Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    143
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Certification question: Suhaila vs Jamila

    I'm planning out my next pursuits and I'm considering a Bellydance certification.

    Would anyone mind explaining to me please the difference between Suhaila's certification and Jamila's? Looks like I can get either through the same place but I wasn't getting what the differences between the two were - I'm assuming its style? Details please!

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cornfields of Evansville Indiana.
    Posts
    2,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    FIRST -- are you prepared to fly out to California at least once every two years for a weeklong workshop? (Or sometimes New Jersey and sometimes Austin, TX) ?

    If you're not, then I don't recommend pursuing either of these. You can do the first level at a variety of different locations, but levels 2 and up are held in California, with few exceptions. Jamila's is almost always held in CA. Check the "workshops requiring certification" page for a better idea on when and where you can take those.

    Suhaila's certification is based on her theory and format. While you DO learn some Jamila format in it (a lot, actually) the focus is not on that. Jamila's certification is on her steps and choreographies, and Suhaila has remodeled that format to fit HER format, so you spend a lot of time working on Suhaila format, in the context of those steps.

    Honestly, I think they're essentially the same, although the focus on Jamila's is more about learning steps. And in order to maintain a high level in Jamila format, you have to stay level 2 certified in Suhaila's format -- so to get a Jamila certification, you basically have to start with Suhaila's.

    In my honest opinion, I think it's kind of a ripoff to separate the two so much. Jamila "format" has been taught by dozens of great instructors (I recommend Aida Al Adawi) without the addition of the Suhaila format stuff. Jamila's technique can completely stand on its own, but Suhaila's technique is just mechanics, and needs the framework of Jamila's movement vocabulary to be "dance" as we know it.

    Keep in mind these certifications have no meaning in the "real world" and are REALLY only valid and valuable inside the individual programs themselves. In general, the belly dance world doesn't hold certifications in high regard, despite these programs' marketing efforts


    May I ask why you've decided on doing a certification? And what does that mean to you? What do hope to get out of it?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    143
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hm, well there goes that. It would be way too expensive to have to fly out to California or Texas. NJ I could probably drive to, but even then it would be crazy expensive.

    I know that they're 'worthless' certifications.

    I think I would like the structured education that a certification program would bring me. I think it would be challenging, help me set goals and help me achieve them. I have extremely limited live dance options and I don't know that if I were able to find other classes that a dance teacher would be as challenging as a certification course. If I want to open up more dance options for myself, it means an hour's drive minimum each way, which means about $20-30 in gas on top of the class fee. I am okay with doing that for a special event, but no way could I afford to do that weekly (I drive a huge, gas guzzling truck.) In short, I tend to do better with structured programs, and the 'certification' part would just be for me. I wouldn't expect to be able to make money off of it.

  4. #4
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    In the heartland of the USA
    Posts
    4,790
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Have you thought about online classes to further your education?

  5. #5
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kyabram, Vic
    Posts
    4,471
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Those aren't your only options for continuing study via certification. One example that springs immediately to mind is Keti Sharif, but if you're looking for some focus with homework and regular interaction without leaving your home, you need to get into Ranya Renee's baladi program. She does an online study group that will give you the regular homework you're craving and not require travel.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cornfields of Evansville Indiana.
    Posts
    2,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DancingArabian View Post
    I think I would like the structured education that a certification program would bring me. I think it would be challenging, help me set goals and help me achieve them.
    Well, here's the thing -- if you're okay with working on your own, within someone else's structure, and you don't care if you get the piece of paper, you can totally do Suhaila's certification syllabus/coursework without committing to the whole program.

    If you take the level one workshop, you have access to the level 2 and 3 classes and choreographies that you test with. You can download the level 3 homework assignments from the website, and do those on your own. You can learn everything in those level one classes, "test" yourself, and then graduate to the level 2 classes and choreos. Etc. If you're really into what you get from the online classes, you can take and pass a L2 workshop and then have access to the L4 choreos. The program is pretty self-sufficient really. You have everything in the online format to teach yourself. And if you're not "married" to the format, you can just use what you like and incorporate it into your existing dancing.

    I have extremely limited live dance options and I don't know that if I were able to find other classes that a dance teacher would be as challenging as a certification course.
    Certification doesn't have to equal challenging. It really depends upon your existing knowledge base, and if you're trying to really master a certain style. I thought I was the cat's meow on technique, but now working with a teacher who is hard core Egyptian style, I'm having to pretty much start all over with the basics as they are done in that particular style. But to "advance" in this program is really to get the basic technical stuff internalized in my body (of course) but then to work on emotional development, improvisation, expression, etc. THAT conceptual stuff is the challenging part -- the part that will take me years to work on.

    Suhaila's classes are hard because her format is so batshit-crazy-different from every other bellydance style on the planet, and she sometimes creates very illogical movement/down beat/footwork combinations that nobody would EVER actually use in normal life, but you have to master it because it's one possible option for movement (even if the movement LOGIC is completely implausible.) Do you HAVE to master playing every cymbal pattern with your Left hand dominant? Do you have to be able to do every variation of chest articulation over every variation of hip articulation, and all double time? Do you actually anticipate DOING that, ever? That's what her formal program is about.

    Other certification courses test your general knowledge, and I think Keti's is probably the best long-distance option. It's structured well, she focuses on technique but not a SPECIFIC technique, and the course requirements are spelled out in detail. It won't actually TEACH you technique though -- or teach you musicality. I don't think a distance education course can really do that.

    The problem we have with certification in our dance is that we don't have a defined syllabus like Ballet does, so it's really difficult to say "this is what you should master by this level, and here's the material for the next level," etc. We don't have rigid boundaries around our "levels." Mona Said only uses a half a dozen movements, and her technique is straightforward, but her musicality and stage presence are subjects worth studying for decades. Suhaila created a very rigid hierarchy of what you learn at what level, and her musical theory is very straight-forward (although I have strong issues with it, and think musicality and emotional expression can't be "expressed" like a math problem.) So you have two extremes. But most dance teachers fall somewhere in the middle.


    If I want to open up more dance options for myself, it means an hour's drive minimum each way, which means about $20-30 in gas on top of the class fee. I am okay with doing that for a special event, but no way could I afford to do that weekly (I drive a huge, gas guzzling truck.) In short, I tend to do better with structured programs, and the 'certification' part would just be for me. I wouldn't expect to be able to make money off of it.
    "Certification" of any sort is a HUGE money-maker for the teacher, so it's going to be expensive. Even Keti's is relatively expensive, although it's probably the cheapest option if you break it all down. Ansuya offers a certification that amounts to about $1200. Suhaila's is ridiculously expensive to achieve and maintain. I'm not sure how much Raqia Hassan's is, but you'd have to fly to Egypt for that one. Jasmin Jahal's is not bad, but you have to take it in Chiacgo. Piper does hers live in Baltimore (I think.) Veda Sereem will do hers by video, and it's $500, plus the cost of the videos.

    I think what you're looking for is just a STRUCTURED program that you can work through. Unfortunately I can't recommend any (except Keti's) because most of the ones I've seen advertised are just videos based around certain arbitrary skill levels. And I'm not saying ANYTHING about your ability, but most dancers seem to think "oh I've already got the basics and I can do all the moves" and so they want to skip ahead to "hard moves" or layers or "advanced" choreography, which really isn't what "advanced" dancing is about -- BUT I understand the desire to work up through the ranks.

    Honestly, I'd recommend getting a private teacher. Even if it's just monthly classes. Skype classes are also an option. A teacher who offers private coaching will be able to develop a syllabus for you based on what you can already do, and what skills you lack or haven't fully developed. Find dancers who dance in a style you want to emulate and see who their teachers are, or who coaches them. If you tell your coach "I work better with structure," they should be able to set you up with a lesson plan to work on at home.

  7. #7
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    1,603
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I looked into that but I didn't have the money or time to fly in at least once a year to do in person workshops, 2 I didn't have the money to fly and take classes from one of her certified intructors around teh world, 3. I don't have the time or money to keep taking the required amoutn of classes for each level to achieve it. 4. I HATE certificaiton that would become invalid and void if you didn't meet the required number of class points each year.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    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 ~

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
  •