressed the fact that it seems difficult to learn both styles, since they are so similar yet have distinct ways of doing the same moves.
It sort of reminded me of trying to learn Italian in college, after taking four years of Spanish in high school. I had always wanted to learn Italian, and I thought that my background of Spanish would help me, since the two languages are so similar. What I learned, however, was that the similarities actually made it sooooo much harder. The two languages actually merged into one, completely incorrect, language in my head. I lost the ability to put a sentence together in Spanish, without throwing some Italian in there, and I could never have a conversation in Italian without it being part Spanish.
Is this similar to the the tribal and cabaret conundrum? I have to admit I have no experience with tribal, so I'd like to hear your thoughts. Ladies who have crossed over to the "other" side - what do you think? Can you do both?