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  1. #11
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maria_harlequin View Post
    they announced that they were "YouTube Students" and I also heard from my teacher that they showed up at the studio wanting teaching positions...

    So how do you react to something like that politely while educating the person as well? I was pretty dumbstruck and couldn't say anything.
    This is just hypotetical as I don't work in a studio, but if I worked at the studio, and wanted to treat them seriously I'd tell them the necessity of auditioning for any vacant positions. If they are serious, they would of course understand the necessity of showing off their skills both for dancing (performance) and teaching.

    The performance would give us an idea about their style, technical skills, fluidity and musical abilities.
    For the teaching part of the audition, I might have gathered a test group of advanced students to act as beginners (or whatever level the YT students claimed to be and wanted to teach at).
    To check their cultural knowledge, a questionnaire or essay could be suitable as well. Of course I'd ask them for references such as certifications (general fitness certificates etc) as well to ensure they had a proper background for teaching groups.

    If they, at some of these points, should fail, I would very politely tell them what is needed to teach at this studio. For instance this could be attending classes, even those that they might believe is below their level, to ensure the safety of the studio's students and keeping the standards of the studio high. I guess I'd also tell them that they are welcome to attend the classes, as knowing the curriculum would be necessary for teaching in this studio, if they would be interested in applying for vacant positions in the future.

    (Did this make sense? I hope so, as I should have been in bed a long time ago...)
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    Daim.

  2. #12
    Senior Member nightdancer's Avatar
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    "Well, I am so glad you are here now. One really does need a live teacher in order to progress."


    As for inquiring about the teaching position, they'd have the opportunity to audition, and pass the cultural/styles of music and movement/wearing drawers under the costume test. If they pass, well then, I shall eat my hat in Times Square. If they don't, its an excellent time to bring back up the aforementioned point of needing a live teacher.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Re: self-taught students looking for teacher positions...

    I would probably just tell them that we weren't hiring right now and leave it at that.

    If you actually are hiring, and you hire someone else, then you could always say (if asked) that you've known the new hire for X years, and worked with her on Y and Z, and from your experience with her, you felt that she would be a good fit for the studio. And that you also hope to get to know Ms. YouTube better in the future. Any reasonable person will see this as a business decision, and move on with her dance journey.
    Last edited by da Sage; 08-02-2010 at 01:25 AM.

  4. #14
    Member MissVega's Avatar
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    hmmmm lol I can completely understand/respect/agree with everyone's concerns on this topic... but I am the accused in this case.

    I am self taught (via watching performances on youtube). Guilty as charged.. I am also an instructor *gasp* lol. But that being said I never actually approached studios about teaching. Both studios that offered me teaching positions did so after seeing me perform live so the circumstances are different.

    INteresting note though. The first session I taught at one studio (which had an awesome schedule and class offerings) I would drop in on other classes whenever I could, just to see how other instructors taught and what they taught at different levels etc. When I dropped in on an intermediate one (majority of girls in there had been dancing for over 2 years) the instructor said the choreography was by Aida Nour then asked if anyone knew who she was, only myself and one other girl raised their hands. Being self taught can be done, providing you're willing to be self critical, capable of seeing movement and breaking it down and do your research of various aspects of the dance.

    I did also start attending workshops at the end of last summer too because I was finally in an area where they were offered and had the opportunity to. As of now I've been to about 6 workshops with various instructors. I think 6 anyway, give or take.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissVega View Post
    hmmmm lol I can completely understand/respect/agree with everyone's concerns on this topic... but I am the accused in this case.

    I am self taught (via watching performances on youtube). Guilty as charged.. I am also an instructor *gasp* lol. But that being said I never actually approached studios about teaching. Both studios that offered me teaching positions did so after seeing me perform live so the circumstances are different.

    INteresting note though. The first session I taught at one studio (which had an awesome schedule and class offerings) I would drop in on other classes whenever I could, just to see how other instructors taught and what they taught at different levels etc. When I dropped in on an intermediate one (majority of girls in there had been dancing for over 2 years) the instructor said the choreography was by Aida Nour then asked if anyone knew who she was, only myself and one other girl raised their hands. Being self taught can be done, providing you're willing to be self critical, capable of seeing movement and breaking it down and do your research of various aspects of the dance.

    I did also start attending workshops at the end of last summer too because I was finally in an area where they were offered and had the opportunity to. As of now I've been to about 6 workshops with various instructors. I think 6 anyway, give or take.
    I actually thought of you when I was posting - and your situation is different. First of all, you introduced yourself to the studio by taking classes and performing at haflas, yes? Second of all, you didn't ask to be hired on - they asked you.

    I totally give you credit for being self-taught, and I believe that as a community, we need to be open to the possibility of really excellent self-taught dancers and teachers, and not single some dancers out for "extra tests" just because they are honest about how they learned. I also think that requiring every teacher to have the equivalent of a master's degree of knowledge about the dance and related cultural issues is neither reasonable nor practical. You don't need to be able to translate Egyptian songs in order to teach and demonstrate a hip drop. There is (and should be) room in our community for teachers with different levels and foci of expertise.

  6. #16
    Member MissVega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    I actually thought of you when I was posting - and your situation is different. First of all, you introduced yourself to the studio by taking classes and performing at haflas, yes? Second of all, you didn't ask to be hired on - they asked you.

    I totally give you credit for being self-taught, and I believe that as a community, we need to be open to the possibility of really excellent self-taught dancers and teachers, and not single some dancers out for "extra tests" just because they are honest about how they learned. I also think that requiring every teacher to have the equivalent of a master's degree of knowledge about the dance and related cultural issues is neither reasonable nor practical. You don't need to be able to translate Egyptian songs in order to teach and demonstrate a hip drop. There is (and should be) room in our community for teachers with different levels and foci of expertise.
    I've still to this date have not actually taken a session of bellydance classes I've dropped in on a handful of classes once I started teaching at the studios. But have never regularly attended classes. Just some workshops.

    I got offered my first job instructing after performing at a Multicultural showcase at the UNiversity I was studying at. It was a big showcase that year and actually sold out (almost 500 people I think from the university/community) and there was a studio owner in the audience and he approached me after. The funny thing was I was like "Uhhh I have no teaching experience and I'm self taught". I was completely upfront and he just laughed and said "well lets see how you do then". My first class at his studio ended up being only teenagers as well, interesting age group to cut your teeth on LOL. It was mainly a latin dance studio and was adding the bellydance to fill space. It wasn't a bellydance studio which is probably why he didn't seem too worried about my lack of background.

    After that I saw a posting for a hafla on facebook and sent the organizer/insrtuctor running it my video (caribbean fusion) and asked if I could perform. She was super gracious and really nice and friendly and said sure Which I am so thankful for since that was my first exposure to a bellydance hafla/event/community. After that I got offered to come and teach a workshop in caribbean fusion at a bellydance studio and after the workshop she offered me the opportunity to teach an intro and an intermediate/advanced caribbean fusion class. The second session she offered me another intro caribbean fusion and an intro egyptian.

    All of my teaching positions, for classes and workshops have come as a result of the person offering seeing me perform. But that being said I think I wouldn't of initially had the moxy to approach a studio and say "I am self taught, I want to teach here". If you would have asked me 4 years ago if I thought I would be performing or teaching dance like this now I would have laughed and said "are you nuts?".

    I actually always wondered how different my dancing would be or how it woudl have progressed if I did actually take classes and not use youtube? Would be cool to know.

  7. #17
    Senior Member nightdancer's Avatar
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    I've seen you dance live; you've got something special. Just sayin'.

  8. #18
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default Every dancer learns from youtube

    nowadays, even if the dancer has her/his own teachers.

    Moreover, i do believe in self-taught or gifted people, which are usually a blessing for any art community.

    However, i do not believe in arrogant people, and it does not matter how they learned the art: i have seen self-taught dancers and teachers that are more than great and other self-taught that are unable to listen to the/any music and interprete it. I have also seen dancers with long CVs unable to make any beautiful move or just keep up with what they listen to (hopefully) and other dancers with long CVs that are more than obvious in their dance.

    Therefore, just ask for some short dancing or a video of them in case someone with some "unjustified attitude" wants to teach.

    But in case they want to place themselves in an advanced course team as students, well, then things get much more complex: in that case, i would accept them to to the team (no teacher can deny a student from teaching the latter) but i would make clear to them, that in this advanced class we explain and work on things that are unknown to the team students, which means we do not work on something considered curriculum of previous level(s). In this way, a teacher makes justice to all students and each learns as much as she/he can.

    If the student is a serious one and feels she cannot follow, she can ask to re-work on previous levels - and actually serious students and dancers revise their elementary courses regularly, so that they consolidate their technique, no matter how they good they can be. Usually, the better the dancer, the humbler she is...

  9. #19
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissVega View Post
    hmmmm lol I can completely understand/respect/agree with everyone's concerns on this topic... but I am the accused in this case.

    I am self taught (via watching performances on youtube). Guilty as charged.. I am also an instructor *gasp* lol. But that being said I never actually approached studios about teaching. Both studios that offered me teaching positions did so after seeing me perform live so the circumstances are different.
    No worries, MV.
    In my opinion, there is a huge difference in being asked to teach and asking to teach in a studio. They had already seen your dance (your "audition") and approved of your skills. And you certainly belong to that tiny minority of gifted self-taught dancers.
    --
    Daim.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    In all honesty from my own personal experience, you can learn a lot from YouTube. But you MUST have classroom instruction to go along with it. The more you can learn from different sources, the better, but without classroom teaching, even part time is absolutely necessary for a lot of reasons, mostly on technique and also how not to hurt yourself, for starters.

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