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  1. #1
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Default Teacher Training courses-what would you want?

    TEACHER TRAINING COURSE with Certificate

    This seems to be the latest I have heard of. We have another local to me in the NW.

    I have attended the JWAAD foundation course(intended to prepare for teacher training)and I know there is the following diploma course.
    Afra also runs one.
    I believe Hossam Ramzy runs one but this is not necessarily for teacher training.
    Is Shafeek also running one here in the UK?

    What would you want to get out of such a course?
    How do you think the community would benefit?
    How do we inspect the training schemes?
    Any other questions that arise?

    I'd like to revive dscussion on this topic here and also with an item ( and more) in our magazine with contributions from trainers and consumers and intended consumers alike?

    I have my personal opinions ( surprise surprise!) What's yours
    This is a UK list but maybe those in the US and elsewhere would like to add to this with their schemes and experiences.

  2. #2
    Member Emma_Williams's Avatar
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    As a student i think it seems unecessary. I would rather someone with a good solid understanding and cultural awareness and someone who had a wealth of experience dancing who taught me then some girl who had maybe only danced a year or two but went on such a course and then set up a class. I think too much these days is based on qualifications and funding teaching training but as long as my teacher has done a basic first aid course maybe and has all that qualities i mentioned above then I think it is pointless.
    I dont think you can teach someone how to teach dance. You either have the gift or you dont. I accept that such courses may teach some basic anatomy etc but is all this really needed???
    I find it quite shocking that provided you paid the 500 quid fee for each weekend that you could teach dance. In theory i could go on those weekenders and set up shop myself which i find amusing but legally and 'technically' i could.

    I think any student/learner would much rather have someone who has passion, enthusiasn, performance experience, cultural understanding and a good solid technique.

  3. #3
    Member Anthea Kawakib's Avatar
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    Well you're right on this point Emma - some certifications are like that; but others are more rigorous so it depends. New students usually don't look at that stuff anyway, am I right? They're more interested in which classes are most convenient at the start - very few do any research before picking a class to go to.
    But "certification" is becoming a big buzzword in bellydance so look for more & more of these, just as contests did a few years ago.

    It will probably be a good thing in the end -

    Quote Originally Posted by Emma_Williams View Post
    As a student i think it seems unecessary. I would rather someone with a good solid understanding and cultural awareness and someone who had a wealth of experience dancing who taught me then some girl who had maybe only danced a year or two but went on such a course and then set up a class. I think too much these days is based on qualifications and funding teaching training but as long as my teacher has done a basic first aid course maybe and has all that qualities i mentioned above then I think it is pointless.
    I dont think you can teach someone how to teach dance. You either have the gift or you dont. I accept that such courses may teach some basic anatomy etc but is all this really needed???
    I find it quite shocking that provided you paid the 500 quid fee for each weekend that you could teach dance. In theory i could go on those weekenders and set up shop myself which i find amusing but legally and 'technically' i could.

    I think any student/learner would much rather have someone who has passion, enthusiasn, performance experience, cultural understanding and a good solid technique.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    What would you want to get out of such a course?
    My personal responses:

    For a lot of teachers, like me, who sort of "fell into" teaching or were mentored very slightly by another teacher, I think we often feel intimidated by people who have studied under the greats, and feel that our personal education is incomplete. So a teacher training program is interesting to us because we hope it might fill in the gaps of our knowledge.

    More importantly, I like the idea of teacher training when the goal is to supply us with a LOGICAL and METHODICAL systematic way of teaching Oriental dance. I've had to make it up as I go, and I'm SURE that my way is good, but COULD be a lot better.


    How do you think the community would benefit?
    Well if the certification had any real validity, it could benefit new teachers who don't have the 30+ years of experience in teaching that people like Morocco and Sahra Kent and Shareen el Safy have. There are things we have to deal with in class that have nothing to do with Oriental dance (students with injuries, psychological issues, tax issues, business management etc.) and that a performing career doesn't prepare you for.

    I learned SOO MUCH from the ACE Group Fitness Instructor program it's crazy! Before I could eyeball a student and KIND OF get an idea of what was going on with them, anatomically, but now I can usually not only "diagnose" the problem, but also give the student exercises to do to fix structural and postural problems. I'm sure with experience I would have figured this all out, but now I don't have to wait 20 years

    Students could benefit from having teachers trained in these subjects, and armed with the latest research on anatomy and kinesiology, or the latest trends in Cairo, depending upon the content of the program. And seriously, a confident teacher is a better teacher. The "certification" might give me more confidence as an instructor, and that would pass on to my students. In theory, anyway.

    How do we inspect the training schemes?
    There's the tricky bit. Wouldn't it just have to be experience? If enough dancers go and take the course, and come back with rave reviews, maybe that could set the standard?

    Hadia's teacher training here in the US is the only one I've heard of that has gotten rave reviews. She teaches from an anatomical/kinesiological base. I will eventually do her training course because I've heard very good things about it, and because I enjoy her style and her instruction.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Safran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    My personal responses:

    More importantly, I like the idea of teacher training when the goal is to supply us with a LOGICAL and METHODICAL systematic way of teaching Oriental dance. I've had to make it up as I go, and I'm SURE that my way is good, but COULD be a lot better.
    This! I spend a lot of time reading, and researching, and asking questions. But I am sure I give some things less attention, just because they don't come to mind, or it takes too much effort, or because I think it isn't important when it really is... A well-thought-through program will make me go through all the areas.

    I'd love to do CATT one day.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Aniseteph's Avatar
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    The bottom line for me if I was looking to teach, or looking for a certified teacher, would be who is doing the certifying, what are their credentials, and what is the course content.

    Thoughts, in no particular order:

    I'd have more confidence in a course that had some sort of entry requirements - you don't have to dance like Randa but you need a certain level of technical skill, or what do you think you are going to be teaching?

    Does everyone get the certification, or is there assessment and (gasp!) standards needed to pass? It's less of an issue if there are entrance requirements, but if you can walk in off the street, do the course and pick up your certificate at the end, then it's worthless as certification. Even if the content is fantastic, it says nothing about the teacher's abilities.

    Who does that assessing? I'd want someone whose judgement I (and ideally the community) respect.

    Content - what are they teaching (timetable/curriculum?)? who is doing the teaching and what are their qualifications to teach that? (on belly dance and the legal/business side. Sorry but I'm not taking just anyone's word for it when it comes to tax or accident liability. Or websites, when you look at some of them )

    Format - I don't see how you can get anything very deep out of a day and a half. It might be very interesting, but it isn't training for anything IMO. I've done first aid courses at work and frankly a lot of it is in one ear out the other unless you get to go over it again, get some practice in etc.

    Good teacher training is a fantastic idea. Dodgy teacher training with no standards will IMO spawn dodgy teachers with a false sense of their own ability.

    (...and I've heard people say JWAAD is too expensive... )
    Last edited by Aniseteph; 04-07-2010 at 10:54 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see people asking serious questions about teacher training, since I'm of the strong belief that one should get good teacher training at some stage (preferably early on) if one is to teach dance.

    My personal experience with teacher training is much like the op's - lots of reasearch & questioning before I found the right one. The right one was a risk too - I was in her first teacher training course, and quite possibly the first to get my certification through her.

    The things I looked for in my teacher training (and got) were solid information on how to run the business side of things, a demonstratably good lesson plan model, physical resources (so I can look things up as I'm getting the hang of things/inevitably forget things & need to retrain my brain), and of course excellent references for the training instructor.

    My recommendation to anyone looking for accreditation is to find an instructor whose class & business practices get rave reviews, who teaches the style of dance you wish to teach, and who's teacher training covers everything you want to learn. Write it all down & be ready to ask. I gave my training instructor an extensive interrorgation before agreeing to her teacher training, and I think that you should to do the same. How else will you know if it's the right one for you? If they don't get back to you within a week (at least with an 'out of office' note) or if they hem & haw about the content of their teacher training, give them a miss.

    If you've missed me gushing about where I got my teacher training, PM me, I'm sure the rest of the forum is getting sick of hearing me go on about it. :P
    Wild and free my effing arse! Use another word!

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    All encompassing teacher training sounds too good to be true. Is there really one person who can give you expert information on business, taxes, book keeping, marketing, law, dance, culture, dance, kinetic anatomy, teaching dynamics, music, etc.? Sounds too much like Walmart one stop shopping for all your belly dance teaching needs!

    I go to individual professional experts in their field for training, certifications, classes, and advice.

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    I wonder if it would be possible for some kind of feedback site on the different types of teacher training where those who have tried it could comment on what they found for teachers who are looking at options? Sort of like the feedback polls Shira does on DVD's etc. At that point the market could sort of sort itself.

    <-*has no intentions of considering teaching in the next 5-10 years if ever but is curious.*

  10. #10
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    I wonder if it would be possible for some kind of feedback site on the different types of teacher training where those who have tried it could comment on what they found for teachers who are looking at options? Sort of like the feedback polls Shira does on DVD's etc. At that point the market could sort of sort itself.

    <-*has no intentions of considering teaching in the next 5-10 years if ever but is curious.*
    Good idea.
    And we can safely assume that different courses will suit different individuals.

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