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  1. #1
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    Sad Learning to belly dance??

    I don't know if this is the right thread for this, this is only my second post! I tried looking in search to see if anyone else has asked this but it said my search was too general and after searching this thread, after page 17, I gave up! Anyways, my question is this: if you do not have money to take classes or access to a belly dance teacher, what can you do? How can you learn to belly dance? Are videos ok? and if so, which ones? I really, really, really want to learn but this is my main obstacle; finding a teacher and aquiring money to go to a class. Maybe one day I can afford to take a class or two but right now, all my money goes into my 2 yr. old. LOL.


    JuJu

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    It is of course Ideal to take classes, but quite a few people are in positions where they don't have access to teachers, or lack the funds.

    So yes DVDs are a good place to start, but of course when you can get to a class it is recommended, you will get so much more from a class ( along with correct posture and correct way to execute movements) - If you learn to do something incorrectly it is very hard to correct that as it becomes part of your muscle memory, of course it can be corrected, but with all things it is better and easier if you learn something the right way in the first instance.

    There are a number of threads about good DVDs for beginners -

    http://www.bellydanceforums.net/inst...onal-dvds.html

    http://www.bellydanceforums.net/inst...-you-have.html


    http://www.bellydanceforums.net/othe...deos-good.html


    http://www.bellydanceforums.net/inst...mandation.html

    If you search for: Instructional DVDs for beginners some other threads may turn up, but you will probably find most DVDs others recommend in these threads.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  3. #3
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Realistically you cannot learn belly dance from a video. If you already have a grounding then some people (not all) can gain a lot out of them. Why? The first stumbling block it translating what you see on video into your body. Many people cannot work just visually.

    Next you need good skills at ensuring what you think you are doing is what you are doing (may be possible with a studio with mirrors and a couple of video cameras - but even then you need to not only look but to see - and learning to see is part of the journey)

    The result may just be picking up bad habits which then takes even longer to break. Worse you might injure yourself through poor posture or unsafe moves (a good teacher can judge if you are ready to learn a move and can keep their eye on you as you learn it - no such feedback is available via video).

    Next, the material in a video is limited to a few hours. When you attend class you get many more hours of information and guidance. Learning from a video gives you a very poor snapshot of the dance. A bit like learning to cook just using rice and beans. You can survive but it isn't much more than that.

    Next, many videos are totally unsuitable for beginners (even if you are a visual learner, already have good body awareness and understanding of kinesiology, and have access to other materials). Worse - some of these are marketed at beginners - which is a big and undescerning market.

    If you have limited funds, the best I'd suggest is take a private lesson. Work on it for a while then do follow ups. Also watch lots of good belly dancers. Live if you can. On video at home (rewinding and watching the same ones over and over) if that isn't possible (you lose a lot using only video though). At a very last resort on the internet. Frankly, if money is short I'd trade in the broadband connection and use the money to buy your own copies of performance videos.

  4. #4
    Member gypsy's Avatar
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    Hi JuJu,

    There are some community ed classes that are pretty darn cheap. I'm in MN too, and I pay about $9 per class.
    Don't give up, you can do as much with DVD's as you like, if you enjoy it!
    -gypsy-

  5. #5
    Member Nebetmiw's Avatar
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    JuJu,

    I can related on the money issue. As I am not working only hubby is right now. I would suggest reading about all the different styles here. When you find the one that suites you best then reading every review on teachings DVDs and looked up You Tube videos on that style. The You Tube is free and there are many some good some not so good. Check Shiras site and here for listings of teachers in your area. I know when I lived up North we had a local rec class that I never got around to taking. As Gypsy says they are cheap. Both sites have listings by state so it should help some. Make it a gift to yourself to recharge from your 2 year old.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    I have commented before about the risks of virtual learning, and Kashmir as done a far better job of stating it here.

    But, there are always other solutions out there!

    IF (and this may be a big if) there are qualified teachers near you, I encourage you to contact them and learn more about what they offer. And, if you want to take classes but don't have the money -- BARTER! You may have a skill or be able to offer a service they could use. Can you watch their kids? Can you alter their costumes? Clean their house? etc.

    Obstacles can be overcome. Just get creative!

    Regards,

    Anala

  7. #7
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anala View Post
    And, if you want to take classes but don't have the money -- BARTER! You may have a skill or be able to offer a service they could use. Can you watch their kids? Can you alter their costumes? Clean their house? etc.

    As a teacher, I would totally be up for this -- I desperately need someone to fix/maintain my website. But I think legally the easiest way to do it is to just exchange checks. You pay me $60 for classes, I pay you $60 for services rendered. That way tax-wise it's okay -- I assume!

  8. #8
    Senior Member maria_harlequin's Avatar
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    Videos can be a great learning aid - I use them myself. For example, the teachers at my dance school don't provide classes that teach you how to balance swords so after two private lessons from an outside dancer, I bought Princess Farhana's sword DVD and that helped me alot. But learning to dance from videos? I understand not having the funds or you can't find a local teacher but like Kashmir said, realistically, you can't learn from videos.

    If someone told you that they were learning how to dance ballet or learn martial arts from a video, would you take them seriously?

  9. #9
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    i'm in similar situation, i started in August 09, and since have collected some 16 DVD's and there are many more out there.

    many just address belly dance from an exercise fitness view, or as a just for fun, they don't really teach the subject per se, but a good instructional DVD that does is:

    YouTube - Bellydance Egyptian Style: Modern Oriental, by Ranya Renée :: WorldDanceNewYork.com

    by Ranya Renee on Modern Egyptian Oriental and her other is on Baladi she made, the urban Egyptian style.

    YouTube - Bellydance Egyptian Style: The Baladi, by Ranya Renée : buy the set at WorldDanceNewYork.com!

    but there a more styles out there, you can also research the subject on search engines.

    there is a good article by Hozzam Ramzy on Baladi, from which classical modern Egyptian Oriental has grown:

    "Baladi" by Hossam Ramzy

    and this one on Egyptian sytles:

    styles of egyptian dance including classical baladi

    but heres a baladi: YouTube - Bellydancer Ranya Renee of NYC: Raks Beledi "Tahtil Shibbak

    and an Egyptian Oriental: YouTube - Ranya Renée "Andah Aleik" solo Oriental dance, Sept. 2008

    see there is quite difference, just in the Egyptain styles, as you may tell Egyptian is my point of interest, but there are many other styles out there under the name Sharki, so some discriminating is necessary, ie greek, turkish, lebanese, et cetera. pick one you like for now and get to know it intamately, youtube is good to watch and see pro's, focus on thing one time, like the styles sense of iso, then the same vid, but floor work, then arms and hands. even costume. and the same with other vids too. research for the tradition and culture of that particular style.

    i've not had the pleasure of a teacher, and this is how i'm learning, try finding a hafla is you want, go down and check the students performing and get into the community that way if your able. I've not been to one yet, but i'm looking into it myself.

    and ofcourse bellydanceforums.net is a good resource to bring up topics after you researched them, to discuss them and iron out vague points, if you start dancing like me you could start making videos, start a video journal of your learning curve, which is what i'm doing on youtube. you do get some ignorant condescensions and self important procrastinators.

    you don't necessarily have to make them public, just make video journal and then watch yourself back, and study it like to you studied the other ones of pro's. but don't be defeating, its like learning to walk, getting the style into your muscle memory, and be careful and aware of a weakness on side perhaps, or leading floor work with one foot and not the other, support the moves with muscle tension and intent, like yoga never stain, watch your posture and alignment.

    also if you feel confident enough there are BD communites in LJ, and belly dance forums like this one and other sites, where as an amatuer or student, you may be able to post to get feedback, support, criticism, try not take it personally, some can be quite exacting, hold your own, remember your learning and take it in your stride, its all to improve yourself. and remember to have FUN and experiement.
    Last edited by ababalond; 03-14-2010 at 06:08 PM.

  10. #10
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    I'm with Kashmir.you need to find a teacher and that being said find a good one.
    In the mean time if you really have no money and do have internet connection anyway..ask for advice of Youtube tuition from experienced dancers. Otherwise look for second hand good condition DVDs and VHS (if you have the machine) from places like OD and Bhuz swapmeet BELLYDANCE CENTRAL - Everything Belly Dance! Welcome to BHUZ - Biggest Online Belly Dance Community » BELLYDANCE CENTRAL - Biggest Online Belly Dance Community - Welcome to BHUZ!. You can get the latter for a few dollars.
    Frankly I would recommend watching dancers perform as well as any instruction from dancers of the country whose style you want follow. There are instrcutional VHS/DVDs by Raqia Hassan (these were very expensive but second hand better) Of course the filming is hardly pristine and they may look dated but you are getting teaching from a top Egyptian teacher. One US teacher who has the reputation for good Egyptian teaching is Shareen El Safy. I don't know wether or not she has updated to DVD? Her delivery is not of the best but the technique:Nice.
    I am sure other people can help you out regarding Turkish tuition wither by native dancers or American
    For clear tution I did like the basics from IAMED with Paulina and I think these are more reasonable. I also got years ago very cheaply the Neena and Veena DVDS on eBay..not exactly my cup of tea I have to say.somewhat cheesy but solid basics.

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