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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    Jehan teaches at Belly Dance America which is only a couple of blocks away from Penn Station, so no subway required. I love that because for me to get to the city is already almost a 2 hour train ride, so adding travel time within the city can make it an even longer trip...

    She is a really genius teacher and performer. Ridiculously powerful and engaging and a very sweet lady to boot. She is known for her crazy fusion stuff but she is actually VERY rooted in traditional styles, and the dancers she has trained who are now professionals are simply amazing.
    Hi Yame,

    Thank you so much for your help. I actually take the Metro North trains from Grand Central Station and it's 35 minutes on the express train and the I have a 10 minute drive to my house. So, I agree with you about not adding the extra train commute.

    If the classes are in Penn station the that's transferring to 1 train and 1 stop.
    Do you know of any instructors near Grand Central Station?

    I am quite impressed with all of your experience. Are you a professional dancer or instructor yourself? Have you trained with Jehan or any of the instructors?

    The more info that I get from this web site the more motivated I get to start dancing.

    And I saw your photo. You look stunning!!! I need to post my picture too but don't know how.

    Talk to you soon

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olgs34 View Post
    Hi Yame,

    Thank you so much for your help. I actually take the Metro North trains from Grand Central Station and it's 35 minutes on the express train and the I have a 10 minute drive to my house. So, I agree with you about not adding the extra train commute.

    If the classes are in Penn station the that's transferring to 1 train and 1 stop.
    Do you know of any instructors near Grand Central Station?

    I am quite impressed with all of your experience. Are you a professional dancer or instructor yourself? Have you trained with Jehan or any of the instructors?

    The more info that I get from this web site the more motivated I get to start dancing.

    And I saw your photo. You look stunning!!! I need to post my picture too but don't know how.

    Talk to you soon
    I'm not sure about classes near Grand Central, since I never really go that way... but NY is such a huge place and there are dozens and dozens of top-notch dancers and teachers over there. Check out the links I posted and see if any of those teachers teaches somewhere that would be convenient for you. If not, then try to find out about other NY teachers... I can't even scratch the surface with my recommendations, because there are so many great dancers in the city that I just personally haven't experienced... I am hoping someone on this board actually is FROM the city and can give you a better breakdown.

    I have taken workshops with Samara and Shoshanna, a private with Ranya Renee and workshops and a few Saturday classes with Jehan. This is why I recommended them and added links to their websites, because I can say from personal experience they are all great instructors. However my experience with all of them has not been extensive, as I do not live in the city and can't go there weekly for regular classes with those teachers. I also have to say, I have not experienced any of these teachers as a beginner... I had been dancing for a few years before taking their classes/workshops, so I don't know how they are in terms of breaking down movement for beginners specifically. So your mileage may vary. But these were the NY teachers I was most impressed with based on my experience, however small, of studying with them and watching them perform. They are all great performers, too.

    I consider myself semi-professional based on the fact that I take professional gigs and teach, however I do not do it often enough, and don't really market myself, to be able to say I'm a full-out professional. I am still very much focused on my own dance education and on improving my dancing above getting a piece of the pie in this competitive market. With that said, I am more than qualified enough to perform professionally and teach, based on my area's standards, so despite the fact that I don't market myself I have been given numerous opportunities by my peers. So short answer is; it's complicated... I'd rather keep learning and dancing than focus much on the labels

    And thank you for the compliments. Best of luck in finding a teacher you like!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    I'm not sure about classes near Grand Central, since I never really go that way... but NY is such a huge place and there are dozens and dozens of top-notch dancers and teachers over there. Check out the links I posted and see if any of those teachers teaches somewhere that would be convenient for you. If not, then try to find out about other NY teachers... I can't even scratch the surface with my recommendations, because there are so many great dancers in the city that I just personally haven't experienced... I am hoping someone on this board actually is FROM the city and can give you a better breakdown.

    I have taken workshops with Samara and Shoshanna, a private with Ranya Renee and workshops and a few Saturday classes with Jehan. This is why I recommended them and added links to their websites, because I can say from personal experience they are all great instructors. However my experience with all of them has not been extensive, as I do not live in the city and can't go there weekly for regular classes with those teachers. I also have to say, I have not experienced any of these teachers as a beginner... I had been dancing for a few years before taking their classes/workshops, so I don't know how they are in terms of breaking down movement for beginners specifically. So your mileage may vary. But these were the NY teachers I was most impressed with based on my experience, however small, of studying with them and watching them perform. They are all great performers, too.

    I consider myself semi-professional based on the fact that I take professional gigs and teach, however I do not do it often enough, and don't really market myself, to be able to say I'm a full-out professional. I am still very much focused on my own dance education and on improving my dancing above getting a piece of the pie in this competitive market. With that said, I am more than qualified enough to perform professionally and teach, based on my area's standards, so despite the fact that I don't market myself I have been given numerous opportunities by my peers. So short answer is; it's complicated... I'd rather keep learning and dancing than focus much on the labels

    And thank you for the compliments. Best of luck in finding a teacher you like!
    I will start out with Jehan and see how that goes. In your opinion, as a beginner how many times a week should I start with? I was thinking two times a week.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olgs34 View Post
    I will start out with Jehan and see how that goes. In your opinion, as a beginner how many times a week should I start with? I was thinking two times a week.
    It depends on your personal availability and what is available to you. My general advice would be "as many as possible!" (allowing of course for at least one or two rest days), but we all know we are limited by things such as time and money and even how many classes a teacher offers. So realistically speaking, you may only be able to take classes once or twice a week, and that's fine too as long as you practice regularly on your own.

    When I was starting out, I couldn't find classes so I just started with DVDs. When I finally did find classes, I was constantly on hiatus for a variety of reasons, including the fact that after a session ended it would take my teacher months to get enough students for another session. So for my first one or two years of dance I was constantly on breaks from classes, during which I relied very heavily on DVDs and my own discipline to practice. So even once-a-week classes would have been an improvement for me when I was starting out, nevermind twice a week... that for me would have been unheard of! But being closer to the city, there are many more resources available.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    It depends on your personal availability and what is available to you. My general advice would be "as many as possible!" (allowing of course for at least one or two rest days), but we all know we are limited by things such as time and money and even how many classes a teacher offers. So realistically speaking, you may only be able to take classes once or twice a week, and that's fine too as long as you practice regularly on your own.

    When I was starting out, I couldn't find classes so I just started with DVDs. When I finally did find classes, I was constantly on hiatus for a variety of reasons, including the fact that after a session ended it would take my teacher months to get enough students for another session. So for my first one or two years of dance I was constantly on breaks from classes, during which I relied very heavily on DVDs and my own discipline to practice. So even once-a-week classes would have been an improvement for me when I was starting out, nevermind twice a week... that for me would have been unheard of! But being closer to the city, there are many more resources available.
    That's a great idea also. I could practice with DVD's! Can you share with me, which ones are the most helpful for beginners?

  6. #16
    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    jenna is very good. belly dance basics and beyone, heart beat of bellydance, the next step, I've heard neon is good.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Sirčne's Avatar
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    If I may throw out a few thoughts here ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Olgs34 View Post
    If the classes are in Penn station the that's transferring to 1 train and 1 stop.
    Do you know of any instructors near Grand Central Station?
    I believe Solstice Studio is the closest to Grand Central Station, however I would anticipate it's strictly ATS/fusion instruction. Bellydance America is only a few blocks farther.

    If you're coming from Grand Central Station I would skip the subway ride and just walk. It's 20 minutes on foot, tops. That may not sound quick, but you can spend $2.25 and up waiting longer for a train which will not leave you at your exact destination. Walking is the fastest way to get around NYC even with holiday tourists and protesters thick on the ground — as I learned yesterday .

    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    With that said, I am more than qualified enough to perform professionally and teach, based on my area's standards
    She's an absolutely wonderful teacher, one of the best kept secrets in the area IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    When I finally did find classes, I was constantly on hiatus for a variety of reasons, including the fact that after a session ended it would take my teacher months to get enough students for another session.
    Sad but true. I've tried to register for an advanced beginner class three times already, and had all three sessions cancelled right before the start date. One of the (few) downsides to no longer living in NYC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olgs34 View Post
    That's a great idea also. I could practice with DVD's! Can you share with me, which ones are the most helpful for beginners?
    For precise movement breakdowns Autumn Ward's Bellydance: Beautiful Technique from Step One and the first two volumes of Belly by Sandra are very good. For dancing along, WDNY's Luscious is a nice starting point. Jillina's Shape Up 'n Hip Out also gets lots of positive feedback, but I don't own it yet.

  8. #18
    Junior Member AutumnWard's Avatar
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    Hello dancers! I'm the Autumn Ward mentioned (as a DVD instructor) in the above post. Apologies for barging in with self-promotion, but I want to let NYC dancers know that, after a bit of a hiatus, I'll be returning to teaching regular weekly classes in January of 2012. Details here: autumnward.com/class.php

  9. #19
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Hi, Autumn. Welcome!

    Wow, imagine having a choice of classes, a choice of teachers, a choice of studios... the Wyoming mind boggles.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  10. #20
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    <--- Succumbs to fandom for one minute and squees in excitement.

    Ok, I'm better now.

    Hi Autumn. Everyone I know who has studied your DVD etc speaks very highly of your teaching. I'm not a mod but I see no problem with self-promotion in a thread where someone is looking for an instructor. I wish you the best of luck in returning to weekly classes and am just slightly envious of those living in the area.

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