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  1. #1
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    Sad Problems with teacher, feeling frustrated

    Hi there everyone, I've been a long time visitor of these forums but this is my forst post. I'm feel I've become very stuck in dance life and I could really do with some friendly advice. My apologies for what is likely to be a rather long post!!

    My dance journey started 3 years ago, although I did dabble a little in various other styles before that I didn't get serious until then. I discovered ATS and fell in love. Where I live, in the back of beyond, there is only one ATS teacher of FCBD format and I have been attending her classes for just over 3 years now. I've been in a beginners class that whole time as she does not offer any other levels.

    Lately I've found classes very frustrating, as the classes are drop in every week there are new people and we all go back to basics. Now, I am a firm believer that belly dance is not something that you ever master and that you are constantly learning and growing, however I've been doing the basics for 3 years and I find I learn more in my own at home practice than I do in class. There is also the problem of her not correcting students when they are out of time (which is quite awkward when I'm trying to follow someone!) when they start on the wrong count or just plain do things wrong, and she also teaches some moves wrong. Now, me being a student in her class I would never tell her that she is teaching some things wrong as I wouldn't want to come across as being rude. She's difficult to talk to and often gives the impression she has better things to do, I asked her 3 years ago for a break down of the reverse turn....I'm still waiting for that!!

    We talked a while ago about me co-teaching with her as I really want to move my dance life forward but nothing has happened with that. I eventually want to teach and perform, but right now at this stage in my dance life I just want to work on my technique and get better.

    Do you think it is worth me continuing classes? The classes are the only chance I get to dance in a group but then most times we dont do that as there are new students every week. If not, should I talk to her about my frustrations? I'm considering doing some online lessons as there are no other ATS teachers around, would these be a good idea do you think? I'm just feeling rather lost and I don't really know how to progress from here

    Any advice you can give me would be very much appreciated. Sorry again for the long post and slightly negative post.

  2. #2
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    I can't really give you much advice on this because I've been in the same situation myself & my answer left me ostracised by my local bellydance community which I am getting ready to leave. I wouldn't wish what I've been through on anyone.

    However, I do have something interesting for you to read. It may give you some clarity.

    Is your teacher toxic? - St. Louis Belly Dancing | Examiner.com

  3. #3
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    Hi Darshiva,

    Thank you so much for your reply, and I'm so sorry to hear that you have been through a similar situation and have been ostracised by your local belly dance community.

    That article is actually a great help and it pretty much describes my teacher. I feel as if she is holding me back and it is difficult to know what to do.

  4. #4
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    I'm not going to say whether this class is right for you or not, but for your personal development outside class:


    For developing your group dancing skills:
    If your teacher won't put up a second class (non-drop-in) for more advanced students on her own, could you form a student troupe/advanced group (with or without the cooperation of your teacher) with other more advanced students to improve your group skills (if necessary in addition to following the teacher's basic drop-in class and/or under supervision of your teacher)?
    --
    Daim.

  5. #5
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    Hi Daimona,

    Thanks for that reply,

    I have all the FCBD dvds and I watch them regularly at home, they are great!! I'm looking in to some online classes so hope to start those soon.

    Starting a little student group to practice group dancing is a great idea, however my teacher is quite controlling. There have been instances where I have mentioned to her before a similar idea and she said it wouldn't work cos we are all at different levels and just left it there. I might mention it again but it's got to the stage now where I actually dread saying things to her.

  6. #6
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viola View Post
    Starting a little student group to practice group dancing is a great idea, however my teacher is quite controlling. There have been instances where I have mentioned to her before a similar idea and she said it wouldn't work cos we are all at different levels and just left it there. I might mention it again but it's got to the stage now where I actually dread saying things to her.
    Would she mind some of you going together to practice what you have learnt between classes as well? It won't have to be a big official group, you know. Perhaps just one or two more students in addition to you, and the group is small enough for you to practice in each other living rooms..
    --
    Daim.

  7. #7
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    It's a good idea, I think she wouldn't mind once she understands is just for us to practice. I'll mention to the girls in class and see if they would like to start a practice group.

    Thanks for the suggestion

  8. #8
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    The smaller the group is, the better and easier it is to handle (less organizing and you'll need smaller space to practice on).
    --
    Daim.

  9. #9
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    As been stated already online classes and DVD's might help you. However I something you might want to look into is learning a different form of bellydance as well as what you are taking. I know a lot of people who are ATS dancers but they also learn other forms. Helps to keep the bordom down when there is not enough peoples to dance ATS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
    2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
    3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
    4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners
    .
    ~ Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher ~

  10. #10
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    I have thought of doing another style, I actually used to take tribal fusion before ATS stole my heart but I couldn't afford both classes so had to drop tribal fusion. The tribal fusion teacher I had was amazing, she couldn't have been more passionate or dedicated to her dance style and she was very encouraging. I've been considering going back to her classes for a while so maybe I'll get in touch with her.

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