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  1. #1
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    Default Current teacher isn't really cutting it, but I'm strapped for options...HELP!

    Hello there. Well first of all I hope this inquiry is in the right place. Well, my dilema is that my current dance instructor, though as nice as she is, isn't really cutting it for me. Though I understand why, and here's how the whole situation plays out. The only Bellydance classes I have near me are a fitness type class in a yoga studio. The teacher is a wonderful lady, but even though she is cerified, somehow, she's not a real bellydancer. She used to be a professional dancer in college, but that was ballet and jazz. She has had minimal belly dance instruction. She's learning from me, and everything I know is from books and a few DVD's I've aquired. I'm looking to really learn how to dance. It's really hard for me to love this art as it's getting connected with a person who doesn't even want to teach. I really need a person there who knows the art and can help me expand into something than more than just a fitness goer. But i'm having trouble finding a class near where I live, that's a reasonable distance. I'm a college student, and I'm in classes most of the day, and I have no job, at the moment. I live in the Illinois Valley of Illinois near Starved Rock. So does any body have any suggestions for me, or do I just need to wait till I can move somewhere else? I'm getting really bogged down about this, please help. Sorry about the venting, I just felt the need to explain where I was coming from.

  2. #2
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Oh that is a difficult situation! Maybe workshops are the way to go? Or belly dance retreats? Together with loads of DVDs.

  3. #3
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    If it's in your budget, you could take Suhaila's online classes - Online Belly Dance Classes with Suhaila Salimpour - Bellydance Videos - you can try the free three day membership before you sign up too

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    Have you checked this list? You probably have but I'll link it anyway:
    Belly Dance Classes in Illinois

  5. #5
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    Default Oh, do I know the Illinois Valley!

    It is so funny that I happened upon your posting today! I am headed back to the Valley this weekend from Chicago, and I could give you a lesson. Just email me back, and I'll get you my phone number. Who is your teacher? Yes, I have to say that until the year I came to Chicago, I had known nothing about bellydance, as I am not aware of any going on in the Illinois Valley. Who is your teacher? email me, and I will give you my number.~Phaedra
    Last edited by phaedradarwish; 08-16-2010 at 06:26 PM. Reason: privacy of town

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    Here is a teacher not too far from Starved Rock. Her name is Pava and she has been bellydancing for decades. Here's her link: Pava Productions - Classes

  7. #7
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    I can identify with this scenario, at a certain point past beginner but still with so much to learn I struggled to find anyone who wasn't ages away to learn from.

    I guess try thinking a bit laterally around your problem. Ok, so there doesn't seem to be any regular weekly classes around, but that's not the only way of learning.

    For a while I saved up and did monthly private classes that took 2 hours to get to! The rest of the month was spent trying to apply what I'd learnt.

    I also went through a phase of scouring around for workshops or festivals. I tried again to do something once a month and then really pick it apart for the rest of the month. Even a straightforward choreography workshop offers you more to learn than a choreography: some new moves, new combinations, transitions, and possibly more crucially, insight into a different approach to interpretting the music (why did the teacher pick that move to go to that part of the music, does it fit, why does it fit, etc).

    Watching other dancers can be a massive education in itself if you get the chance. Same as above - why did she do that then, was it good, how did she do that, etc.

    Do you have any middle eastern restaurants around that have dancers? Not only great to watch but may be able to help you find teachers who are good at teaching but perhaps not so good at promoting their classes (we discovered a good teacher who doesn't have a website this way)

    Oh and keep looking! You never know when that gem of a teacher is gonna set up in your area!!

  8. #8
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    Feel your dilema. Our cabaret teacher has taken a break from teaching to do another project. Have been looking a year for another. Finally think I found one. In meantime have a vast collection of DVDs. Neon has all different levels of instruction. She explains the moves very clearly and develops them into combos:
    http://www.worlddancenewyork.com/catalog/bellydance

  9. #9
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    Thank you everyone so much for your replys. I do hope for more, but it's nice to have any at all. Thank you Phaedra for working with me, I'm so lucky you were traveling through! I've started attempting to rent some extra DVD's, and the local community college has a state share program, hopefully I can find something useful that way. I do have a shot at maybe moving to either Chicago or Nashville areas next fall. We'll see how things work out. Well any suggestions for those areas would be appriciated too, but right now my primary focus is trying to smoke out the hidden dancers in my area. Again if anybody has any suggestions, I mostly perfer Turkish and Egyptian, AmCab-ish styles, but I love them all. Each style has something wonderful to offer. Again Thanks everyone for you suggestions. Those online classes are oh so tempting, I'm just broke! Lol!

  10. #10
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    If I'm reading the map correctly, Carbondale, Illionis isn't very far from you. I'd recommend classes there with either Sedonia or Tedi. See Find Belly Dancing Teachers and Performers in Illinois, U.S.A.! Belly Dance Lessons and Dancers! Search for Belly Dancers! or Nile Breeze Dance Company for information on how to contact them.

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