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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    I think we often confuse level of ability and natural potential with enthusiasm.

    Forums are a good place to be in terms of educating yourself about whats what etc. and learning about styles and music.

    For further indulgence, workshops and festivals can be great for widening horizons and meeting other dancers.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    It may just be a language thing, an expression that doesn't translate, but I don't think looking up to people (and by implication down on others) is the way to look at it.

    You may have classmates who can't dance to save their lives, but if they are just dancing for fun and not going out gigging or teaching and misrepresenting belly dance to other people, so what?

    Like going to the gym and thinking "hey I am the fittest person here" - well so what and who cares? Maybe the person slogging away on the easiest setting on the next exercise bike finally got up the courage to join and has managed 20 minutes when last month she couldn't do 5.

    It is wrong to judge other people by your goals and ambitions.
    That is me expressing it wrong, then.
    By looking up to people I mean seeing something I admire and want to do like them. Not necessarily looking down on the rest. Just one or two other classmates I feel I can really learn something from.
    I know people have different goals and ambitions and I totally respect that. Some of my classmates tell me about their progress and how proud they are of themselves - and that is so great to listen to. I know how satisfying it is when you achieve a goal even if it may seem small - I just ran 5 kilometers for the first time and I'm so proud of myself, even though I know others may think it is the easiest thing in the world

    - Julie

  3. #13
    Junior Member Demelza Aradia's Avatar
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    Stay on the forums! The more time I lurk here the more I learn that I do not know

    One video that I love but always brings me smack down to earth with relation to my ability is watching this clip of Ranya Renee.



    Can I do that? No, for that is pure skill and brilliance and amazingness, and I am humbled before it. This is my experience anyway. I have a little folder full of youtube links of stuff that is so incredible and inspiring it's almost discouraging, but I am addicted to them all the same.

    Or if you REALLY want to oust the diva, do a choreography and get your teacher or a trusted dancer friend to really honestly critique it and tell you exactly what is lacking, or go to a huge workshop or event where there are loads of people who kick your ass.
    Last edited by gisela; 05-27-2010 at 09:04 PM. Reason: embedding

  4. #14
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Hi there! First I will quote demelza aradia and say "stay on the forums!!" . You'll find loads of help here. I would like to add not calling yourself an intermediate for now. This might sound strange now, but after only a year, no matter how much you've practised, watched or read, one year of bellydance doesn't make you an intermediate. Just as one year in ballet doesn't make you an intermediate ballet-dancer. Add some extra years of studying the dance (and not just the moves, but music, culture, styles, etc.) and yes, you will most likely become intermediate by then.

    I suspect after a year it's difficult for most to judge their own abilities very well. In general, diva behaviour will stand in the way of being able to look at one's own skills objectively. You know, to give an extreme example: a friend of mine had a dancer come to her advanced class for a try out. The lady has been dancing for at least a decade, is teaching and calls herself a pro. She wanted a class again for some extra excercise. Even though advised to take a lower level because the level in advanced would be too high for her (she knew the lady), she kept insisting and came to class. She was completely lost and couldn't do most of the excercises and eventually left, saying she would be able to keep up just fine 'next time'.......

    The way you describe your practise tells me you want to learn and are ambitious, and this is a valuable thing, but being a good dancer takes a lot more years of studying the dance, practise, studying the dance, and some more practise. IMO it takes time to grow into being able to deal with being a good dancer as well, if that makes any sense, but this will happen if you continue to dance and are open to learning from both your peers and professional dancers/teachers.

    I hope you keep learning and enjoying the dance. I think it's good you ask for help. You are on the right track, but there will always be more to learn, that goes for all of us. Remember to compete only with yourself!

    My last two cents: ask your teacher about your dancing and how SHE feels you are progressing. Also let her know about your wanting to try a higher level, ask her opinion. It might be very helpful.
    Last edited by Yshka; 05-27-2010 at 11:26 PM.

  5. #15
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    I remember feeling like this too. (Actually I am still struggeling with something related to it but not exactly the same)
    Participating in one very difficult workshop made me realize that what I thought was advanced level, was perhaps lower intermediate in a bigger perspective. Going to festivals and other workshops with ínternational teachers and performers keep me realistic about my skills. The first time I was at a workshop where I just could NOT follow at all, after 6 years of dancing, I was devastated and suffered a severe drop in self esteem. I had always been able to catch the choreography and moves very quickly but this was on a whole nother level. Tough lesson... Now I can accept and appreciate that the level is high and that I might not get everything, and instead be in awe and get inspired by the ones who do get it.
    When I discovered what was out there, I also went through a period of anger and feeling cheated by my teachers who had failed to present all these styles and facts and whatever. That has also becaome loads better and I can appreciate my teachers for their speciality skills and I see that they have much to offer.

    The feeling I am struggleing with as I mentioned above is "how to separate bad self esteem from lack of skills".
    Complicated matters, these feelings...
    I hope you find a challenging teacher and learn all the things you never even knew existed within bellydance.
    There is so much going on workshop wise in Copenhagen this fall. You should drop by and try some of it

  6. #16
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    My advice? Really enjoy this time, and immerse yourself in the dance, the music, anything tangentally related to the dance. Dance everywhere you can, keep notes, videos, etc...so when you DO hit the wall and things get tough dancewise, you can look back and remember how much fun you had...and will have again. Everyone's dance career has a series of peaks and valleys. Enjoy the peaks!

  7. #17
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    Loads of good advice here
    To reiterate a couple of points already mentioned, which you can follow through at any time, even if other teachers and workshops are not accessible;

    Video yourself dancing- but only watch it after watching several dances done by your favourite professionals

    At your regular class, forget about yourself for a few minutes and notice something good about every other student

    Seek your teacher's most candid opinion

    Then, for the ultimate reality check, dance for a group of teenagers! (Even better if they are exuberant, not in a particularly polite mood and from a dancing culture)
    Last edited by indrayu; 05-28-2010 at 07:42 AM. Reason: add a bit

  8. #18
    Member Kraliche's Avatar
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    Julie, I felt like this too ... ONLY UNTIL I went to an international fesitval !!!
    I thought I am in intermediate level, but after I saw so many dancers who can get 5-min complicated choreo in 3 hours ... while I couldn't and felt like a dump ... now I realize that I am just a biginner.

    This was a great wake up call for me, and now I am having a fresh start!

    I strongly recommend you ( if your budget allows ) to go to a festival and/or intensive workshop with a master teacher and meet other *better* dancers ... that will be the best reality check for you.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    Hey fellow dancers!

    I have been dancing for about a year now - the last six months I have had a very fast progress because I started to supplement my lessons with DVDs.
    My problem is that I can feel myself starting to think less of the other dancers, and believe that I am much better than them, and I am really afraid that I will get all diva-ish!

    What can I do to prevent the diva-sickness? - I am better than the others in my class, because I practice so much, but I want to stay down-to-earth and humble to the dance (can you say that? - I'm Danish so I have trouble expressing myself in english sometimes).
    I read a lot about the dance (four books and tons of internet pages) - I feel like I know everything - of course I don't, but I can't help getting that feeling, because nobody in my class (including the teacher) knows anything --> here we have the diva-problem again.

    Please give my some advice!

    Love,
    Julie
    Go to a REAL advanced group, or workshop.... gosh... a lifetime to learn...

    But I know the feeling... Its rather being sad about other's less enthusiastic attitude, then being a diva... I guess other ppl might attend for different reason with no real interest in dance....

  10. #20
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    I am very happy for your advice. It gives me something to think about !

    I just discovered that there's a show on tonight about 40 kilometers from my house, so I'll grab my friend and take a minor roadtrip

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