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  1. #11
    Member onela's Avatar
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    Maybe those who can't teach? When I was a kid, we have a guest ballet teacher, an older (Russian?) gentleman who walked with a cane. He sure couldn't dance anymore by the time he taught us, but we learned a lot from him. Maybe she's a brilliant choreographer and is amazing at corrections or something. I dunno, that's my stab in the dark at it. If you go on her website, there's one photo on the main page that looks like she's a bit younger and she looks more graceful in it.

  2. #12
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I found this: Work, but not as you know it - Jobs & Careers, Lifestyle - Independent.ie (scroll down).

    Maybe she is a good teacher, but her performances are way off. If you are teaching you should be able to assess your students objectively, and so have some sort of clue about your own abilities. Sticking these on YouTube is an error of judgement IMO - it's not done her or the image of belly dance any good.

    "Just for fun" students keep the whole scene going and probably are what pays for most of the UK-based professionals' fancy costumes. Don't bite the hand that feeds you . But "just for fun" teachers - - not so sure they do belly dance any favours. IMO you owe it to your students to keep learning, and if you don't you should be clear on what you are and are not teaching.

    ...holding up a country to Russian or South American standards does surprise me.... mainly because that is not the style that this country appears to emulate, or be inspired by.
    Hear hear. Although that's the belly dance scene - I don't know what the general public want. Glitzy proptasticness and tricks in a slinky exotic costume probably ticks more boxes than Egyptian-style subtlety. I daresay if enough of these teachers get established and get involved with the workshop/event scene they will put their twist on it. (and I reserve the right to resent it just like the belly burlesque thing, so )

    I'm also under the impression that the bellydance scenes in both countries are very different, as you said the competitiveness is really not a part of the UK BD scene. But say we did emulate that competitiveness where does a extremely amazing UK bd go from there...?
    Er... a) does competitive/business-minded teachers teacher training course, b) starts teaching and feeds off the pool of funsters, c) sets troupe/agency/school d) competes with teacher for work/students... belly dance will eat itself

  3. #13
    V.I.P. Sita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    Quote:
    I'm also under the impression that the bellydance scenes in both countries are very different, as you said the competitiveness is really not a part of the UK BD scene. But say we did emulate that competitiveness where does a extremely amazing UK bd go from there...?

    Er... a) does competitive/business-minded teachers teacher training course, b) starts teaching and feeds off the pool of funsters, c) sets troupe/agency/school d) competes with teacher for work/students... belly dance will eat itself
    Er... a) does competitive/business-minded teachers teacher training course, b) starts teaching and feeds off the pool of funsters, c) sets troupe/agency/school d) competes with teacher for work/students... belly dance will eat itself
    Sorry I wanted to clarify exactly what I meant. I agree with you completely but my meaning was a little different. In the comparison with Latin American/ Russian dancers, particulary the latter, I note a degree of glamour... not 'fame' but maybe more...widespread recognition (I'm thinking of Maria Shashkova for example who appears on a tv show, the competitions we see that are videoed and take place on an ice rink). That kind of recognition and possibilty does not yet exist in this country.. at least not in the same way. If bellydance appears on tv it's on a random talent show or as a bit of giggly/silly fun on a chat show. So when I meant where does an amazing UK bd go.. I'm talking in terms of professional arena tours like the BD Superstars, TV appearances etc. and these don't exist here at the moment. Even an in demand teacher who sets up her own company and school struggles for proper recognition and even finacially at times, much more than other dance groups because bellydance does not appear to attract the funding other dances get.

    Basically my point is that you can't expect us to have the same level of competiveness as another country, without the same culture and recognition of the dance form to fuel that competiveness.. admittedly I should prolly have just said that and cut the rambling bit lol

    Just want to clarify.
    Sita

  4. #14
    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Liz,

    There is a similar situation where I live. I live in a more rural area with a few bigger towns but there is no real market for B dancers other than the Belly dance community. Most of the dancers are pretty much like the lady in the video. There are a few who are slightly better or even good but most are either long time hobby dancers or new beginners with all the problems of beginners.

    Aisha Azar is really the only one out where I live who can produce a professional show. She loves to introduce new talent but she is picky. Everybody else produces Haflas where anyone at any level can dance.

    There is also seems to be a pathological fear of dancing solo. Many times I am one of two or three dancers that will solo. Some people seem to admire me just for the fact I dance solo.

    Marya

  5. #15
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Sad

    Oh...oh, dear. I don't know who I feel sorry for most, her, or her students/potential students. This video makes me want to cry.

  6. #16
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    For a while, just reading this thread, I wondered if we were collectively doing a bit of dancer-bashing. After watching just the first few seconds, I switched it off, I couldn't watch any more. Enough said I think , I just felt sick.

  7. #17
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    The part of the video I watched made me feel both sad and compassionate: despite her all encompassing wig, pretty bedlah, and publicity, she obviously is clueless about her shortcomings as a dancer.

    I am fifty-five and have arthritis. There are things I cannot do now that I could do beautifully even a handful of years ago. That does not mean I cannot teach others to do those things and it doesn't mean I've had to quit dancing all together. A'isha Azar is a couple of years older than I am, has her own share of physical challenges, and by all acounts can still blow an audience clear out of the theatre with a performance.

    The inadequacies of this performance have nothing to do with age, country of origin, or even physical ailments- she is simply an undertrained individual awkwardly imitating belly dance without any stage presence whatsoever.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 05-05-2010 at 09:06 AM.

  8. #18
    Member Emma_Williams's Avatar
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    When I just read the thread in work without seeing the clip I thought this was a thread of old dancers/teachers versus young ones etc but then I got home and watched the clip....OH MY GAWD!! The woman cannot dance not just not belly dance but cannot dance full stop. I would have no problem with her dance ability if she danced for fun, pleasure, enjoyment and to express herself. However, to class yourself as a professional and teacher of advanced students is just wrong and naughty. I would be horrified to get excited and sign up to a new class to find she was my teacher.
    What I also question is who goes to her?? You do not need to have any dance experience to see that lady cannot dance for toffee!!

    I have to confess I was always a fan of the younger dancers and girls of my age...just because I oculd relate more I suppose but then I experienced Casino El Layl and JOY and oh my gosh....all the best dancers were 40+...that makes me excited because as a 26 year old I know my best years in this dance are to come. This is why I have the greatest respect for older dancers and teachers because yes whilst a young dancer brings some experience, energy and passion the older dancers bring even more experience, even more passion and just as much energy.

    This dance in the UK is certainly not a desert. I am certainly not thirsty....hungry yes to learn more but my thirst is nicely quenched by the numerous amounts of fantastic professional dancers, shows, top class teachers and workshops and weekends.

    I think US blighty girls do take it just as serious. In Cairo we have had Uk girls flying the flag like Lorna, Yasmina, Sara...

    Hmpf!! Got me started on a rant now hehe

  9. #19
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    I take the points about the comparison between countries. I might be wrong but most of the dancers I see from Russia and South America are very much playing the glamour card and the best of them have gone for good technique of course but there are also a lot of tricks on show. I 'll dig out YT's to illustrate. Here and I am sure in the US and other parts of Euope and Australasia, many teachers here have promoted the all-inclusive aspect. Competition has come late. And I do think they will mainly benefit those younger dancers. I also think that here we have become more interested in becoming good Egyptian/Turkish bellydancers and not generic glamour girl belly dancers. At least that is true amongst the clutch of talented young and not so young dancers I know.

    I would never deny the right of the like of the subject of the video to enjoy her dance but she promotes herself as a dancer who has been dancing in international and advanced teacher status for over 20 years She appears to have been a leading light in Irish bellydance for a long time and I certainly remmber seeing her website back on the late 90s. I am also not sure that the experience necessarily reflects on the UK of the 21st century and I was irritated to read the criticism of the approach. When all is said and done we take what we need from this dance (rightly or wrongly) and there are women who might make strong and worthy dancers but they are not marketable nor are they in classes where they are encouraged to go beyond the twice-yealry hafla. They also are not the slim,glamorous dancers who enter these huge competitions in Russia or the Far East. But we do in some areas foster the dancer who can take the stage, there are agancies who encourage professionalism amongst hired by private and corporate clients.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adiemus View Post
    For a while, just reading this thread, I wondered if we were collectively doing a bit of dancer-bashing. After watching just the first few seconds, I switched it off, I couldn't watch any more. Enough said I think , I just felt sick.
    No it's a wider issue. Of course the dancer is being slated but after this was shown on Facebook I was dismayed by the way she was bashed but also by the grand claims on her website. I was also irritated by a one-sided bahing of the Uk scene. I grant we have a long way to go but we have gems amongst both our established dancers and rising stars. We have a care for standards, by no means universal but growing. We have a large number of dancers interested in authenticy and respect for the dance and I found the comments unfair.

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