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  1. #1
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    Default Best way to prepare for a workshop?

    Hi All,
    I am enrolled in "Camparet" - with Aziza, Bahaia, Conchi, Michelle Joyce, Ruby and Zafirah this upcoming October. I have everyone's DVD's and I take classes locally, but does any one else have any tips on preparing for a workshop such as this? I would consider myself an "intermediate beginner" and I am really concerned about my ability to keep up. I know it will be a fabulous learning experience, but it appears as if most of the workshop attendees are quite a bit more advanced than I would consider myself and I am getting just a bit freaked out Any tips or advise would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Calm down, don't stand in the front row, keep smiling, do your best, and enjoy yourself. You'll be just fine.
    "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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    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    There will be tons of other dancers there and no one will be paying attention to you unless you do something outrageous to draw attention to yourself. If you think you can not keep up, stand in the back row somewhere where you can still see the teacher but where most people won't be able to see you.

    Make sure to eat well and bring snacks to munch on during breaks, and plenty of water. Bring dance footwear. Wear a quiet hip scarf, and bring a notepad and pen in case you *really* can't keep up, so you can sit out and take notes instead.

    Otherwise, you should be fine. Everyone is there to learn... some people will things up easily, but others will have difficulty. Try not to be in anyone's way and don't beat yourself up for making mistakes.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Make sure your fitness is up to it - start a while before - but do not start anything that will alter your body - such as a serious new stretch regime - within a few weeks before.

    Before you get there scope out where the workshops will be, accommodation and meals etc. Make sure you have all the travel worked out way before and plan to get there in plenty of time. (Last year I turned up at an intensive just as it was starting to save a night's accommodation and felt like I was running to catch up for the whole of the first day)

    Take water, high protein bars (you need to eat about 40g of protein within 30 minutes if you will be dancing the next day), dance shoes, (small, transparent) veil, zills, (any other props mentioned in the program), pen & a small notebook, video camera (in case you are allowed to video - ask the tutor, organizer and other participants first - before you do any filming).

    Do not take a noisy or shedding hip scarf. Some tutors will actually ban them - others will just glare and you'll be marked as an ignorant newbie by many experienced students.

    Once there, rotate. Don't hog the front row. Just concentrate on your own learning. If need be do ask questions of the tutor (but make sure they haven't already been asked and answered - or are at a level below that of the workshop - like how to do a hip, drop, release (seen it!) - unless there is something very different about this tutor's version.)

    In the breaks - revise. Be ready to go again when the class resumes.

    Don't worry if there seems too much to take in. If it all seems obvious it wasn't worth going to the workshop. One solid tip or thing to work on is well worth the money - and next year when you do it again you can add another couple of points.

    Have fun - but don't party so hard at night you aren't at your best the next day or you wipe the day's work in an alcoholic haze.
    Last edited by Kashmir; 06-27-2011 at 01:15 AM. Reason: sp

  5. #5
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Don't worry if there seems too much to take in. If it all seems obvious it wasn't worth going to the workshop. One solid tip or thing to work on is well worth the money - and next year when you do it again you can add another couple of points.
    This is the most important thing, I think. If you could remember every single thing then you wouldn't need to attend the camp. Don't beat yourself up if you don't learn all the combinations the first time they're shown. Some things will come easily and others you'll really have to think about. It's easy to psych yourself out, but don't be tempted! Don't compare yourself to the others; just concentrate on the class and learn what you can.

    The physical conditioning tips you've already received are spot on. You'll need protein and water throughout the day, and start working now to increase your stamina (if you need to).

    I live in St. Louis, too, and will be going down there to vend. PMing you so as not to bore the others.

  6. #6
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    The only thing I would add to Kashmir's exhaustive list is to take a pen & notepad & write things down that seem important to you. Getting into the habit of note-taking at a workshop takes a lot of practice but even the most seemingly inconsequential of notes can hep jog your memory and the mere act of writing things down can make it easier to remember them.
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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    You'll be fine. I know a lot of people who are going, and some are fairly beginner. Just be open to learning new things, and be accepting when you hear something that conflicts with what you've already learned. The more ways you know how to do something, the better a dancer you'll be.

    Camp is super LOW PRESSURE and very fun. The focus is on fun, but the attendance is limited so you have the opportunity for individual attention.

    My advice is to do all the camp activities and hang out with the instructors in the after-hours. You learn a ton just by listening to people joke around at the campfire.

    And seriously, do not worry. There will be all ranges of people there. You probably will NOT be the least experienced. But you will walk out of there a heck of a lot MORE experienced!

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    Don't expect to get everything or the workshop would not be a challenge; in fact, you would be bored. Even if some of them are too advanced for you, you will get some things out of it that you never knew before. In fact, I've taken workshops that were too advanced for me and they actually pushed me out of my comfort zone, making me realize that I also had more in me than I thought.

  9. #9
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Great advice, and I've had the same experience from workshops. Gotten a couple of dirty looks from people who knew I was in way over my head in a 'what the hell are you doing here?' kind of way but it was worth it because it pushed me so hard, made me realise what the flaws in my dancing were (not having anyone around to give me feedback, this is hard to know!) and the improvements I made within weeks of the workshop were enormous.

    Of course, I thanked the instructor for her feedback & for coming down so hard on me. When she saw me coming she looked like she thought I was about to yell at her for being so hard on me, or start crying & accuse her of being mean or something, but it was worth letting her know how much it meant to me that she had given me the feedback I craved.

    OP, your miles may vary with workshops, but there is always something valuable to be learned from them, even if it is 'don't ever work with this person again!'.
    Last edited by Darshiva; 06-29-2011 at 10:31 PM. Reason: Typo
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  10. #10
    Junior Member Maysoon's Avatar
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    And most of all, have fun!!!!

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