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  1. #21
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    Honestly, if I was in your position, I would be PISSED. What was that girl thinking??? I would NOT be okay with that. Especially a man- what the heck...

    I've actually kinda been in a similar situation before (it was a sexy fitness class and the building was having work done on it, so the construction workers would sit around and watch us - and like you, it didn't bother anyone but me ) so what really irritates me about your situation, is that no one else seemed bothered by it other than you and that the instructor allowed it.

    Your paying for training, there never should be people sitting around just watching- that's just absurd. (unless its small children or they have a specific purpose for being there that pertains to belly dancing.)
    Last edited by Belly Love; 11-10-2010 at 04:18 PM.

  2. #22
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    It personally doesn't bother me if there are spectators in my belly dance class because I feel pretty comfortable in my own skin when I am belly dancing, but I can TOTALLY relate to feeling uncomfortable by there being spectators in class because that's how I would feel is someone dropped by just to watch my ballet class, or to watch me work out (when I used to go to the gym). So I do agree, it is inappropriate and should be against class policy.

    As a former Miss Clueless, I do have to make a confession. When I started belly dance, I couldn't drive and so my boyfriend (now husband) had to give me rides to class. Since class was too far away for him to be able to go back home and then pick me up again, he had to stay there. There was no lobby so he did watch some classes, and neither the teacher nor any of the students complained. Most of the time though, he would stay in the car and take a nap. I do wish that if someone was uncomfortable with him being there, that they would have told me.

    Not that they should have to, but honestly, for some reason it never even crossed my mind that his presence could make someone uncomfortable. In restrospect, that was pretty stupid. But that could be the case here. Some people really are clueless, like I was, I don't think it's necessarily a reflection of their character. I think this can and should be dealt with diplomatically, but I can understand the indignation.

  3. #23
    Junior Member XelaHayam's Avatar
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    i understand how it might make you uncomfortable... but in some situations you just can't help it right? I used to learn at a senior center and creepy old men would walk by and stand in front of the big glass windows all the time. It ticked me off a little, but really it's a PERFORMANCE ART, so lift your shoulders back, take pride, and give them a show Don't let it bother you, just let it help you show off a little. Think of it as practice for the big showcase on stage

  4. #24
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    In a situation where people were watching me through a window like I was something on TV, I'd probably put my fingers in my ears and stick out my tongue at them every time I moved past the window. As long as lookie-loos aren't taping, though, I personally don't particularly mind an audience. Some of my students do, however, and it is up to me to protect them from unwanted oogling. Practice sessions are usually repetitious enough to drive away casual viewers and if not, I invite the viewers in to dance with us- that gets rid of 98% of the offenders immediately.

    Xela: think of entertaining those "creepy old men" as a public service for geezers.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  5. #25
    Senior Member LadyLoba's Avatar
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    What happened with this situation? Did the teacher make a rule?

    Personally, I don't blame you one bit for being uncomfortable or upset with this. Not only was that very rude of the girl to agree to go out on a date with this guy and then have him sit through a class she took for her interest, not a shared interest, it was very rude and inappropriate of both the girl and the guy to behave the way they did. It was rude of her to just bring a random person to watch the class without checking first...she could have spoken to the teacher, and the teacher could have asked the other students to make sure it wouldn't bother anyone first, or just said flat out "No, I don't allow audiences in my class." If the girl wanted to show the guy her dancing...she could have done that at home, or invited him to a student recital where everyone participating stepped onstage with the understanding that they would have an audience.

    As for the guy...how very rude. Even if we cut him the slack of saying she sprung this on him and he kind of wound up stuck at the studio with her, the polite thing to do would have been to wait out in the hall or entry room or if necessary, in the car...or step over to a nearby diner and have coffee until she was finished....in other words...avoid sitting in class gawking at the dancers....and to critique the class....that goes so far beyond rude that even if everyone signed up for the class with the understanding that it was an open door class, and anyone could come in and watch...it would have still been inappropriate.

  6. #26
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Well, to be fair, people stand around and watch things like gymnastic and basketball practice all the time and probably don't see watching an adult belly dance class as being any different. After all, how alluring and glamorous is it to watch a bunch of dancers in yoga pants repeat the same movements a hundred times?
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLoba View Post
    What happened with this situation? Did the teacher make a rule?
    She had a private word with the girl, thanks for asking.

    I understand what some people are saying that it is performance art, but our classes are not 'performance' classes. As we're friends in our small group, it can be intimate girl time. Sometimes we show up not feeling too good about ourselves or look a mess and the last thing you're expecting is to have an audience, it can really put you off even more. I'm starting to think it really depends on the group dynamics of the class you're in.

    Thanks for people's input.
    Last edited by Daimona; 01-04-2011 at 01:22 PM. Reason: fixed quoting code

  8. #28
    Member mahsati_janan's Avatar
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    It depends a lot on the studio culture as well. I have taught at studios where it was common for students from the other classes, parents, and significant others to stay in an adjacent sitting area next to the dance floor. At that studio, I would not have minded or found it unusual because it was part of the standard procedure at that location. I have also taught in situations where any observer would essentially be in the dance space itself. In those cases, it would be unusual to have a non-student attend because they would be very obviously in the dance space.

    My standard procedure as a teacher is to talk to anyone who may be observing the class and to tactfully suggest other locations for waiting if the studio does not have a designated waiting area.

  9. #29
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    The yoga studio I go to doesn't allow spectators either. It should be a general standing rule anywhere. BTW, some people might actually be learning something for free, which would not be fair to others who are paying to attend the class.

  10. #30
    Member Jujube's Avatar
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    Given the circumstance, I'd say it's not appropriate. I don't know if she thought she was giving him a thrill or what, but that's just strange, and not fair for students who are paying for the class. And for the guy to give criticism...!!!

    That said, there were occasions in one class of regulars, where we were all familiar with one another, that someone's husband was there to wait on her because he was her ride or they had to do something right after.... I had no problem with that at all.

    And I had one teacher who gave classes from her house, and her live-in boyfriend was often there, casually observing for a few minutes here and there. Didn't bother me--I figure he's seen enough of the BD world to understand the dance for what it is.

    So having people observe is dependent on the situation, I think. In this case, it wasn't okay.

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