Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Member AyaKara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New York City!
    Posts
    169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default How Long Did It Take You?

    How long did it take you to reach advanced level of dance & look professional in your movements? How many hours a week of class did you take during these years? How many hours of personal practice? Did you use DVDs or Youtube videos?

    I'm a newbie & I practice daily for 30 minutes to 1 hour with 1 hour of class a week (soon to be 2 hours weekly). I want to get a general idea on how long it took everyone to get to a great level & how much effort they put into it to get there

  2. #2
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kyabram, Vic
    Posts
    4,471
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It varies from person to person and depends on a lot of factors including your teachers, the amount of time you spend studying, how much previous dance experience you have, what kind of previous dance experience you have, how quickly you learn musicality, the style you wish to specialise in, etc.

    If you want to know how long it can take to go from never danced to clean moves, well that can be as little as six months with several hours of daily dance training on top of several weekly classes, several private lessons per month, a quick ear, peak physical conditioning and a natural talent for dance.

    To understand this dance and embody it to perfection, well that takes a lifetime.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    As Darshiva said, there are many variables. In my experience it takes most people 6-18 months before they can perform as a student beginner - in front of an understanding audience. Some people never make it even that far - although it is rare. There is also the rare beginner who can perform in public in a few months - but that would be under controlled conditions (eg they might perform one choreography they have memorised) and they would need to have talent and ability and have worked hard with a good teacher.

    To look "professional" - as a belly dancer - would be years after that (again, if ever). Say, 10 years with things in your favour. However, you can be dancing well before then - but you are unlikely to have all the things you need to know and do in a much shorter period unless you have money and time to spare.

    To speed things up, you need to have a live teacher. Maybe do private lessons. You also need to learn from a range of good teachers - if there is not a big choice in your area travel to workshops. Actually, take as many workshops as you can. Plus study and practice. When practicing do it with awareness. Observe your technique and be aware of your body. But also spend some time dancing.

    Watching performance videos also helps - but not on YouTube. Buy your own copies and watch them over and over. Follow along. It really helps.

  4. #4
    Member AyaKara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New York City!
    Posts
    169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thank you, Darshiva and Kashmir! I appreciate it highly. I do intend on dancing for my lifetime and I know that it is a dance that you never stop learning. I'm prepared for all of what the two of you described. I'm excited to see how things go over the next few months!

    Is it okay if I ask what your two particular journeys up until now were like?

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I've been pretty lucky. As a software engineer I used to travel a lot and could often find great teachers to pick things up from. Occasionally I was also able to tweak my timetable to hit town with a workshop - Minneapolis and Raqia Hassan was the best score - but I one of Sydney's Festivals was another (although these were part of my circuit anyway - but the free airfare and accommodation was a nice bonus).

    My main learning came from the Brisbane 8-day intensive - once a year for 16 years. As the major teachers would rotate there was some familiarity but also different twists (for instance Raqia, Aida and Denise Enan each had a different approach to milaya lef - each valid and building towards my own understanding.)

    However I had a number of problems. I started way too old. I have a number of physical issues that with the correct input early on I could have overcome (which is why I hold a torch for accurate science based assessments not woo-woo). But in the long run that was fine because I could not dedicate my life to dance - my career (and its intellectual challenge) was very important and I really dislike the size of cities needed to support a full time dancer.

    Instead, I teach a little and entertain as a dancer from time to time.

  6. #6
    Member AyaKara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New York City!
    Posts
    169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    I've been pretty lucky. As a software engineer I used to travel a lot and could often find great teachers to pick things up from. Occasionally I was also able to tweak my timetable to hit town with a workshop - Minneapolis and Raqia Hassan was the best score - but I one of Sydney's Festivals was another (although these were part of my circuit anyway - but the free airfare and accommodation was a nice bonus).

    My main learning came from the Brisbane 8-day intensive - once a year for 16 years. As the major teachers would rotate there was some familiarity but also different twists (for instance Raqia, Aida and Denise Enan each had a different approach to milaya lef - each valid and building towards my own understanding.)

    However I had a number of problems. I started way too old. I have a number of physical issues that with the correct input early on I could have overcome (which is why I hold a torch for accurate science based assessments not woo-woo). But in the long run that was fine because I could not dedicate my life to dance - my career (and its intellectual challenge) was very important and I really dislike the size of cities needed to support a full time dancer.

    Instead, I teach a little and entertain as a dancer from time to time.
    WOW I imagine that you must practice on your own if you only attend workshops & the annual intensive class! I'm glad to see that you understand the importance of your career (an intellectual one that you enjoy, no less!) when paired with dance. I imagine that you must be very happy can't wait to see one of your performances Are there any on Youtube?

    On a side note, what's milaya lef?

  7. #7
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,285
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This is such a difficult question, because it varies SO much from individual to individual, it depends on so many things other than x number of hours in class and x number of hours of practice. I've found that it depends a lot on dance background/innate ability, as well as the quality of the person's teacher. It's also difficult to answer because I don't really know what you mean when you say "look professional." What is considered professional or advanced varies from region to region, class to class, so I'm not sure what your expectation is.

    When I was a newbie I used to ask people this very same question and was disheartened by the lack of a straight answer. But once I started dancing, I found that the answer didn't matter. Because I became so focused on the actual process of learning, which is very enjoyable, that the destination didn't really matter as much.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,285
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    With all that being said, I just want to add that (if your profile is correct) you are perfectly positioned for a quick progression. NYC is full of some of the best teachers you can get in the US. You can try and make the most out of that within whatever time and financial constraints you have.

    I often wish I could live in NYC. I see how fast the dedicated dancers my age progress there and it's simply amazing. Try to take classes with Ranya Renee, Jehan, Yousry Sharif, and Mohamed Shahin when he's around. Watch for workshops, especially the ones by master teachers... Nourhan Sharif, Yousry, and others usually bring people in yearly for intensives. Some of these teachers and workshops are more advanced so you might not get to it for a while, but I know Ranya for example seems very good with beginners so that can be a good start if you're not already taking her classes. Mark Balahadia does some really nice Khaleegy and Kawliya classes if you are interested in folkloric later on.

    There are of course dozens of other wonderful teachers you can learn from, I'm just listing off some that I've had personal experience with.

    So you already have the "good teacher" part in your favor. You also have the practice part in your favor since you say you regularly practice. You should go out and watch performances once in a while, and obviously you are well positioned for that as well. So you have a lot going for you.

  9. #9
    Member AyaKara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New York City!
    Posts
    169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    First off, Yame, I'd like to thank you for writing such an in-depth response! I really appreciate it highly everything that you told me is greatly encouraging -- I promise to utilize all of these resources & become the best dancer that I can be for myself & for all of the supportive members (& future friends!) that I'm meeting here at BDforums

    My teacher told me the same thing about workshops -- she's going to tell me whenever there's one around & encouraged me to attend as many as possible. She listed people that I should make it a goal to meet & learn from one day, such as Morocco, Oreet, & a few of the people that you listed! My first workshop is this Saturday

    If you don't mind, how long have you been dancing for & how did you get started?

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AyaKara View Post
    On a side note, what's milaya lef?
    It is a theatrical style created by Reda. It portrays a bint el beled in old Cairo or Alexandria and involves acting and manipulating the large black wrap while dancing. I've more info on my site: Milaya Lef

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •