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  1. #31
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasmine Bint Al Nubia View Post
    ...my guess is that students believe that bellydance is 'fun' and easy and it will 'whittle their waistline without really exercising'.
    People believe the silliest things...

  2. #32
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    I started dancing because a local dance teacher I knew asked me to. I already had seen several dancers and actually thought it looked cool but I'd never be able to do that. I had no further understanding of MED whatsoever. Along the dancing road somewhere I started to get addicted to both the dance, the music and be obsessively interested in the cultural context that comes with the dance. Others just liked to dance like shakira or came into class because they wanted to have fun and excercise once a week. My experience in class is that everyone is taught the same things, and are free to learn or not. Slower students are encouraged to go ahead and learn at their own pace, made to feel confident and proud of their own level of achievement, whatever that might be, without any pressure they have to be professionals or a feeling they are not 'dancer material'. Everyone seems happy this way. Cultural information usually is perceived as a fun thing, some students might be genuinely interested and will absorb everything they get, others still think it's fun to know some dance history and info about their hobby they take classes in once a week. The atmosphere in class is friendly, and people feel they are learning together to become as good as they can. If people have fun and feel that they too can learn, that's fantastic.

    I wonder how Barbara's students feel in class. Does she act superior as well there? And how would they feel if they read that article... Would anyone return to a teacher that has such disrespect of the "non-dancers" ?

    My teacher's danceschool states (shortly summarized) bellydance "CAN BE PRACTISED/DONE by everyone/people of all shapes and sized", which I think is quite true, without directly saying it IS for everyone, but still is free for everyone to try.

    Personally I agree bellydancing at a professional level is not for everyone. Everyone is allowed to try though, and as long as they like it, they should be taught in the best way possible. IMO a teacher should teach because of her love for the dance and out of wanting to share her knowledge with others, but not out of this ideal of only having dancers-to-be in her class that will all become pro's and will boost her ego some more. If that is the point, why teach?

    Students, I agree, take classes for all different reasons, but as they've all chosen bellydance as the thing they want to learn, for whatever reason it may be, they should be taught bellydance and all that belongs with it (cultural context, feeling and spirit, isolations and drills, all of it) no exceptions made. If someone is slower in catching up, or should for some reason feel bellydance is not for them, they are free to and those slower than others must still be welcome in class going at their own pace, those feeling bellydance is not for them will quit anyway. If they don't want to become pro's or even perform at student hafla's, they should still have the right to choose not to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel
    "Belly dance is for everyone" is just a catchy slogan used as advertising and I don't believe it any more than I believe using a particular dishwashing liquid will make people mistake my hands for those of my thirteen year old daughter.
    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha
    Secondly, why would belly dance be for everyone any more than is ballet, or painting, or any other art form. There are those who will be good at it and those who will not. Why is that difficult to accept? Would we expect everyone to be a Rembrandt or a Baryshnikov?? Why would we expect everyone, then, to be able to belly dance? This attitude has never made any sense to me.
    True. IMO "bellydance as a dance taught in class CAN BE for everyone", (if one's physical abilities/other factors in one's life permit it ofcourse, like Yasmine's example, there are exceptions), and it simply can because it doesn't come with obligations to do something you don't want to do and learn what is right for YOU at YOUR pace and level.
    If Barbara feels she doesn't like teaching people that only come for fun, excercise and have no aspirations to someday become professional bellydancers, then why doesn't she put on her painfully-pink website she will only teach people that are to become professionals? Who is she kidding?.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon
    If you sign up for, let's say, soccer classes, you can also expect to learn the rules
    of the game besides running around and kicking the ball.
    I think students who come more "for fun" won't mind hearing some indepth information.
    If they are not really interested, they'll forget it. Or maybe they will become interested!
    Teacher's I think (mostly) teach out of love for the dance, and they should therefor pass on their knowledge in a way that is right for them and any student, for everyone to learn, and yes, some might get addicted as well and gain a deeper understanding of the dance, some might even want to become dancers someday, but if not, both should be treated with the same care and respect, should be taught the same things. It's wonderful if they are interested. If not, they'll deal with the info their own way, or might become interested over time. Nevertheless being free to try it on is the key.

    I hope this still makes sense, I'm too tired to read it all over. This thread has given me a lot to think about. I love this forum!!
    Last edited by Yshka; 01-28-2007 at 11:00 PM.

  3. #33
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    oops, long post, sorry

  4. #34
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    Anybody can try it, of course, but it's apparent that some people have no sense of rhythm whatsoever, can't tell the difference between rhythm and melody or can't even distinguish between different instruments - these are fundamental failings that mean they'll never be able to dance properly!

    They have all the necessary body parts but without the ability to connect ears, brain and body you have no chance.

  5. #35
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yshka View Post
    oops, long post, sorry
    Sometimes you just gotta post....

  6. #36
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Well said Suheir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph
    Sometimes you just gotta post....
    I guess so

  7. #37
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Actually Suheir I think learning how to dance and how to listen to the music might help "rhythm deaf" student too. I've a quite good sense of rhythm myself and I admit sometimes I find it very hard to understand why some people just don't hear it. But I've had music lessons for 10 years or so. I think students with little or no sense of rhythm can still try to learn and I think even their little sense or rhythm can improve. Though they probably will never become professional dancers, calling them "fundamental failings" sounds way too harsh IMO.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Actually Suheir I think learning how to dance and how to listen to the music might help "rhythm deaf" student too. I've a quite good sense of rhythm myself and I admit sometimes I find it very hard to understand why some people just don't hear it. But I've had music lessons for 10 years or so. I think students with little or no sense of rhythm can still try to learn and I think even their little sense or rhythm can improve. Though they probably will never become professional dancers, calling them "fundamental failings" sounds way too harsh IMO.
    I say that because I've been in classes with people who've been dancing for 5/6 years and *still* can't hear rhythms, it's astonishing!

  9. #39
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    I can understand how you feel. I have some fellow students who really don't hear it and told me a few months ago they were going pro, now how's that? The last time we had to clap our hands together with the 9/8 rhythm the teacher was very satisfied when they did it right only one time, otherwise we would probably still be standing there. However at least they had it one time! See, maybe they will improve, though be it slowly.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    I See, maybe they will improve, though be it slowly.
    I like your positive attitude!

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