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  1. #21
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    re the experience thing - you might only have the opportunity rond here to do 3 0r 4 haflas a year -and that has only recently increased!!

  2. #22
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    I'm a bit conflicted on this. I held back from teaching for years because I didn't think I was a good enough dancer to begin teaching. But then I got incredibly frustrated seeing what WAS being taught. I knew that I could give students far more insight, far more authenticity, far more knowledge than many of the teachers who are out there teaching.

    I guess my irritation is when people start teaching when they are still in the initial phase of "belly dance is a bunch of moves". The moves are the toolbox but I don't believe people should be teaching until they've got through that stage and realised there is so much more to it - connection with the music, emotion, interpretation, etc.

    For me, the conflict became thus: do I hold back and keep waiting until I am "great enough", but in the meantime allow the scene to keep being flooded with those I have described above, or do I do the small amount that I can to counter this, by teaching myself and trying to raise the bar above just "movement". I'm definitely not saying I'm great, but I feel by now I'm far enough along that I have something to offer over and above "this is how you do a hipdrop".

    So trying to get back on topic, no I don't agree that to teach you should be only one or two steps above your students, but in the same breath I don't think you should hold back striving to be A-list calibre either, so long as you keep working hard. But I don't know where the dividing line is!

  3. #23
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    So many factors make up a good teacher and I think we agree on most of them.

    Another thing to consider is your location. If you look around your area and know you could teach better, and have more to offer, than the other teachers currently teaching; then I say- why not? If there is a teacher in your area who is better than you, why not go take their class instead? There are too many teachers!

    This is what I did: I called a dancer who I respected, who knew my dancing and my knowledge base, and discussed it honestly. I have no doubts that she gave me an honest answer without sugar coating anything. I knew there were some holes in my dance education, but an honest assessment helped me identify them and correct it so I could begin teaching.

    As a side note: there is always something to learn from every dancer. Just because they have valuable input, does not mean they are suited to be your, or anyone else's, regular teacher. A regular teacher is like going to a general practitioner type of doctor. If you decide you need a specialist, you go to someone else.

    In my general area we have a population of about 40,000 people and six-eight active belly dance teachers. It's too many and our area is extremely over-saturated. I think part of the reason people want to teach so badly, is the respectability label. "I'm a belly dancer" does not sound as respectable to the GP as "I am a belly dance teacher."

    Six week wonder's classes generally do very well market wise. The students have such low expectations placed on them, have no parameters of "this is bd and this is not", and they aren't expected to learn much. Their students come away feeling overly competent, like a million dollars, and a "real" belly dancer, without much effort or time invested. People sign up in droves. Students show up in my class and are expected to be serious dancers and put in effort to learn something real and worthwhile. Most leave.

  4. #24
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Actually, I agree if by "dancer" you mean "performer". A teacher doesn't have to be able to physically dance much above her students - but s/he needs to understand the dance and be able to communicate it to the students. ...the teacher needs to understand how to create the movement and how to spot what difficulties the student is experiencing. Many "great" dancers cannot do this as they adopted the dance as easily as breathing and cannot understand why the students cannot do the same.
    I agree, Kashmir. I have a few examples from the world of ballet.

    I remember seeing Dame Ninette de Valois teach a ballet class and being lost in awe at her skill in using words to convey what she wanted (because by that time, she was extraordinarily ancient and could barely move). I myself had a wonderful ballet teacher who was 70 and walked with a stick - and I've never had such valuable and inspiring tuition.

    And when I worked at the Royal Academy, they were trying to find ways to help Margot Fonteyn earn more money, and offered her some master classes. She was a disaster - dancing was so natural to her, she had no idea how to explain it to anyone else.

  5. #25
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    hello friend,
    I am dancer and I want to join a club for show my dance, so that i can know about my dance, is good or normal.Suggest me a club..

  6. #26
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naseem View Post
    hello friend,
    I am dancer and I want to join a club for show my dance, so that i can know about my dance, is good or normal.Suggest me a club..
    I am afraid we can't suggest clubs as, as far as I know, few bellydancers work in clubs (maybe in some ME countries you will find bellydancers) ... different type of dancer. Also we have no idea where you live, so that would make it difficult to suggest anything.

    I am sure if you are a bellydancer and have taken lessons your teacher would be the person to advise you on whether you are ready or not for performance work.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  7. #27
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    I'm a bit conflicted on this. I held back from teaching for years because I didn't think I was a good enough dancer to begin teaching. But then I got incredibly frustrated seeing what WAS being taught. I knew that I could give students far more insight, far more authenticity, far more knowledge than many of the teachers who are out there teaching.

    I guess my irritation is when people start teaching when they are still in the initial phase of "belly dance is a bunch of moves". The moves are the toolbox but I don't believe people should be teaching until they've got through that stage and realised there is so much more to it - connection with the music, emotion, interpretation, etc.
    After only 4 years of belly dance, how awful is it that I know exactly how you felt, and can totally relate?

    There are so many teachers out there who make me think "I could do better" even though I consider myself a pretty mediocre dancer.

    Thankfully, I don't feel conflicted... because I want to work on my own dancing. I NEED to work on my own dancing. Why the heck would I want to create more dancers in an already oversaturated market when I'm not even close to where I want to be yet?

  8. #28
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    I'm a bit conflicted on this. I held back from teaching for years because I didn't think I was a good enough dancer to begin teaching. But then I got incredibly frustrated seeing what WAS being taught. I knew that I could give students far more insight, far more authenticity, far more knowledge than many of the teachers who are out there teaching.

    For me, the conflict became thus: do I hold back and keep waiting until I am "great enough", but in the meantime allow the scene to keep being flooded with those I have described above, or do I do the small amount that I can to counter this, by teaching myself...I'm definitely not saying I'm great, but ...
    I identify so much with this! With only a few years' training (at a level of only one/two classes a week), I feel I have a long way to go before I'm fit to run my own classes - and yet, with my training in ballet, jazz and aerobics, I cringe when I see what some bd teachers are teaching.

  9. #29
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    I have to disagree -- in part, I think. At least about being a good dancer.

    I do not believe that a person can be a good teacher without also being a good dancer.

    That's kind of like me offering to teach guitar lessons. (I am barely more than a beginner.) I can teach you some chords, but my own weaknesses include: reaching fingers into complicated chord shapes, transitioning between chords, keeping a consistent tempo, finger-picking skills in general, reading the bass line, being able to play with any dynamics, etc. There is NO way whatsoever that I could adequately prepare a beginning guitar player for future lessons. More importantly, I'm quite likely to encourage that student to develop seriously bad habits that might take years to unlearn.

    Thinking that a teacher only needs to have SLIGHTLY more experience than her students is what has degraded our dance. If you aren't good at something, why on earth would you teach it????
    At one time I would have agreed fully with this as it makes total sense.

    However, over the years I have actually met teachers (some who are very well known in this field) who are full of knowledge about this dance and can stand in a class and teach a great deal, but come to perform, and.. well..its not that great.

    There have been 'wow' performers who have been dreadful at teaching.

    There is another category of teacher who is awful at knowledge, technique and performance.

    I dont think it is that cut and dried to be honest, I have been left scratching my head on numerous occasions.
    Last edited by Caroline_afifi; 12-10-2010 at 09:43 AM. Reason: typos

  10. #30
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I agree totally with Caroline. so far the best dancers and the best teachers I have ment have mostly not been the same people - although those who are the best teachers generally know a great deal, but it doesn't necessarily translate into their dancing.

    as for the great dancers not being able to teach - if I could relate this to when I was learning to be a teacher of children - I could read before I went to school, i had a reading age of 15 when I was 9 and I always struggled with maths - but guess what, I was way better at teaching elementary maths than reading, cos i could relate to different methods of working through maths, but couldn't easily see what pupils needed to help them read

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