Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 48
  1. #21
    Member Ahimsa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    64
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It's not dumb at all adiemus. Its a hard fact. You either go to a class that is available to you or you don't go at all. That is the reality of belly dancing for many people. It shouldn't be a postcode lottery as to the quality of teaching. People should be able to trust that the classes they are attending are of a certain standard. How we can even to begin to regulate this I haven't a clue...!

  2. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    424
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I don't know if there are any requirements, but I'd think you'd need a good amount of skill and experience. Also, you'd need to know how to teach, you can belly dance great, but you need to make sure to teach posture, and explain the moves in a way that's easily comprehended. Also, knowing some warm-ups, and stretches would be a plus.

  3. #23
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,792
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I recognise that while I, as a dancer, want to learn dance to a certain standard, this doesn't mean 'the market' does!

    Having come from ballet and classical piano, which must be two of the most formalised teaching structures there are outside of regular 'education', I must admit I was a bit surprised that there is no standardised syllabus or exams or teacher certification. But as I've progressed over the past couple of years, I realise why! After all, Western dancers are adopting a dance form that is not regulated or formalised in its home country.

    Kashmir has often said the first belly dance teachers in Cairo had absolutely NO teaching training, and simply danced - and expected people to 'pick up' what was being demonstrated, because this is how they learned. Why on earth would dancers in Cairo need to have regulation or structure or dance teaching expertise when most of them have been dancing since before they could walk!

    So I think Western dancers are perhaps trying to impose a structure onto something that has never had it to ensure 'authenticity' when it's never needed this when learned within its normal cultural context. Similarly with Pacific Island dancing - no-one has a 'certificate in Pacific Island Dance' - but teachers of Kapa Haka are often esteemed kaumatua ('wise elders' in Maori) and have the right to teach because of this. We've circumvented this natural way of teaching and learning as an artifact of removing the dance from its context.

    What this means is that there is no context of natural correction and immersion in what is appropriate/relevant/quality, lack of consistency and this horrid fact that people who are trying to make a living out of selling dance training can do it without any restrictions at all in terms of how 'well' they teach (safety and risk aside).

    The 'answer'?
    Not sure: having seen some of the incredibly heated discussions on this forum sometimes over the most trivial things, I somehow doubt that belly dance will become as codified as ballet, for example. BUT, if we, as consumers (and producers) of teaching, can spread the word about what makes a 'good' teacher or 'good class', this may go some way toward raising standards at least of safety, especially if we hold ourselves to high standards before deciding 'it's time to make some money out of this hobby of mine so I think I'll start a dance class'.
    Course in NZ, I don't think any of the teachers are exactly rolling in it from teaching, so maybe that will be enough to put some of the more dubious ones off!

  4. #24
    Super Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,674
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    So I think Western dancers are perhaps trying to impose a structure onto something that has never had it to ensure 'authenticity' when it's never needed this when learned within its normal cultural context.
    There is something about the west and western academia in particular that believes any person without a string of letters after her name and accompanying credentials from some accredited school is incabable of teaching anything. You should have heard the uproar in local academia when experts in their fields were brought in to teach classes in their specialties. I got my share of snubs from the professors at the local community college because I had the unmitigated gall to teach writing without an MA after my name. I suspect part of the problem was that my classes regularly filled up.

  5. #25
    V.I.P.
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,228
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adiemus View Post
    After all, Western dancers are adopting a dance form that is not regulated or formalised in its home country.

    Kashmir has often said the first belly dance teachers in Cairo had absolutely NO teaching training, and simply danced - and expected people to 'pick up' what was being demonstrated, because this is how they learned. Why on earth would dancers in Cairo need to have regulation or structure or dance teaching expertise when most of them have been dancing since before they could walk!

    !
    And yet here we are in the west endeavouring to regulate this dance to within an inch of it's life! Don't we suppose it's all about money here. An 'accreditation' seems to have more clout when it comes to what makes a teacher desirable, though not necessarily good. Teacher training schools are popping out like pimples for the simple expediency of making money. If not, then they would be a darn sight cheaper and more affordable than they currently are!

    Bearing in mind all the talk of keeping this dance traditional to it's culture, not one single famous ME dancer has an accreditation of any kind attached to them. Some, like Lucy and Fifi, claim to be self taught...and yet if a western dancer has the affrontary to claim the same, they are treated with a certain amount of derision by some.

    Accreditation sometimes feels too much like vanity publishing for my comfort.

  6. #26
    V.I.P.
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,228
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    There is something about the west and western academia in particular that believes any person without a string of letters after her name and accompanying credentials from some accredited school is incabable of teaching anything. You should have heard the uproar in local academia when experts in their fields were brought in to teach classes in their specialties. I got my share of snubs from the professors at the local community college because I had the unmitigated gall to teach writing without an MA after my name. I suspect part of the problem was that my classes regularly filled up.
    How Dare you! Good for you!

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cornfields of Evansville Indiana.
    Posts
    2,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    There is something about the west and western academia in particular that believes any person without a string of letters after her name and accompanying credentials from some accredited school is incabable of teaching anything. You should have heard the uproar in local academia when experts in their fields were brought in to teach classes in their specialties. I got my share of snubs from the professors at the local community college because I had the unmitigated gall to teach writing without an MA after my name. I suspect part of the problem was that my classes regularly filled up.
    Well not that a degree guarantees a good teacher or anything, but we have in the US seen far too many times an "expert consultant" brought in, who knows absolutely NOTHING about what he/she is consulting on, but was able to market themselves really well.

    I've been working alongside the "graphic design" profession for 15 years, and I've seen a LOT of people buy (or steal) a copy of Photoshop and start advertising themselves as "designers." I've had clients actually pay money to these idiots, who don't know squat about actual effective DESIGN principles, but can superimpose your head on your dog's body, so OBVIOUSLY they should get jobs in the field.

    Shan -- how many self-proclaimed "book editors" or "manuscript doctors" have you run across? Little Miss Sally wrote obituaries for the newspaper, so she's suddenly qualified to get paid $500 to edit your manuscript?

    Americans are just once-bitten, twice-shy. But no, the degree guarantees nothing. Just that you MIGHT know more about what you're talking about than the average guy, and if you don't, we can always blame the university who gave you the degree

    It's not like having a driver's license means you actually know how to drive safely either. But you still gotta have one.


    What qualifies you to teach, imho? A burning desire to do it, to educate. Even if you had to do it for free. Especially if you have to do it for free. Too many of us teach because we just want to dance with our friends. That's not teaching -- that's facilitating. Nothing wrong with that, but let's keep the motivations clear.

    Good teachers are rare because teaching Raqs Sharqi means teaching movement in as many ways as there are ways to learn, teaching music, the relation between the two, how to LISTEN to the music, how to develop an emotional response from the physical movement -- AND all the performing skills, professional skills, and everything that deals with dancing to an audience, which is a whole different skill set altogether. All in all, teaching is WAY more complicated than just dancing.

    The first Cairo teachers were just bodies you imitated. Just like the old masters who "taught" painting -- you just imitated them. Works for some people, but takes a LONG time to develop skills. And you have to spend a LONG time imitating and watching and practicing.

    I'll never forget the first painting teacher I had who showed me, "No, hold your hand like this..." and a new world suddenly opened up to me, giving me a technique I'd been trying to achieve for years. I'm sure eventually I would have experimented with holding my hand that way, but how long before I discovered that on my own? Having a good teacher was a shortcut.

  8. #28
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,792
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Jumping in hastily to defend academia (I am one!) - there is no doubt that learning takes many different paths. Some of us seem to learn more by watching, others by doing, still others by reading about it and analysing...
    A good teacher recognises this and adjusts how he or she passes on knowledge accordingly.

    Academic study of anything provides an extension of everyday observation and experience. This has both good and not-so-good aspects to it.

    The good is that more is known about the topic, often from different perspectives, and this adds to our collective knowledge as humans. So, we know from research that people do learn in different ways. As Aziyade says:
    Good teachers are rare because teaching Raqs Sharqi means teaching movement in as many ways as there are ways to learn, teaching music, the relation between the two, how to LISTEN to the music, how to develop an emotional response from the physical movement -- AND all the performing skills, professional skills, and everything that deals with dancing to an audience, which is a whole different skill set altogether. All in all, teaching is WAY more complicated than just dancing.
    We only know this because someone, somewhere spent the time analysing/studying it all. Common sense just isn't that common!

    The not-so-good aspects are that academics can over-analyse, sometimes it's easier to study about than do the doing, and as everyone has pointed out, a piece of paper means very little in terms of practical skill.

    BUT there is a difference between being an academic and being a teacher (just go and sit in one or two University lectures and you'll pick up what I mean!).

    I just think it's interesting that the original model for learning fine arts was 'master' and 'apprentice' or 'expert' and 'acolyte'. But in bellydance we are talking about a cultural practice where everyone 'knows' how to bellydance (the social version anyway), so the basics are there already (knowing the music, feeling it, knowing the rhythms, being able to understand the language, knowing what style is appropriate and what is not) and it seems to be outsiders who demand teaching in a much more formalised way - removing it from the context in which dance was usually learned. Just by doing this we're demanding different skills of our teachers from those used in the Middle East. Or maybe I'm romanticising the way that people from the ME learn - correct me if I'm wrong.

    So to me, we're elevating bellydance to something a bit like a fine art where we are aiming more for a 'master' and 'apprentice' but within a group learning situation more similar to our Western style of learning, which demands much more from a teacher than how people in the Middle East learned (except the very elite performers when they were refining their performance).

  9. #29
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    424
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I live in the US (just so no one thinks I'm racist or something), considering how stupid the bulk of Americans are, they shouldn't be that snooty about stuff like that. "Oh we have standards for education, but most of us are complete morons." I see it everyday, on TV, in magazines, the internet, and in person right in front of my face. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of intelligent folks here, but most of them lack the most important knowledge of all, common sense.

  10. #30
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharis View Post
    Bearing in mind all the talk of keeping this dance traditional to it's culture, not one single famous ME dancer has an accreditation of any kind attached to them. Some, like Lucy and Fifi, claim to be self taught...and yet if a western dancer has the affrontary to claim the same, they are treated with a certain amount of derision by some.
    The difference is both of these women grew up in the culture. (Both are actually bint il-beled). They were dancing from an early age. They breath the dance without thought. They knew the music since they could toddle. We go to them to watch and learn how to interpret the music in an Egyptian way.

    I would not suggest either of these women would be suitable for untrained grown western women with no experience of the music, culture or dancing. To teach that to an adult - and teach it safely - requires special training for an outsider - which most of us are.

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •