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Thread: Once again...

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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Default Once again...

    ... my classes slide into existence despite being two people short of the minimum number required to hold class. The rec center has let us slide under the wire more than once just because my core students are so faithful. We lost one dancer this semester because her mother is losing her sight; she'll need to spend a lot of time in Denver this spring during surgeries and doctor appointments. One can't sign up until she gets her paycheck for January.

    Central Wyoming is in a low ebb of belly dance popularity. I don't think the other Casper teacher has had enough students for a class in a year or more. Things are better up on the Montana border but those gals do tribal fusion fantasy which is (forgive me tribal fusion fantasy fans) not the same thing at all.

    I've seen three big waves in BD popularity over the last thirty five years with corresponding troughs and an occasional smaller wave of enthusiasm. Hoping for the fourth wave to come soon but the economy has not been great in this area.

    Anyone else notice this phenomenon or is it just happening in our tiny population with the competition of the latest exercise craze like zumba, etc.?

    Guess I'd better go did out my stuff; class starts in an hour and a half.

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    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    I've seen it happening around here as well, a few years ago there were at least 5 or 6 different teachers plus several community centres were holding classes ( I taught at one centre) but over the last 2 years there is now only a couple of teachers & can't think one of one community centre holding classes ( classical BD) - there is a tribal class at one centre. One of my instructors use to have 4 classes, now only has 1 & the other instructor had classes 6 days a week, 2 on some some days, now only has 4 classes, 2 classes are the long term students ( including me) the other 2 are new students or students who have had 2 to 4 terms of classes. So classes have decreased overall quite dramatically around where I live.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Well, that's depressing but comforting at the same time, if ya know what I mean (it's not just me scaring the natives).

    I also offered a class in Mediterranean folk dances; didn't expect it to fill and it didn't. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The classic dances aren't doing any better except at the little kid level. Clogging is down to a single class and the only other adult class that had enough people was western swing.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Here too. Initially I thought it was due to lots of new teachers popping up but it would appear everyone's numbers are low.

    There's a number of factors apart from fashion - the recession is still biting which in Christchurch is made worse by layoffs and housing problems due to the quakes - then there is the appaling state of the roads and people's exhaustion. But also it's plain old numbers. Most people only want to try belly dance for a term or a year. When you realize the thousands that have tried it since 1990 it doesn't leave a big pool to fish in.

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    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Here in central Montana things aren't any better. I'm wondering if I've tapped out the market here. The economy is down and folks are more interested in fantasy dance styles and world tribal fusion. ATS classes are doing okay, but there is almost no interest in traditional belly dance left. I don't know how much longer I can keep holding on to my classes. I'm doing a big advertising push for my next beginner session, keeping my fingers crossed. I have a lot to offer and not enough students interested in really learning. I have a fabulous handful of ladies, but when one or two people miss class, I lose money. I'm not in this to get rich, defiantly dedicated to the art and teaching it, but I don't want to teach for less than nothing either and that is exactly what is beginning to happen. I might have to think of another plan. Maybe traveling around the state and teaching might be a better venue. Maybe I should just take a couple of years off of teaching until the economy bounces back and interest is back up.

    There is a big haflah in Missoula, about an hour and a half from me, and I have no desire to go because there will be such a slim chance of seeing straight belly dance and that's what my primary interest is. Feels like a waste to travel and spend money for a show and see nothing that speaks to me. I've performed enough that I don't feel a driving need to be dancing in every show/event that comes along. Being an audience member is fine, I just want to see some belly dance in a belly dance show.

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    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    ... my classes slide into existence despite being two people short of the minimum number required to hold class. The rec center has let us slide under the wire more than once just because my core students are so faithful. We lost one dancer this semester because her mother is losing her sight; she'll need to spend a lot of time in Denver this spring during surgeries and doctor appointments. One can't sign up until she gets her paycheck for January.

    Central Wyoming is in a low ebb of belly dance popularity. I don't think the other Casper teacher has had enough students for a class in a year or more. Things are better up on the Montana border but those gals do tribal fusion fantasy which is (forgive me tribal fusion fantasy fans) not the same thing at all.

    I've seen three big waves in BD popularity over the last thirty five years with corresponding troughs and an occasional smaller wave of enthusiasm. Hoping for the fourth wave to come soon but the economy has not been great in this area.

    Anyone else notice this phenomenon or is it just happening in our tiny population with the competition of the latest exercise craze like zumba, etc.?

    Guess I'd better go did out my stuff; class starts in an hour and a half.
    I hit Like because you're able to have classes.

    I've missed two months' worth of classes because of illness, stress, and financial problems, all work-related.

    Oh, coincidentally, out of curiosity, I did a web search of bellydance teachers in my state that advertise teaching Egyptian. I found ONE...she's listed in Tulsa (I think it's the Desert Wind studio, and I think the company's name is Queens Of Chaos?). But I guess as elsewhere, Zumba and some form of Tribal are popular here. Either that, or fantasy, or some weird Far East fusions (yeah), or pole dancing or burlesque. As far as I know, no one in my metro area teaches traditional Egyptian.
    Last edited by Farasha Hanem; 01-24-2013 at 04:18 AM.

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    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Here too. Except that we don't have the tribal/fusion craze in my town (the only ones doing anything close to that would be my little group, and we're focusing more on theatrical bd than tribal/fusion in itself) and nearly everyone dances some sort of Egyptian style (late 1990/early 2000 Cairo style and newer).

    The biggest bd studio in the region just had to cut down on teaching as well (and is now only offering classes twice a week prior to 3 days a week one year ago, at least they are still able to keep 5 levels) and the smaller studios also have less activities.
    --
    Daim.

  8. #8
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    So basically we have a world-wide belly dance recession. That's depressing.

    Most people only want to try belly dance for a term or a year.
    You got a point there! Ten years ago those folks were coming out of the woodwork and I had a waiting list. A couple of years later they were mostly on to the next fad in exercise. I hate to think of the number of students I lost to Zumba.

  9. #9
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Sad

    "Zumba," baaaaaaah!!!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Zumba is pretty big here too, there are 3 gyms really close to me running classes & from all accounts they are quite full.

    We lost one of our troupe in 2010 ( she passed away last August) then at the end of last year another member and a very close friend of mine, stopped because her husband was sent overseas by his company for the next 3 to 4 years, she left to join him earlier this month, so our class/troupe is down to 5 regulars & it looks like 1 of our regulars may not be dancing as much this year due to work commitments. We do have one lady who comes & goes, she doesn't dance with us in any formal sense though. She just likes to come to class when she can. Our instructor will keep our class going though, because we are a dedicated bunch - thank goodness, I'd be totally lost if I didn't have that class. Love the dance to much also my dance colleagues & instructor.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


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