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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darshiva View Post
    Go with what your teacher says . If s/he says 'using moves from today's class/this term', then leave your funky moves for another time. If s/he just says to improvise, use all the bellydance tools you have at your disposal.
    Thanks, that's what I figured.....Some of the other dances in the class have had more experience, and they stick to what she's said. It's a level 1/level 2 mixed class.

  2. #22
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rp1983 View Post
    We do improv during the last half hour in our class, and would it be rude of me to include steps that the teacher didn't cover yet? I feel guilty for some reason as if I'm showing off.....Should I just stick with the steps she covers in class?
    Providing they are belly dance, and assuming she hasn't restricted the exercise (I often limit improv to a couple of moves) - then I'd say use them. However, if she says they are not suitable (for instance I have tribal students who sometimes slip tribal non-belly dance moves in) then drop those ones.

  3. #23
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    I did my first drum solo to the mogador band the other night, and the people in the audience found it hard to believe that I was a beginner. Is it possible for your teacher to think you're still a beginner, but your friends are guessing that you're intermediate?


    I know the average person isn't trained to spot all of the little tidbits that professionals can spot. Ever since I made this topic, I've been dancing for roughly about a year (I had some breaks in between classes). I've switched teachers recently, so my new teacher said to start her beginner class. She wants me to take 2 more months of polishing the basics' classes, and then I can move on to the "Beyond beginner" series.

    As a student, I have to learn that this dance takes much time and dedication. It's nice to reach the intermediate level, but I need more practice to get there.

    Overall, the audience at the cafe I danced at enjoyed my performance! There's a cute cafe that does open mic for ALL levels. Great experience.
    Last edited by Rp1983; 05-24-2012 at 01:36 AM.

  4. #24
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rp1983 View Post
    I did my first drum solo to the mogador band the other night, and the people in the audience found it hard to believe that I was a beginner. Is it possible for your teacher to think you're still a beginner, but your friends are guessing that you're intermediate?


    I know the average person isn't trained to spot all of the little tidbits that professionals can spot. Ever since I made this topic, I've been dancing for roughly about a year (I had some breaks in between classes). I've switched teachers recently, so my new teacher said to start her beginner class.

    As a student, I have to learn that this dance takes much time and dedication. It's nice to reach the intermediate level, but I need more practice to get there.

    Overall, the audience at the cafe I danced at enjoyed my performance!
    When I first started, my family said I danced like a professional. I definitely didn't. A lot of people don't know any better. You need to have your own standards and make your own judgement. Levels will be defined differently in different classes. Even within one specific class, although some teachers might have cut-off points between "beginner," "intermediate," and "advanced" I think that's a ridiculous over-simplification, but it's hard to divide classes up any more than that due to lack of demand.

  5. #25
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    Yame-I think I need some growth and refinement. When I looked at my own drum solo, I saw mistakes and felt that I needed more control over my movements. I was a bit too "bouncy" and exaggerated, but the average joe didn't see that.

    Thanks for your reply. It makes sense.
    Last edited by Rp1983; 05-24-2012 at 02:16 AM.

  6. #26
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rp1983 View Post
    Yame-I think I need some growth and refinement. When I looked at my own drum solo, I saw mistakes and felt that I needed more control over my movements. I was a bit too "bouncy" and exaggerated.

    Thanks for your reply though.
    Just remember, everyone needs more growth and refinement. Even the best dancers have things they want to/need to improve.

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rp1983 View Post
    I did my first drum solo to the mogador band the other night, and the people in the audience found it hard to believe that I was a beginner. Is it possible for your teacher to think you're still a beginner, but your friends are guessing that you're intermediate?

    I know the average person isn't trained to spot all of the little tidbits that professionals can spot.
    Glad you are progressing. But, unless your friends are belly dancers - that is they know what belly dance is - then, sorry, I'd go with your teacher's assessment.

    We have had lots of threads on what it takes to be a beginner and being able to dance in a way to engage a crowd is just the beginning. For instance, you may be dancing well - but not belly dancing. (Not all dance to belly dance music wearing a bra & belt and doing hip drops is belly dance). Can you tick the last three points I listed last year ie
    • Have some feel for Middle Eastern music
    • Be able to do a short improvisation
    • Be aware of historical and cultural context of their current style


    Realistically it takes a few years to get to intermediate - and many people will never make it despite being nice dancers because they just can't understand how to interpret the music as belly dance.

  8. #28
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    For sure what defines a beginner from an intermediate is where the student believes them self to be. Of course the confident may think themselves superb and the not so still stuck as a beginner, but one has to ask themselves why is it they dance or indeed learn this dance, is it to become a master at it knowing everything, or is it to journey learning all the time and perhaps end with regretting what more there is to learn ?

    I wonder how many proficiency collectors there are in the dance world?

    Myself, some describe me not as a beginner, perhaps intermediate, I don't know, but I describe myself as a beginner and I will always be that whether my level now, more advanced or again so, as I prefer to be learning, not stagnant, know it all and bored
    Last edited by khanjar; 05-26-2012 at 12:15 AM.

  9. #29
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    A beginner is someone who needs to work on their moves & knows it. An intermediate is someone who needs to work on their moves and doesn't know it. An advanced is someone who needs to refine their moves and goes back to basics to do that.

    Actually, as everyone said, there are different rules for different levels in every classroom. However, a beginner will look really nervous & enthusiastic at the same time, kind of hesitant in their motion. An intermediate will show greater musicality & confidence in moves - probably with more complexity than necessary. An advanced will make everything look effortless. Aside from that, it really does depend on the classroom and the teacher. Everyone has different requisites for level advancement, so you can't judge a level by the moves, but more by the attitude on stage or in the classroom.
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  10. #30
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    I suppose to understand what level one is at, one needs to know for what purpose they do what they do, is it fun, socialising or to earn a living and again as I have mentioned this before, what is the purpose of the different levels in a class other than to let prospective students know there will be difficulty, but one thing I have observed is becoming a particular fascination in our society, and that is the concept of certification, as if a piece of paper is all that one is, where what they can actually do is ignored unless the certificate proves.

    For example, in one of my crafts, I get asked what qualifications I have got to be able to work at such a level, when I rely none, I am self taught, people lose interest as though it just doesn't compute, similarly for all the things I can do, I cannot find employment because I do not have the certification for being naturally able to do or self taught. In other situations where I do have certification, it has expired so monies are needed in the hundreds and in one case near a thousand to re certify for what I can do without certification. Does anyone see what I am getting at here, certification is a business in itself and only suggests someone has attended something and perhaps passed a related test, not that they are proficient at what they do, and our reliance on levels and certificates could very well be our undoing as I am finding in terms of employment.

    But in western societies we are known for our collections, be that philately, butterflies, whatever, so isn't qualification and level hunting just another form of collecting ?

    Dance classes I have attended, are mixed abilities and with that, I see the point as quite often everyone follows who is in front and with that, we have beginners learning some advanced movement, but wasn't that always the way before some decided to break it all up into levels and teach it as if it were a course of instruction and not teaching us how we can use natural movement and some we didn't know we had to enjoy ourselves with dance, or dance for others.

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