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  1. #21
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    All my beginner teacher's (6 in all) have taught choreo - but with a lot of empahasis on technique and drilling. Of course most beginner classes around here have some students who have been dancing up to 5 years as improver classes never seem to prosper.

    Also, as it is a reality that most students are not interested in perfecting their art, dancing a suitable level choreo helps to motivate them to stay with the class.

    So it's by no means a sure sign of a poor teacher

  2. #22
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I've noticed this on a lot of threads recently - "should beginners do choreography?". I really think one person's drilling sequence is another (beginners') choreography and we aren't always talking about the same thing.

    I learnt one in my first 6 week course, probably starting in the second week or so. It was basically an extended drill routine (four or more on the left, repeat on right... etc etc, to pretty repetitive music) and I think it's a great way to start using the movements you've been learning. It's useful brain-training to be doing a movement while having to think about what's next, and there's a sense of achievement building up through the weeks, and when you get through it without messing up - extra points if you didn't have to follow your teacher! And as you get confident with it you can actually dance it a bit rather than just doing the moves. So as a tool to bring the technique you've been working on together and build it over the weeks I think it can be very useful.

    I don't think it's setting the right message if the whole class ethos is learning choreo's, especially if it's all with a view to performing them when you get good enough - I agree with Farasha on that. IMO performance quality choreo should be too demanding for new beginners first class routine, and I think there's something odd about putting a beginner into an advanced group, no matter how much of a natural she is.

    Leaving the what-is-being-taught-and-why aside, I think your teacher's response was very nice and caring. It's a good thing that she's relating to her students individually and that's not an easy thing to do when people come to belly dance classes from so many different backgrounds and with such different aims and aspirations. A shyer, slow & steady learner and a natural/ fast-learning attention seeker is a tricky balancing act IMO. Yes sometimes things might come across wrong or not be what you need, but you've got those communication channels open so tell her! She sounds like she's doing her best to pitch it right for you.

    We have a confirmed counter in our class - when we were learning sagat she wanted to know how many left hits in between the rights, which I found totally weird - to me it's just rhythm patterns. But people learn in different ways. In a workshop I went to recently we were speaking the moves out loud while we did them to help remember. I think your teacher is trying to find what might help you best.

    Maybe you need to think about where you want to take your dancing and whether she is the best option for you.

  3. #23
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default You have raised two different issues

    one is the person who wants to attract attention (and might behave weird if this does not happen), the other is the person who does not want to attract attention and if this happens, he/she gets very stressed.

    I think that the first case, as this is not your problem at the end of the day, is something that you should not care that much about.

    The second issue, well, this is something that i understand well, given that i also want not to attract attention, esp. at class. One reason for this, is that my pace of learning is not that quick, so there is no point delaying the lesson for me. I understand that teachers might start thinking that it is their fault and they try to help, which makes things worse because it might make me even more stressed than i am by nature.

    A remedy for this, is to stay back and attend the lesson avoiding first lines. Another remedy, is to accept your learning pace, receive the instructor's comments and try to work on them later, as at the moment they are done, the student might not be ready to apply the instructions. One last remedy is to think, that teachers want to make a comment for improvement they tend to pick on the students who seem more receptive: and students who are trying hard and recognise their deficiencies and work on them ARE receptive to comments, usually.

    So, maybe you are worrying too much. A thing that you need to work on is to remember very well the comments you receive and work on them later, again and again. Sometimes, teachers prefer to make a comment to a student who "has a potential" and avoid making comments to those who seem indifferent to the lesson given.

    Walladah

    PS/Remember one more thing: learning slow, or learning slow a choreography might just indicate that you have not explored your own way of learning. THere are people who learn one step at a time, and people who seem confused for 1,5 month and, once they continue trying, they wake up a day and they dance as they have never before.

  4. #24
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    I don't think it's setting the right message if the whole class ethos is learning choreo's, especially if it's all with a view to performing them when you get good enough - I agree with Farasha on that. IMO performance quality choreo should be too demanding for new beginners first class routine, and I think there's something odd about putting a beginner into an advanced group, no matter how much of a natural she is.
    Yes, this is exactly what I'm talking about---preparing and pushing beginners to perform onstage when they still are learning (or should still be learning) to get the basic moves down.

  5. #25
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    You know what, I'm not much of a counter, either. What I do is speak the steps in rhythm. Forward and back and for---ward TURN! Hip-drop, hip-drop, Roll-shoulder BACK!

    I usually have to get the footwork, then the rhythm, then the hipwork, and any torso/head/arm embellishments.

    In a beginner class, don't be afraid to speak up and ask for more practice time on any one element. The worst that will happen is that the teacher will move on anyway.

    My mother teaches a beginner dance class, and she is always under pressure from experienced dancers who take her class for exercise to move faster. She refuses, because she is teaching to the REAL beginners in the class. Everyone else can either just bear with the slower pace, or take a more advanced class.

  6. #26
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    Yes, this is exactly what I'm talking about---preparing and pushing beginners to perform onstage when they still are learning (or should still be learning) to get the basic moves down.
    This raises an interesting difference between classes doesn't it? We don't have any troupe stuff going on, and the only class performances are at the end of year show, with no pressure to perform if you don't want to.

    I guess when there are troupe performances it's easy to get sucked into focusing on learning those choreographies rather than getting your technique sorted.

    ETA: to da Sage's mum.

  7. #27
    Junior Member Jennah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    My mother teaches a beginner dance class, and she is always under pressure from experienced dancers who take her class for exercise to move faster. She refuses, because she is teaching to the REAL beginners in the class. Everyone else can either just bear with the slower pace, or take a more advanced class.
    to your mom, da Sage.

    I do go to my teacher's beginner/intermediate class due to the convenience of my schedule and I love her as a friend. I am definitely advanced and my teacher points that out to the beginners. Interestingly, the real beginners look at me for inspiration. I don't mind going over basic techniques and watching my teacher correct new students as I see that as a way for myself to learn when I'm ready to teach in the future.
    In no means do I intend to "show off" as I do want to be corrected even if my posture may look incorrect sometimes or may be executing a new move incorrectly.

    Important part is ensure that you and your teacher communicate and "connect". If this teacher is not willing to listen to your concerns then she may not be the right teacher for you. This is my opinion though.

    By the way, my current teacher teaches improv and I perform improv. I left my last teacher as she insisted on choreography and dancing in a troupe.
    Last edited by Jennah; 11-15-2010 at 05:38 PM.

  8. #28
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    the first person I took from ran a school but had one of her advanced students actually teach the class. She would show us moves but then work on teaching the choreography that would be done by the class at student show at the end of the year. If you did well enough you would move up otherwise you remained and took the class and the choreography again. I really didn't learn much. I learned more from the few tapes I was able to find at that time.
    I wish the classes had been more focused on learning the individual moves and the moves put together into drill sets. I think I would have learned more then.

  9. #29
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulele View Post
    I notice that you do know how to do the moves, just seems like you are having a hard time getting them on beat. This is not a big deal, just something to work on.

    -I don't get what that sentence is supposed to mean, but okay.
    -She asked me before if I was a 'counter' and I said "no". She said that was fine, that some people just weren't.
    I think I may know what she's referring to here.

    Let's think about a vertical figure 8, up to down, that some people call a "Maya."

    You can start this movement by:
    lifting the hip to the "up" position on count ONE,
    then it moves out and down and finally settles down/in on count AND after the one.
    (The lift is on the downbeat)

    OR

    You can can start this movement by:
    lifting the hip to the "up" position on count AND before the ONE,
    then it moves out and down and finally settles down/in on count ONE.
    (The lift is on the upbeat)

    You may be doing the first version and your teacher is asking for the second version. So your beginning and ending positions of the hips are not matching up with what she is doing. Thus she tells you that you aren't getting them on the beat.

  10. #30
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    Well, to me learning choreo after four classes is ridiculous. At that point, I was drilling and learning combos but I would've freaked if we had to perform on-stage. And at the risk of getting criticized, there are many teachers who play favorites (as well as many who don't). You usually know when they are. In fact, at one hafla where I was performing with the student troupe (by then I had been dancing for three years and had some confidence of my own), even people in the audience saw that the teacher was playing favorites! So if an audience member saw it, I'm sure Ulele knows it too.

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