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  1. #1
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    Default Try-out Bellydance Lesson includes what?

    I work at a dance school that has an event this weekend where students get to try different dance styles for free. All these free classes are half an hour each, including my bellydance class.
    So I'm wondering what you instructors would include in such a short lesson? It's supposed to increase interest and be fun at the same time. I pretty much have an idea of what to include, but I wanna hear your opinions.

  2. #2
    Member CottonAnatomy's Avatar
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    Well I've just started lessons a little over a month ago, so I can share what I as a beginner found the funnest to learn. I think maya's or figure 8's, chest undulations, shoulder punches, and wrist circles would make for a well rounded trial if you could fit it all in. A little hips, a little chest and some wrist/arms.

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    Member Jujube's Avatar
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    I'm not a teacher, but I would recommend doing bigger, more natural movements like vertical up figure 8's, horizontal back figure 8's, chest lifts, and down undulations. Then mix them up into a simple choreography you can lead.

    That way, they get to do some moves and also get the feel of doing choreography in a group.

    Just my two cents!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gia al Qamar's Avatar
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    I would keep it even MORE basic than that. After an explanation of what belly dance IS and IS NOT, I would start with a 'basic Arabic' (walking hip lifts) across the floor, larger hip circle and shimmies...

  5. #5
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    The rec center does this once a year. My goal is to get the prospective students shimmying and giggling to break down inhibitions before giving a short explanation of belly dance and what they can actually expect in class.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gia al Qamar View Post
    I would keep it even MORE basic than that. After an explanation of what belly dance IS and IS NOT, I would start with a 'basic Arabic' (walking hip lifts) across the floor, larger hip circle and shimmies...
    I totally agree. Walking and basic, safe hip articulations - up/down/slide, circle. In half an hour there really isn't time for horizontal figure eights with a big class. And unless your students are experienced dancers who know how to keep themselves safe - avoid vertical eights and mayas.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your replies! As a beginner, I also found several undulations to be most fun, but they take a bit more time to learn than other movements.

    Shanazel- how do you tell them what to expect in class? Aside from giving a short explanation of bellydance, do you show them some movements also?

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    I actually would love to see a teacher do a small choreo to see what you are supposed to aspire to... LOL

    I would say basic hip drops and some walking with it to the rythm, some arm movements, hip circles. No Choreo for goodness sake! 30 min is really not enough time, and will just confuse! Walking to the rythm will feel like dancing! And have fun and giggles!

  9. #9
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, Sidonia, I didn't mean to be obscure. Typical half hour free class:

    When all students are in the room, I smile at them without speaking, put on my favorite short piece of music, and dance for about three minutes. I don't know a better way to demonstrate what belly dance is than to perform. If a teacher tells a student something, the student watches her mouth move and doesn't learn much. If the teacher shows a student something, the student wants to imitate her. (That is not an original thought from me, but one that I constantly bear in mind as a teacher.)

    I change the music to something slow and rhythmic and have them follow me in some of the easier movements: gliding walks, snake arms, basic Egyptian walk (what Gia calls basic Arabian, I believe) and end with the always giggle worthy attempts to shimmy.

    Then I very briefly (three minutes, TOPS) talk about the style of dance I teach, the length of my classes, the general format of each class, what they can expect to learn during the semester, and the opportunity to participate in the twice yearly rec center dance recital.

    And that pretty well uses up the half an hour. My main point in the earlier post was poorly expressed, but is: dance first and most, talk last and least.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 09-20-2009 at 06:34 AM.

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