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  1. #11
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    But of teachers can teachers teach all students, or is it there is not a teacher who can teach all students, because everyone learn differently, can a teacher teach all those different ways, including ways as of yet unknown to them?
    Are you saying some of the teachers can teach some of the people some of the time and some of the teachers can teach some of the people none of the time but none of the teachers can teach all of the people all of the time?
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  2. #12
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Lol Shanazel! I also wondered! Though I think there are many things to say as everyone started differently and I feel that every single person who has commented here has said something that one can relate to.

    Personally I never felt ready, but I have sort of fallen into it and have grown to like it more and more. I was dancing for about.... 3 or 4 years when I taught my first lesson. I was a quiet, shy person, my voice was too soft to fill the whole classroom but boy did I LOVE dancing. My teacher and I never thought of me as a teacher, I was becoming a successful dancer, loved the stage and loved performing, preferably for Arab audiences, and we always joked that she would find me another 'job' in her school next to performing as I didn't look and feel at all like I'd ever be teaching.

    Then one day back in 2007 she said: I'll be in Barcelona for a week next month and I REALLY need YOU to sub for me!! I was terrified and co-taught a couple of classes with her, then it was my turn to sub. I did my best to speak louder and spent weeks on preparing explanations and excercises, and eventually I did ok, I think. I had prepared for that one class what could have filled at least a whole term, LOL. But people enjoyed it, I minded their safety and correct posture and hey, nobody quit after I taught, LOL!!

    I continued co-teaching and a few months later filled in double classes for one of her colleagues for 3 weeks in a row as she couldn't do that herself. After summer holidays I stayed on to sub those groups for a year and in that time still co-taught with my own teacher. This period taught me a LOT, as these were rec-center groups with only two levels, and ANYONE could sign up, there was no control over who went where and people with just, say 1 to 3 years of experience were scattered over both beginners and advanced, while beginner also had absolute newbies, and advanced also contained people who had been with that teacher for 5 + years. For me to pull everyone's dance skills up to speed and to provide interesting lessons with such a huge diversity in dance-abilities was the best thing learning school I could have had... that plus hearing that I had to put on a theatre student-show only 2 months before the actual show.....
    Soon I started my own group under my teacher's guidance and have been teaching ever since, as well as teaching specialised subjects such as Saidi, Baladi and musical interpretation, the latter being really my #1 passion and love.

    I was never a born teacher, I'm very visual and can often watch a thing being done and reproduce it, making me unable to exlain why or how or what. It's given me many a hard time devising ways to suit different learning-needs in different students, but as I think Safran mentioned on this thread or the other one, it's that moment a student 'gets' a move, that moment you see a student's eyes glistening with pride as they understand and can apply a musical concept to their dance, that moment I notice I've been able to touch someone with my enthusiasm and love for this dance and music and that they can actually execute properly with care for their safety and individual needs... is what gets me to continue. 'cause that's really what it all boils down to for me: sharing my passion as well and thorough as I can. I teach with truckloads of enthusiasm and love for this dance and the music over anything else, as that is what comes straight from me and it is what has enabled me to develop and research other aspects needed for teaching as well, while also staying 'real' in terms of who I am as a person and dancer.

    I'd say if you somehow feel ready, which I think you do, Duvet, start by co-teaching and start by having an experienced teacher judge your teaching skills for a longer period of time. This will help you decide if you are really ready to start off teaching for real.
    Last edited by Yshka; 05-14-2012 at 02:43 PM.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Great thread!

    The first thing that is important to note is that MANY people start teaching long before they are ready. Some people are never ready to teach, although they are great dancers, simply because they do not have the patience and/or skill required to effectively teach others. Some people have that potential, but begin teaching before they have acquired enough knowledge themselves.

    People start teaching for a variety of reasons. To begin gaining a following... to make a bit of extra money... to gain the authority and title that comes from being a teacher. Some people feel that once they have been dancing a number of years, the natural progression is to start teaching.

    Although some of these reasons have a little bit of merit, they are all bad reasons to start teaching if they are not coupled with ALL those things listed below:

    1. the patience and skill required to teach, which is different from the skills required to dance well
    2. the knowledge of the dance, movement, anatomy, history and culture, music and musicality, which a responsible teacher should pass on
    3. the genuine will to share knowledge
    4. the genuine want to see others learning, growing, and improving.

    A teacher who lacks in any of these characteristics is not up to par, and because there are many teachers like that, our dance and our community suffers. Perhaps you have said "no" because you do not feel that you live up to all these standards yet, whereas other people say "yes" because they live up to these standards OR because although they don't, their standards are much lower.

    I may write a follow-up post explaining how and why I decided to start teaching, but right now I have to go.
    Got a class to teach
    Last edited by Yame; 05-16-2012 at 09:00 PM.

  4. #14
    Member mahsati_janan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    I'm still years away from being ready, but could you provide a link to that article, please?
    Hi! Just saw this I don't have it up online right now, but I'd be happy to email it to you. It basically breaks down the qualifications I consider important and lists things to know about teaching (costs, etc). Where should I send it?

  5. #15
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I'll pm you! ^^ Thank you very much! *hugs!*

  6. #16
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    This has been covered pretty well by everyone in this thread.

    Another thing that motivates people to teach early is the idea that teaching equals respect. Telling the general public "I'm a belly dancer" sounds less respectable than "I'm a belly dance teacher". Strange but true.

    I've seen good and competent dancers teaching others when they should be concentrating on their own careers as professional dancers. There is plenty of time to teach down the road, why rush in to teaching? Just because one is qualified, does not mean it's the right choice now.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahsati_janan View Post
    Teaching is an awesome responsibility, so I didn't take the step lightly or without thought. As a teacher, your dancers are relying on you to teach them safely and to have the knowledge to help them on their dance journey. That is a huge trust that I always keep in mind and strive to meet in each class.
    Totally agree. This is the biggest reason why I've always said no to teaching. Good dancers or enthusiastic dancers do not always make good teachers. I find it hard to believe when I hear some people say they've been dancing for a year or two, and that now they are teaching. Whatever their experience in teaching other subjects, or how brill a dancer they might be, what makes them think bellydancing is so simple to learn? I think it boils down to self confidence - if you think you can teach something when you hardly know it yourself, then good for you - and I do believe that some people learn better themselves during the process of teaching others, and there are the ultra blessed who can do everything they instantly turn their hands to (my old djembe teacher was one of those - pottery, bead work, puppetry, drumming, archery, sailing - anything involving hand to eye co-ordination he could just do it with hardly any training, and better yet, he could work out how to show others).

    So when teaching, is it just the basic moves (in which case any first term student can be a teacher), or is it the whole package of health, choreographies, music, performance technique, knowledge of different dancers and styles, history, culture, etc (which is a lot harder case to judge - which is where personal opinion comes in). I guess I compare myself to the best teachers I've had in all the various subjects I've been taught in, and find myself lacking, but am also aware of those bad teachers I've had and tend to see myself as closer to those.

    But I've said I always say 'no' to teaching. Thats not strictly true - I have taught small informal groups after a performance, and I currently run through some moves with my weekly djembe drumming group (as part of a share co-op; we also do singing, Tai Chi and EFT, depending on whatever you have to share). But when I say 'teaching', I mean the full scale professional advertising, taking regular payment and having a regular class - not just helping a friend get the dynamics of a body roll, or showing a few home ed kids how to hip drop. I guess I already 'teach' bellydance as an informal, fun, social, exercise based hobby. But I have high standards for myself and don't really view myself as a 'teacher'; I would want to provide the ability to teach the whole package as mentioned above (whether or not I ever needed to), before I set myself up or saw myself as a 'teacher'.
    Last edited by Duvet; 05-18-2012 at 01:24 PM.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    Great thread!
    People start teaching for a variety of reasons. To begin gaining a following... to make a bit of extra money... to gain the authority and title that comes from being a teacher. Some people feel that once they have been dancing a number of years, the natural progression is to start teaching.

    Although some of these reasons have a little bit of merit, they are all bad reasons to start teaching if they are not coupled with ALL those things listed below:

    1. the patience and skill required to teach, which is different from the skills required to dance well
    2. the knowledge of the dance, movement, anatomy, history and culture, music and musicality, which a responsible teacher should pass on
    3. the genuine will to share knowledge
    4. the genuine want to see others learning, growing, and improving.

    I may write a follow-up post explaining how and why I decided to start teaching, but right now I have to go.
    Got a class to teach
    Thanks Yame. These are great points, and help gel whats in my own mind. I lack no.2 out of your list, and I see so many teachers who do likewise. But no.2 covers so vast an arena. My interest is when and how does a dancer feel they've got the minimum to start imparting their knowledge and skill as 'teachers'.

    I look forward to hearing how you came to that decision yourself.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Teaching BD, an impression I have gleaned so far, is that some teachers do stay a few steps ahead of the class, but to carry off the impression, one thing I do understand is one has to have bags of self confidence and belief. Often it is such teachers might depend on big advertising, which is not only a business thing, but it helps to create the impression and adds to the confidence.

    As to teaching others anything, my perspective is I will only teach what I am one hundred percent confident with, that is I know my subject inside out and approachable from all directions as the way I learn what I do know very well, is not a popular route. Which with mechanics, craft whatever material thing is rip it apart and see what makes the whole and what makes it work. Which is the same as the way I personally get to grips with the dance movement, sure the teacher shows the movement, but only when I have a correct mental picture of the movement, can I rip the movement apart into it's basic mechanics and build it from there.

    My only personal problem is, is a lack of body awareness, I don't automatically know where something is in space without looking, but then thinking on that, where something is in space is irrelevant without a reference, so one has to look at first, then get used to the feeling of where something looks.

    Is it do we think regards dance teachers, people are more confident these days, and with that to a certain extent; arrogant ?

  10. #20
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    Is it do we think regards dance teachers, people are more confident these days, and with that to a certain extent; arrogant ?
    In my experience I don't think arrogance and confidence are that related. I can be arrogant without being confident, and vice versa.
    But I do think that if I encounter an arrogant person who makes me feel inferior I might project confidence onto them, and if I meet someone confident who I find uncomfortable, arrogance can be a comforting label to attach to them to make me feel better.

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