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  1. #1
    Member Nailah_Siti's Avatar
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    Default I finally signed up for...

    GypsyNet! O M G why didn't I do this sooner! I just completed about an hour and a half of warming up, learning, practicing what I learned and cooling down. Ansuya is just flippn amazing! She goes the perfect speed for me and now I feel much better about where I am in belly dance and where I am going. I definitely feel like I have foundations down (although I am contacting the teacher I am starting classes with soon to ask her to critique me). I was worried that the classes may be too intermediate for me, but they were right on par and I was able to keep up without starting and stopping the videos (although I re-watched it before practicing to let it all sink in). I was in intermediate class with my last teacher and was invited to be an understudy for the troupe while I learned all their choreography, but after reading the thread about knowing what level you are I was quite content with being a beginner. Lucky for me, my home practices got really boring and I had to look elsewhere!

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    YAY!!! I'm Amandaraqs on there so consider yourself virtually "waved"

    Wave!

  3. #3
    Member Nailah_Siti's Avatar
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    Will you be doing the online critique with Ansuya? I know it is pretty far away, but I do not want to practice bad habits. I emailed my soon-to-be teacher and asked if she would critique some things I am working on via video and she said yes! I also just found I have a friend moving to Naples. I may have to make a trip to spend a week learning from Ansuya in person

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Oh YES -- I am definitely doing the critique! I was with Ansuya in Indianapolis this week and she shared with me a little more info about the project, and how she is planning to organize the classes and such. I'm very very excited about the new stuff she is planning to add, and she also explained the idea behind her certification, which I hope I can paraphrase here.

    She was never a fan of "certifying" anyone and testing anyone, but her students liked the option of knowing they were advancing through the material, and knowing that when they "passed" a level, it meant that they could perform the required skills at a competent level. (We've been talking about that here -- just what criteria defines an "intermediate" dancer, and such.)

    One thing that she recognizes with video learners and online learners is that since they don't have the benefit of regular feedback from an instructor, they often don't have what we would all consider to be the BASICS down pat. And when you get into more complicated areas of the dance, they don't have someone to guide them.

    So for her online/video learners the certification process is a chance for us out in the boonies to know that we DO have the basics, and that we're doing them right. AND that we have a guiding hand when we start exploring different stylizations and using different props.

    When you finish the certification and pass all the modules, you can rest easy knowing that you have shown competency in what Ansuya considers the foundations for good belly dancing. AND with re-certification each year, you will know that you are MAINTAINING those foundations and even progressing to the next "level" for you.

    One of her concerns is NOT churning out cookie-cutter Ansuya clones, and she was worried that testing people would do that, but I think the core material for her certification is SO infinitely customizable that you won't be a clone unless you deliberately imitate all of Ansuya's stylings.

    She DISTINCTLY does not say that "certification" makes a dancer. Or that you have to be certified in order to consider yourself a dancer. Her certification process exists ONLY so that the student has an opportunity to get feedback on performing the movement vocabulary, and will walk away with the core technique and information that Ansuya wants you to have, with no big gaps in your education.

    So long answer to a short question: YES I am definitely doing the video critique. I wish I could do this month's live class, but I'll be on the road at that hour (sad)

  5. #5
    Member Nailah_Siti's Avatar
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    The certification system she has come up with is great. I like the idea of being able to customize your own style. I think I will be doing the critique also. Because I am newbie, I worry I might think Im doin well and Im not lol. I absolutely love the advanced drills also! How will the critique run? She gives you things to perform or is it improv? Im confused

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nailah_Siti View Post
    The certification system she has come up with is great. I like the idea of being able to customize your own style. I think I will be doing the critique also. Because I am newbie, I worry I might think Im doin well and Im not lol. I absolutely love the advanced drills also! How will the critique run? She gives you things to perform or is it improv? Im confused
    The certification goes in modules, or pieces. The first piece is the Firecracker Openings, which is on the site now. If you watch the video, she tells you everything you have to film, and there is a pdf in the notes section. Basically in the first one you describe the posture, and then you perform the "Firecracker Openings" combination the way she asks on the video. It's pretty much all spelled out for you -- no worries!!

    The Skype critiques for certification will probably just go over what ever that subject is. You do it and she looks at it and corrects it.

    You can also arrange for additional Skype consultations (for a separate fee) that would be like buying a private lesson on whatever subject you want. I think I would wait until I have "mastered" the certification material before I arranged a private lesson, but it might be a really good opportunity for you to work one-on-one with her on something like a new sword choreography or specific techniques for floor work or something. - just a thought.

  7. #7
    Member Starmouth's Avatar
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    Just had a quick look at this and it looks fantastic, but a lot of money (for me, anyway!) At the moment I attend classes twice a week and would love to do a bit more. Does this give good value for money?

    What sort of style is mostly taught? Or is it quite an eclectic mix?

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    I have a decently extensive review here:

    http://www.bellydanceforums.net/bell...ynet-here.html


    The style is (on the surface) American Cabaret, in that Ansuya performs the multi-part show, which is sort of how we define "cabaret."

    However, there is a lot of discussion in the classes on how to give a more Egyptian and more Tribal feeling to the movements. She does have a specifically Tribal Fusion class available right now, and another one that leans toward African fusion. Ansuya considers herself a fusion dancer, so she's not afraid to share her experience and her interests there.

    Now, I don't really consider myself all that "Cabaret" -- although the more I think about it, the more I think I actually focus on both -- Egyptian and AmCab. My primary influences so far have been Shareen el Safy and Suhaila, so I'm quite the mongrel. I'm also growing less interested in staying within the rigid "style" borders I previously set for myself. So what I've done with all of my training (especially lately) is view it as expanding upon my existing vocabulary for musical interpretation.

    For instance: this last weekend Ansuya taught candle dance techniques. Now unless my dance partner wants to try this, I probably won't ever dance with hand candles, but a lot of the arm movements and the ATTITUDE she taught can be applied to a lot of dancing that I DO perform.

    wow -- that was totally off topic. Sorry.

    Anyway, basically what she teaches is American Cabaret style, with some dabbling in fusion, and basic prop work.

    Personally I think yes, it gives good value to the money. I have tried other online classes and been satisfied, but not thrilled. I actually look forward to these classes, even though some of them are exhausting! I do want you to keep in mind that for the price, you do get one hour of live class with Ansuya (via Skype) a month, and also you have the option to do her certification where she gives you homework, you film yourself and send her the link, and then she critiques it. So for $35-$45 a month you get a live class and a personal critique AND the other 9+ hours of classes.

  9. #9
    Member Starmouth's Avatar
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    Thanks! I will definitely look into it.

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