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  1. #21
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    Hey!! You guys!!

    "6 week wonders" doesn't just apply to young whipper-snappers! I could, if plied with a few glasses of wine and baklava and hoping I was amongst trusted souls, name many a silver-haired 6 week wonder, at least this side of the pond!

    There are slight differences between the greener version and her more mature counterpart, but I am certain they are ultimately cut from the same cloth:

    The greener one will have a cheap import costume (the ones with too much fringe and coins and an ill-fitting circle skirt underneath); the silver-haired ones will have gone to Egypt and bough a very expensive designer costume on their last holiday, probably dragging long-suffering hubby along to see the pyramids, etc.

    The younger one will probably be drawn to some kind of funky, "out there" fusion. Urban belly dance? Street Sharqi? R&BD? Here the silver-haired versions tend to splinter into a number of sub-groups, depending on their particular fantasy. There's the "harem fantasy" group, then there's the bedouin nomad group, to name but two. The former will favour veilwork and chiffon and Samia Gamal clips (if they have progressed that far) while the latter, stick dancing and baladi dresses with as much afghan/indian bling as possible.

    The younger will have charmed her way into a number of very low-paid belly dance gigs by flaunting overly-seductive promotional material in front of salivating small restaurant owners. The silver-haired will probably be too "artistic" for performing in such establishments, preferring more artistic venues such as haflas and community events. Soloing, of course. In her posh costume. But unable to execute so much as a hip drop.

    While both will be keen to flaunt their teaching talents as early as possible, the younger will draw a class of young wide-eyed girlies who unfortunately mistake "young, skinny and able to writhe around like a pole dancer" for actual ability. The silver-haired is more likely to promote on the basis of "great exercise for all shapes and sizes! ANYONE can belly dance!" and generally trade on her experience and wisdom.

    I could go on. Apologies for the slightly wry attempt at humour...!

  2. #22
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amulya View Post
    The sad thing is: not all 6-week wonders are dancers who have taken only a few lessons. I knew a dancer (not naming her of course!) who danced for 10 years and could do the basics right, neither did she know much about the dance. I saw her teaching and I cringed at what she was doing to the students.
    Well, if a dancer has had several years of lessons, continues with workshops, etc...she's really not a 6-week wonder.
    She's just not very good. Or possibly, she might be a decent teacher, but a bad performer.

    Everyone's scene has a least one teacher/dancer whose solo performances are awkward - but her students perform beautifully. The teacher's performance skills might even go up several notches when she's performing along with her class.

    I think we need to distinguish untalented dancers and/or dancers that don't drill enough to improve/maintain their dance level, from those that have minimal training. Being a poor dancer is something that can happen despite years of classes!

    And then there are the dancers that consistently make bad artistic choices (or at least, I disagree with their artistic choices!). But I digress.

  3. #23
    Senior Member LadyLoba's Avatar
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    I don't think you're off topic at all Shanazel. Your posts bring up a very good point that is very relevant to "6 week wonders."

    Lessons in anything are not cheap, and you devote a lot of time and energy to lessons. When I finally do get to take some, I would MUCH rather devote my money, time, and energy to someone like you...a teacher who is not only experienced, but serious and knowledgeable about the dance...than a "6 week wonder" who took 1 6 week "Beginning Belly Dance" course and started her own classes across town with no further study.

  4. #24
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Hugs to you all from the old lady teacher. Guess I'll give it another year.
    "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 Eshta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    Well, if a dancer has had several years of lessons, continues with workshops, etc...she's really not a 6-week wonder.
    She's just not very good. Or possibly, she might be a decent teacher, but a bad performer.

    Everyone's scene has a least one teacher/dancer whose solo performances are awkward - but her students perform beautifully. The teacher's performance skills might even go up several notches when she's performing along with her class.

    I think we need to distinguish untalented dancers and/or dancers that don't drill enough to improve/maintain their dance level, from those that have minimal training. Being a poor dancer is something that can happen despite years of classes!

    And then there are the dancers that consistently make bad artistic choices (or at least, I disagree with their artistic choices!). But I digress.
    Ah yes, good point! There's a difference between a 6 week wonder and those who simply not a very good dancer/performer. Although it's uncanny how often they overlap!

    I remember starting a thread on here decades ago pondering if a good teacher necessarily has to be a good dancer? I don't think they have to.

  6. #26
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Considering the skills and experience of many dancers today, I often feel like I should give up teaching since I'm an over the hill wonder myself. In a larger market in a larger city, I wouldn't even try to compete. In my small community, I'm content with my niche, but wish there was someone nearby for me to take lessons from and to send my students to when they outgrow me.
    THIS totally.

    But Shan, a lot of the new "tricks" and stuff they can learn from a dvd. Double veil, flaming sword, veil poi -- in all that stuff you can get the basics from a dvd then take some private lessons with people who do it well.

    The skills of today's dancers -- are they really that different from the skills of the dancers YOU saw when you were a baby dancer? Half the dancers I know now have no concept of floor work and wouldn't know how to chew gum and play cymbals at the same time. They can do a mean pop and lock -- but all that technical expertise we admire is just a matter of practice.

    Maybe today's dancers are just practicing specific things more because they feel driven there by market demands. I don't particularly enjoy veil work, let alone double veil, but around here you aren't a real dancer unless you can drag out 8 yards of fabric and spin around, so I'm trying to learn it.

    Give me a teacher who knows the music. I can learn all the tricks elsewhere and can practice technique on my own.

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Give me a teacher who knows the music. I can learn all the tricks elsewhere and can practice technique on my own.
    I feel the same way. I want music, culture, and folklore. I can't learn the subtleties of different folkloric dances on a DVD. In fact, tutorials for a lot of these dances don't even exist, and you are lucky to find a few authentic clips on the internet.
    Combinations, I can make up on my own. Isolations I can improve on my own. Props I can start with a DVD, practice on my own, and perhaps take a private with someone who is good with them if I want to further my knowledge.

  8. #28
    Senior Member LadyLoba's Avatar
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    Default I'm not going to mention names either, but....

    ....I read a bit of gossip on another site that said that one very well known Belly Dancer/teacher is actually a "6 week wonder"...that this person began teaching and performing after only a very basic class.

    I'm not trying to start a gossip thread...just noting that because I can see why the truly dedicated professionals get so frustrated. It looks like some of these "6 week wonders" get a LOT of publicity and a lot of paid jobs that really should go to those a lot more serious, dedicated, and well trained.

    I know that happens in pretty much every field..

    But it sounds like this is especially common in belly dance....just the term "6 week wonder" being in common usage alone tells me that. I can certainly relate to it as a writer..but I've never heard the term "one class wonder" to refer to someone who took "Fiction Writing 101" or one session at a writing retreat and was published.

  9. #29
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    Well, if a dancer has had several years of lessons, continues with workshops, etc...she's really not a 6-week wonder.
    She's just not very good. Or possibly, she might be a decent teacher, but a bad performer.
    Both.

    But you're right, this kind of dancer doesn't really fall into the 6-week wonder category but is a entire species of it's own: will go to workshops, is convinced she is a very good dancer, but doesn't ever learn the basics. But this kind of dancer has something in common with the 6-week-wonder; he/she is also doing something bad for the name of the dance. However, I will not hold this against this particular dancer I have as example, she was a beginner in a time where proper info was not available in her country. She should have caught up though and not still be teaching 'belly dance with chakra's'

  10. #30
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darshiva View Post
    I could almost quote Amulya word for word, although with the exception of the instruction to relax the belly.
    What is your opinion on the instruction to relax the belly?

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