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  1. #11
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    I've taken classes with two different teachers in two very different venues. The first time was an open entrance-open exit beginners class at a dance studio. There was no "first day" per se; on MY first day, I was the only new student as everyone else had been taking classes for varying times. This was mostly a drill-type lesson plan teaching basic moves and how to thread them together, and it was pretty much a "sink or swim" situation where I had to try and keep up with other beginners who were ahead of me on the learning curve.

    The second class (which I'm now attending) is at a community college and has a first day and last day of class. On our first day, the teacher introduced herself, danced a demonstration and then we took turns introducing ourselves and telling why we wanted to learn to belly dance. Some students want to be professionals, others are taking belly dance to round out their dance training, and a few were taking it strictly for "fun and fitness." The teacher went over class rules, then we did some stretches and learned a few moves (like hip and rib cage slides.)

  2. #12
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Just had to chime in and say that I would hate to be given an ankle bracelet -too hippy

  3. #13
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I'm liking the intro's and why you're here (including the teacher - don't want your full belly dance biog or any spiritual opinions on BD though, thanks). Anything that helps break the ice a little helps you feel better about klutzing your way through those first steps.

    Definitely a demo - some students won't ever have seen belly dance so it's nice to see what you are aiming for.

    I like a sense of progress, so starting with 2 or 3 basic moves, drill 'em a bit, then maybe start using them in a simple routine that builds over the weeks so you start to get a sense of dancing and how they can fit with each other and the music.

    We always had the same warmup to the same music (proper belly dance music) so starting to get familiar with that helps your confidence as well.

    I don't know if it's because I'm a reserved uptight Brit, but giving out jewellery is a bit weird to me. You might become exchanging-gifts type friends later, but to start with her role is teacher, not buddy. It's a bit pushy. But I appreciate that there are cultural differences on this so it might not have the same vibes elsewhere.

  4. #14
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genmies View Post

    @Amulya: Yes, I did thought of doing that, show them what they will be learning. Do you think it's a good idea to also teach them a simple and fun dance combination during the first lesson?
    Absolutely, you can do either way: little choreography or some improvisation. I let them stand in a circle, start out with doing some dancing they have to copy (very simple of course) and then point out one of the students to chose the next move, and go on till everybody has done one. It's a fun and simple way to start early with teaching them improvisation. Personally I am very pro improvisation as this will teach students how to dance on their own, not all students are able to keep choreographies in their mind and sometimes they like to try out dancing on their own choice of music, which is hard if you only learned to use the choreographies of your teacher.
    But of course there is nothing wrong with a choreography, it will help them to get inspired and how to use music. Both improv and choreo is a good idea, but that is more for the following lessons.

  5. #15
    Senior Member goddessyasaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    Just had to chime in and say that I would hate to be given an ankle bracelet -too hippy

    Too Hippy, I have not heard that before at least not in the Belly dance world but I can see why some may feel that way.

  6. #16
    Senior Member goddessyasaman's Avatar
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    Yes there are many things you could do to make it more interesting, Like I have said A short performance as a opening at the start of class and have a cute give away item the ankel bracelet, Something like Shanazel had said but I had this system to help them pick there own Belly dance name even the people who were not becoming Pro's loved to have a belly dance name. What I would do was have a 4 question thing for them like...

    Example
    What is your fav color? Red
    What is your Fav Animal? Hawk
    What is your Fav time of day? evening
    What is your fav Season? Spring

    from this I would make your name: Gul Yuzen ,which means "Floating rose" in Turkish I use translators plus I am always learning some new language .

    So it would not take long I had names picked out already to the answers that they would give. So this would be there Belly dance name when they were in class or until they picked there own or they could stick with the one I gave them. I would pick names by going through words that fit the answers from question list The words would come from different langues like Arabic, Turkish, Hindi. But also your class could be shorter then mine was so you could just pick names based on a pretty phrase or words like "Beautiful" in Arabic is "gamila" you say it like "gam-ee-la". My students loved it

    They just loved having a belly dance name

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by goddessyasaman View Post
    Something like Shanazel had said but I had this system to help them pick there own Belly dance name even the people who were not becoming Pro's loved to have a belly dance name. What I would do was have a 4 question thing for them like...

    Example
    What is your fav color? Red
    What is your Fav Animal? Hawk
    What is your Fav time of day? evening
    What is your fav Season? Spring

    from this I would make your name: Gul Yuzen ,which means "Floating rose" in Turkish I use translators plus I am always learning some new language .

    So it would not take long I had names picked out already to the answers that they would give. So this would be there Belly dance name when they were in class or until they picked there own or they could stick with the one I gave them. I would pick names by going through words that fit the answers from question list The words would come from different langues like Arabic, Turkish, Hindi. But also your class could be shorter then mine was so you could just pick names based on a pretty phrase or words like "Beautiful" in Arabic is "gamila" you say it like "gam-ee-la". My students loved it

    They just loved having a belly dance name
    Thanks, I like the idea of helping students find a belly dance name. I don't have one so I should start with myself.

  8. #18
    Member rsps's Avatar
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    I can only speak to how my own teacher has taught me to do it. I have student taught with her a few times and am starting to learn how to teach her class.
    Because her class is at a yoga studio and is a cross between genre's of belly dance and her aim is to make women of all fitness levels comfortable with belly dance and their bodies etc...she starts with warm up and an 'incantation'. Mind you, this is NOt the mind set of 'I'm going to be the next Belly Dance Super Star' by taking this class. This is a class that is bread and butter of most belly dance teachers; women who want to do something different and may or may not have a dance background. In order to nurture such a broad range of skill levels she does it in a methodical way.

    After the 'incantation' and warm up we start with form and then work to how to move the hips by way of the movement of the legs and knees. After this we teach basic moves; Maya, Omi, figure eights...and weave those into a song so there is a feeling of accomplishment that one has done some choreo.

    When you have a class that is all over the spectrum in skill level it is harder to judge how difficult of technique to use. But, I find she teaches somewhere in the middle of skill level so that those who have danced for a while do get a few new things and the beginners feel challenged enough to keep coming.
    Last edited by rsps; 03-20-2011 at 01:38 AM.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goddessyasaman View Post
    Too Hippy, I have not heard that before at least not in the Belly dance world but I can see why some may feel that way.
    Have to agree - it'd be just the one class for me if the teacher presented me with ankle (or any) jewellery
    ETA:
    had this system to help them pick there own Belly dance name even the people who were not becoming Pro's loved to have a belly dance name.
    This forum really shows up the cultural differences. Again I cannot imagine this going down well. I have seen well established dancers being presented with names from teachers which they have earned but pick and mix seems almost insulting to te culture.
    Last edited by Kashmir; 03-20-2011 at 02:11 AM.

  10. #20
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Ahem. As a child of the sixties, I feel obliged to point out that "hippy" refers to the width of a particular part of one's anatomy. "Hippie" refers to the flower child/back to the earth movement of forty years ago.

    Yasaman, feel free to present me with jewlery. I prefer jade and turquoise to diamonds and emeralds, but if the sparkly stuff is all you have, well, I guess I can force myself to accept.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 03-20-2011 at 06:02 AM.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

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