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  1. #61
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darshiva View Post
    Farasha, maybe the problem is that your teacher either:

    1) Doesn't have any ME music
    2) Doesn't know how to dance to ME music
    or (and this is most likely)
    3) She's tried it before and haemhorraged students as a result

    I know it sounds odd, but the second is incredibly common, and is compounded by the first.

    I know you're incredibly frustrated, but why not arrange to go for coffee with your teacher & ask her why you don't dance to ME music in class. You might well find that she's had very poor response to that in the classes. If so, perhaps you can ask her to run a second class that does use ME music exclusively. If she has so many in the first class, a second class with a lower turn-out shouldn't be a financial hardship to her and (if I am correct) she can start teaching what she loves while having her income provided by what brings the money in.
    What is "haemhorraged?"

    She has some ME music, mainly from the "folkloric" choreographed dances we do, but I suspect that that's not her music choice. She prefers Celtic music, BDSS versions of ME songs (nothing wrong with that, I love BDSS anthologies, too), and Shakira, Shakira, Shakira. Oh, and Christina. She does love drum solos, but I suspect she prefers Westernized music, or Western pop. And I overheard her tell someone she doesn't like Hakim, and he's my favorite ME pop artist.

    I can't get into Shakira or Christina's music for bellydance improv. The beat is the same throughout, it's boring, and it's NOT Middle Eastern. I can't improv to something that bores me to tears.

    It's almost time for me to clock back in. I'll be back later this evening.

  2. #62
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Bellydance in Kyabram!
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  3. #63
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Ohhhhh. No, she really hasn't been teaching long enough to lose too many students. She's from the same town as me, and started satellite teaching here in 2007 (she was my beginner teacher); she was about 22 then, and her first time teaching. The studio she was a student at is about 30 miles from our town. After 2 years here, she had to quit because she was about to have a baby, so some of her students here started taking classes where she does (including me). The head teacher and director of our troupe moved out of state last year, so my beginner teacher became head teacher and director. She teaches one intermediate class and one advance class, and another teacher teaches the beginners.

    I probably should have made this a separate thread. >.> Anyway, she still teaches all the old choreos we did under the former director, plus some new ones, but for improv, I think she prefers Western music. When we drill, we usually drill to either Celtic music or Westernized "bellydance" music. She likes artists like Solace and Maduro. I like them, too, but I would love to improv to something like "Alf Leyla Wa Leyla," or "Sitt Akull." Or Hakim, even!

  4. #64
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    She teaches one intermediate class and one advance class, and another teacher teaches the beginners.
    An 'advanced' class with no Middle Eastern music??! I feel your pain!

    (I just teach beginners, but we only use ME music, and I fit in lots of the old classics where I can )

  5. #65
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but if you can't dance to ME music then you can't belly dance. There, I said it. If the music doesn't move you, then why are doing it? Take up a dance form where you like the music. I would never decide I was going to waltz but since the traditional music is boring I would do it accompanied by Katy Perry or Metallica.

    I'm choreo challenged. I feel different each time I perform something, so what feels right tonight might not feel right tomorrow. I don't want my piece to be mapped out down to the wink and the hair flip. It takes the soul out the whole thing. There's no spontaneity; no allowance for the audience and the mood of the room. It feels stale for me, so I just know that for certain parts I want to do X and the rest gets filled in on the fly.

    Aniseteph, I don't think your nerves about improv are due to laziness and a lack of practice. I can tell from the rest of what you've written. For me it was nerves about putting my bare naked spiritual self out on display. For much of my life I would not do things because of what people might think or I would wait until I thought it looked good enough to be seen by others. I missed out on a lot of life that way. I ended up with the attitude of "F* 'em!" If someone's only entertainment is to make fun of me then that's pathetic and I'll give it to them. Should I hold back on my life because of it? NO!! I have seen polished professional dancers who are just phoning it in and been bored silly watching them. They are technically proficient but they're just not present or in the moment.

    I'm not saying that anything goes and a six week wonder should start teaching because she wants to or anything crazy like that. What I am saying is that you should dance to the best of your ability. If you are not bored then chances are you won't be perceived as boring. I'm hoping this is making some sense - I think I need to get to bed!

    MizzNaaa, I couldn't agree with you more. So many teachers think there is nothing more to this dance than stringing together dance moves and wearing a shiny costume. Sadly, I don't think it's a problem of not teaching with more depth but that they aren't capable of it. There was so much I didn't learn from my main teacher. It's not that she refused to teach it; she just couldn't. It has only been through seminars and travel that I've really gotten some insight.

    Farasha, I can't imagine how frustrating it is to know that there's more/something better out there but not to be able to access it. I don't know what part of OK you're in, but there are usually some good seminars that are put on in the Dallas area. Maybe you can get some other dancers together for a road trip?

  6. #66
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    I always was interested in the technical learning part, but then I took workshops by Egyptian dancers Lucy and Fifi Abdo, and they showed me a different way.

    Some teachers are very technical (I was one), then some are more loose in their teaching style.

    Some years later, I have come to realize you need both styles of teaching. You need the technical part and then you also need to dance or follow the teacher kind of style and have fun.
    Last edited by Tammyraks; 01-02-2013 at 06:02 PM.

  7. #67
    Junior Member xylia1225's Avatar
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    I'm going to agree with what everyone else seems to be saying. In my experience, my teacher has done both. At the start of class, we'll warm up just by doing some movements, and then she'll pick a couple to zero in on and drill. Then we might go back to learning one or more choreographed dances (the way my teacher does it, we learn a dance specific to a prop, and we sort of keep the choreography in our mental libraries for the next time she feels like going back to that prop)

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