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Thread: Me, teaching?

  1. #1
    Member Ariella's Avatar
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    Big Grin Me, teaching?

    Hello all,
    I just thought I would announce that I have begun my first venture into teaching. Allow me to explain: It is now winter session where I go to university. Winter session is a time where students return early before spring semester, and take fun classes(glassblowing, magic, truffle tasting, tango, etc.) for a month. A lot of the classes are student taught.

    So, I thought I would teach a bellydance class this year. I've never taught before, so I only took 6 students. I realize that I am not a fully qualified instructor(I've been studying since the early days of high school, but I still don't think that's long enough) and do not mean to undercut all the great local instructors in this area. So in teaching this class, my goals are: I want to make these girls fall in love with bellydancing, go out and take classes locally, and have the motivation to stick with it and practice.

    Class lasts for an hour and a half, is twice a week, and will last for 4 weeks only. I also managed to get a slot in a really nice dance studio on campus with HUGE windows. If I can remember, I'll take pictures and post.

    I've taught two classes so far, and today will be class 3. It's been going really well so far. The girls have been really excited to learn, and pick up what I teach quickly. Since it's so small(only 5 students now since one girl dropped), I can focus in on what they request, and review exactly what they want. I might show them a bit of veil towards the end of the session!
    Last edited by Ariella; 01-15-2007 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Paragraphs are good...

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Ariella, So how does it feel to teach? You sound as if you enoy it, you may just find you have a knack for teaching and can explore other options in the future. Good Luck!
    Yasmine

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    Member Babylonia's Avatar
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    Good for you! I like your attitude about turning them on to bellydance.

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    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Great start Arierlla
    And the way you think of it its the best.
    Go for it, and after many many years you will remember it as the sweetest memorie

    Maria Aya

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    Senior Member Mouse's Avatar
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    Sounds great Ariella!

  6. #6
    Member Ariella's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the support all! So far, I absolutely love teaching. Also, this experience so far makes me truly admire all the seasoned instructors out there. It's a lot of work to come up with coherent lesson plans, think of how to explain things, create a stretch routine to go with the movements, think of how to work up to certain movements, and put things together. It's certainly a lot more physical and mental work than taking a class!

    I would like to ask the opinion of the forum on something new I'm trying:

    At the end of class, I give everyone "free time" where I put on a song, and let everyone dance around on their own. I'm doing this because I think that improvisation is a really hard thing for some people to learn, and I'm trying to get them started early. However, they have had two lessons from me so they're not quite ready to listen to the music and physically express the emotion they feel like in true improvisation.

    Do you guys think this is a good idea to do? Is it a waste of class time? Is it good to open their minds to personal expression early? Should I begin to introduce them to the emotion involved soon, or just continue with unstructured "free time?"

    Again, thank you all very much for the positive support and commentary, this forum is truly a great resource for anyone involved in belly dance!
    Last edited by Ariella; 01-16-2007 at 10:52 PM. Reason: adding more thoughts

  7. #7
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    Hi Ariella,

    these are my thoughts and what I do with students who are brand new to Oriental dance... We start with learning how to just dance to the beat. And when I ask them to do improv that is all they are expected to do. I may ask them to divide the beats and fluxuate back and forth in their improv this way. But dancing to the intricate individual instruments is saved until they can hear it and have a stronger command of movement to do something with it with some level of confidence. I also don't start actively coaching emoting until this point. I don't think improv from the beginning is a waste of time. It's a good idea. But I think it's important to look at your group, evaluate what they are able to do in improv and set attainable goals for the improv of that session. Eventually they are going to grow and be ready to take on more.

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Hi Ariella, congratulations on the teaching!
    I think the way you're trying to give your students a taste of what it's about is an excellent idea. From my student point of view, about free improvisation time; I think it's a great idea if there's time - we don't do much and I miss it!

    But thinking back to to when I was a new beginner and what I'd have found difficult; first, early on you have so few moves to work with, and second, the music can be VERY unfamiliar to start with. OK not such a problem if you are just getting people used to having fun doing a few hip drops etc in time to a piece of accessible ME pop, but add in any expectation of emotional expression as well in the first couple of weeks and - maybe it's just me and my British Reserve, but I'd have found that quite off-putting. It's difficult to remember just how hard those hip drops were, and how strange some of the music sounded.

    For me, learning this dance is a bit like learning a foreign language. I know the language has fluent speakers who can express themselves eloquently with it. But to start off with you learn how to say what your name is, to count to ten and to ask where the Post Office is.

    Happy teaching!
    Last edited by Aniseteph; 01-17-2007 at 12:32 AM. Reason: too many verys

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    Member Babylonia's Avatar
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    I love it when we have free time at the end of class. The teacher says it's important because it helps you to develop your own style as opposed to dancing just like your teacher does.

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Ariella, Since you only have a month to teach, then adding some improv at the end sounds like fun. I agree with the other replies as you don't want to get to heavy into music/rhythm interpretation at this time, but maybe you can play some Modern Arabic pop which is a lot simpler for beginners to dance to.
    Yasmine

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