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  1. #11
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I think it's also important to understand the human body as it relates to BD. In other words, a teacher needs to know how to dance and to teach in a way that won't cause physical harm to his/her students. I would be afraid of any teacher who can't spot when a student is doing a move wrong, or who refuses to correct students when they need it. There's so much responsibility in being a teacher, and a "six-week wonder" would not be seasoned enough to look out for things like that.

  2. #12
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    When I was a graduate student I had occasion to teach statistics within a course on row crops. I was about two steps ahead of my students: taught myself the stuff one week and taught it to my students the next. Worked out fine.

    But only being a step or two ahead of my dance students? No way. No how. Too many baby dancers out there pick up things too fast. How embarrassing would it be to find oneself surpassed by a student after her first semester?
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  3. #13
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    I agree with kasmir on the dancerteacher with passion for hwat she is doing, even is she isn`t a great dancer on her own.

    However, I dont feel like this is the intend of the statement. To me it sounds like the beginner student could start teaching after one course on her own. I do like the idea of an intermediate student helping the real teacher(both for further understanding of the moves and for preparing to teach someday), but no way should she teach on her own! She would not know the depth of the dance(uhm, you get me right?) even if she is willing to get to know them, she just didn`t have the time to make it a second nature.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    What about a teacher who is a beautiful dancer but has difficulty in working at a simple enough level for all students, loves very complicated drills and never revises basic moves even to put into a combination, and rarely corrects students.

    I prefer a teacher who may be less skilled but is always revising, casts critical eye on all students, and teaches tips on egyptian styling.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    I don't agree with this philosophy at all, but I have seen evidence of this out there. I think a teacher has to be a good dancer and know something about performing.

    I have seen great dancers and performers, however, who were miserable teachers just taking the money and not making great dancers and performers of their students.

  6. #16
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    You have all raised some very interesting points; however, I suggest reading the review by LadyMei on Amazon, then reading whatever you can in the "Look Inside" preview available there.

    One thing that jumped out at me is that the author is from Spain and has not credited a translator. Given her education, it is likely that she is fluent in English; however, having studied with several non-native-speakers, there will always be some level of language barrier. Now, we have many, many wonderful members who have first hand knowledge of language barriers and how they can impact study -- please know that my concern is NOT an attempt to insult or discredit you; rather, I want to call out that misunderstandings are more likely to happen in the translated written word, when there is no possibility of direct interaction to clarify.

    Now, turning to what I can see in the preview, I will try to find revealing quotes (citing pages to protect copyright) -- moderators, please contact me or strike the post if this becomes a concern.

    On the unnumbered page after the title, in the "Warning," there are some fragmented sentences that raise an eyebrow, " . . .; if the teacher does not manage to keep the students with her in further courses, or generally, if she does not get results." I believe she is trying to release liability in case you are not successful as a teacher.

    The section on "What a Teacher Needs to Know" is only two pages long.

    The Introduction on page seven seems to clarify that "didactic" as used here means lesson plans and handouts. She presents prepared lessons with warmups, choreographies, worksheets, and surveys to see how effective you were in presenting her material. Through the introduction, she indicates that this is designed to both a) save the prospective teacher time and b) to resolve the question of what to teach.

    Page 9 has a very interesting observation that, "The technique is necessary for the students to learn to dance. It is not possible to teach now to dance without teaching technique. In the didactic units it is not said how a step is performed since it is not the objective of the present book. The technique to teach or review is enumerated . . . " Reading that, I see an acknowledgment that technique will be critical for the students to learn effectively, but that it will have to be gathered from another source. So, our prospective teacher has a gap to fill.

    Then, skipping ahead to the preview of page 190, our prospective teacher must then use the information from the didactic unit chapters for context, then (I assume learn, then teach) the choreography on page 190. No specific song is specified, just a rhythm. I have tried to learn choreographies in the past, and even when I know the teacher VERY well, I will confess I have never been able to learn on solely by reading its printed version. I suspect I am not alone in this regard. The choreography presented here is slightly contradictory (moving forward, but crossing feet front, then back) and does not detail the transition movements. Perhaps a prospective teacher could use this effectively; but, I could not.

    Aziyade, I look forward to your comments.

    Regards,

    Anala

  7. #17
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    It desperately needs a native English speaker to edit it; in places it is pretty impenetrable, and I can't help wondering how much time and effort (and previous knowledge) you'd need to put into deciphering the choreographies and other content before trying to teach it.

    If there isn't specified music for these choreographies they are just drills IMO.

    And if anyone gave me a handout or tried to teach rhythmic structure using the soft cheese shop analogy I would think they had lost the plot.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    I couldn't even comment on how she compared rhythms to soft cheeses. Now that I have gotten over the shock, I can say that it is the weakest of analogies at best and borderline offensively ignorant in explanation. I think I am offended because arabic rhythms are not just "little packages" in a song -- they have context, some history, and even some meaning when in the right context. I had to stop reading at that point, because it just troubled me so much . . .

  9. #19
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    I don't think one has to be a great dancer to teach, but I think they should be. I feel this way about all subjects in life- who would want to learn from someone who is mediocre in any subject, especially if you're paying them as a professional??? Not me.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    I think that before starting to teach, a dancer should have considerable performing experience [b]specifically in belly dance[/i], preferably being paid a professional wage comparable to that charged by other professionals in her area. Other dance forms don't count. It needs to be belly dance.

    Now, I realize that some people due to age, body type, day job conflicts, etc. may find it difficult to spend time out doing professional gigs, but if that's not an option the would-be teachers should get lots of performing experience at belly dance events and other such non-professional venues.

    I don't think it's necessary for teachers to perform at the skill level of a highly-sought-after workshop/DVD instructor. But they do need to have a skill level that's equal to a competent, experienced professional dancer. They should certainly be better than the advanced-level students going to other teachers' classes in the area.

    And yes, the dancer also needs to possess teaching skills before starting to teach. Both generic teaching skills and sensible exercise/movement teaching skills.

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