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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    For the sake of it, no. But apart from acknowledging them it serves a couple of other important purposes. All my major post-beginner teachers were Egyptian. This means what I teach is heavily Egyptian influenced - so I won't be your first choice for a Turkish or ATS class! Second, when I say XYZ about ghawazee you can guess that I'm not talking from one two hour workshop I did - even if it was with a solid, reputable teacher - I'm integrating maybe 30 hours instruction from a range of different teachers with first hand experience plus my own study. For this reason, I keep a list of all my major teachers in my CV. It isn't just the latest that counts but the integration of knowledge which comes from comparing different sources.

  2. #12
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    I only care that a teacher is a good teacher, not where they exactly learned this or that. I think name dropping is often used as boasting, who knows if they really had classes with those people, no one is going to check that and many teachers wouldn't even remember all their students.

  3. #13
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    As a student I find the names on dancer biographies not so impressive. If someone was your long term teacher or you've had extensive private lessons with them, OK that is useful and gives me an idea of your style, and I like that you credit your mentors/teachers. But the great long lists of workshops... yeah whatever, I could write one of those too. Though if I was teaching I'd probably do the same just to not look like a slacker.

    There's ways of doing it in class - using a Name to label a step or credit someone is great; implying that Randa taught it to you personally whereas actually you were one of the masses in a mega workshop looks a bit desperate. Maybe it impresses students who are keen enough to know who Famous Dancer is, but not so keen that they know what the typical Famous Dancer workshop is like.

    Teachers publically slagging off another dancer's technique naming names is uncool IMO. Dancer X's chest drops may indeed be appalling and it may be worth pointing it out to your students that you don't want to see them done that particular way, but you don't have to bring names into it.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    As a teacher, I do specify who I learned a move from if it's closely associated with that dancer. For example, if it's a signature move, or if it's an integral part of that person's technique. This could also apply to having seen that person do a particular move on video, even if I never met the person or studied with him/her. I think it's important to expose my students to the names of the famous dancers whose styles I have studied, regardless of whether I learned about the style via video, via workshop, via long-term study face to face, or via private lessons.

    I wouldn't bother to identify the source of a generic move such as hip drop. I only identify those moves that are closely associated with a particular dancer.

    I also think it's important to give students a foundation of understanding that different dance styles interpret the same move in different ways. For example, with step-hips (the move Jamila Salimpour dubbed "basic Egyptian"), I'll teach different ways to use the arms, referring to one as "Mahmoud Reda arms", another as "Naima Akef arms", and a third as "ATS arms". Not every student will remember every one of these dancers' names or which arm movement goes with each name, but if I consistently repeat these names whenever I use the moves in choreography notes or drill them in class, over time, some of that information will eventually sink in, and later when the student hears one of those names in another context it will ring a bell.

    I feel that teaching my students about legendary dancers such as Mahmoud Reda is an important aspect of teaching dance.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    I agree the movements created by the greats are worthy of recognition and I know certain movements are named after them, I have no issue with this, but of those that teach others, they are dance teachers and so someone has taught them, but are the styles the same, I think not, because all of us interpret what we learn differently as we are all physically and mentally different. All of us because of our bodily differences create our own styles and so dance movement evolves.

    But name dropping in class scenarios to me does not come across in a positive light, and so far, of those that have attempted to teach me this dance, none have name dropped past teachers, yet they have done their best to teach me what I should know and my thanks to them for doing so, one day I will get it right.

  6. #16
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    I drop names when teaching a class. I drop names of instructors I've taken privates with, of instructors I've taken workshops from, of dancers I've seen live and of dancers I've seen on youtube. I just like to slip a name/explanation/theoery/anecdote etc. into the class so the students can get an idea that there is a lot more behind the dance than just the movement/combo we are working on.

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safran View Post
    I drop names when teaching a class. I drop names of instructors I've taken privates with, of instructors I've taken workshops from, of dancers I've seen live and of dancers I've seen on youtube. I just like to slip a name/explanation/theoery/anecdote etc. into the class so the students can get an idea that there is a lot more behind the dance than just the movement/combo we are working on.
    Yup... and why should that be a problem? Okay, there are people out there who toot their own horn by dropping names and implying they have studied extensively with people who don't even known their names, and their dancing doesn't speak for itself.

    OTOH there are people who toot their own horn by omitting all the names of the people with whom they have studied extensively and by whom they have been inspired as if to imply they did it all on their own and required no help. How is that any better?

    Which one is worse? Personally, I prefer the teacher who does not omit this sort of information. Big egos exist everywhere and come in many different forms, but who has the bigger ego, the person that acknowledges their influences or the one who omits them to have all the spotlight?

    We don't learn belly dance in a vaccuum, out of context. It's absolutely relevant to mention influential dancers and your teachers, mentors, and your inspirations even if they haven't even met you. Just like it's relevant to mention cultural background, history, etc. Next, someone will say mentioning history is bad because people who mention it in class are just trying to be know-it-alls...

  8. #18
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    I'd like to amend my initial response...after a recent class, I'm more than certain that my instructor drops one name in particular because she just absolutely LOVES this dancer, and takes classes/workshops with her as often as is humanly possible for her. In a way, it's definitely name dropping, but it is as much joyful excitement, which I can respect.

  9. #19
    Member mahsati_janan's Avatar
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    I mention a lot of other dancers in my classes: people I have studied with, people who are famous for specific moves, people who are famous in certain styles, and people I think my students should know about. I do hope that it doesn't come off as name-dropping, but I am not going to stop doing it. These are dancers that I feel my students should know, should attend workshops with, and should look at when they are searching for more information on styles and movements. Part of my job as a teacher is to share the information that makes them aware that they are part of the larger dance community and that includes prominent and recommended dancer names. I would consider myself remiss in my duties as a teacher if my students weren't provided information about other dancers, their specialties, and history in addition to their movement, cultural, and musicality lessons.

  10. #20
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    That's something altogether different, that's sharing information. I wish my first teacher would have done that, I thought for a long time she was the only teacher in Amsterdam and when I left I found out the city had at least 7 teachers (probably more, but there was no internet so we didn't know) It makes such a difference to be able to take classes form multiple teachers.

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