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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Dear Zandra&Zindor, I didn't perceive that Kelly in any particular way and responded to her posts because she wanted to know if this situation makes us feel uncomfortable. My answer was along the lines that it didn't bother me. Obviously, there was some concern on her part or she would not have asked the question. So I think you misinterpreted the responses. To answer your question regarding a stripper using moves I taught . Again it really doesn't bother me if he/she wanted to augment his/her repertoire and once again the dancer would have to be very creative to shed a BD costume while dancing or swinging from a pole. How would anyone knew what she did was BD? And how would anyone know that I was a teacher?
    Yasmine

  2. #12
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    I understand her concerns and would probably have them too if I was a teacher (I think I'd be uncomfortable is there was a fellow student)but because I'm not a teacher that's why I didn't orginally respond. There are so many dancers trying to break the sterotype to turn around and teach someone that could possibly help perpetuate it. And I hope no one thinks I am saying they should be treated differently because I'm not.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Zandra and Kelly,
    We're not bashing you, please don't think that. You asked if we had a problem with it -- with having those two "images" clashing, and it looks like most of us don't. I can see how you might be concerned about it, but unless I seriously misjudge your community (which I might be doing) then I don't see it being a problem for you.

    Zandra, you wrote:
    "If a stripper took the stage using belly dance moves that you taught that person and attire that mimicked your profession, would that make you feel the least bit uncomfortable?"

    I've heard of strippers dressing up like "harem girls" or "genies" but I've neevr heard of one wearing a REAL belly dance costume. Our professional attire isn't harem pants, a face veil, and a fez -- despite that trend in the 1970s.

    And as far as the "moves" -- we have to remember that a so-called horizontal hip figure 8 does not BELONG to bellydance. The same hip movements are used in dances all over the world. We do hip work in eastern European folk dance, pelvic work in w. African dance, and look at all the hip work in the Latin dances! And just from a brief documentary on burlesque in this country (US), I dare say they were bumping and grinding quite a while before the bellydance craze set in.

    (That's kind of funny to think about -- maybe we stole THEIR moves!)


    You also wrote:
    "What if you discovered that a stripper went to a bachelor party in belly dance attire, used your moves, then took her costume off as part of the entertainment? Would that create any discomfort at all for you? "

    If it's a question of one of my students using my choreography without my permission, then that's another issue. But movement in itself can't be owned, by any person or any culture.


    Actually, this is a really interesting topic because I've been approached by a place to teach a "Belly Dance for Romance" class (it was supposed to happen in time for Valentine's Day, but I didn't have my life in order at that time.) The place in question is an "adult exotic store" and carries lingerie plus "adult entertainment" in the form of books, magazines, and DVDs. (No live shows.)

    So what would you all do -- would you teach there, given that it's an obviously ADULT venue?

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Tarik Sultan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post

    Actually, this is a really interesting topic because I've been approached by a place to teach a "Belly Dance for Romance" class (it was supposed to happen in time for Valentine's Day, but I didn't have my life in order at that time.) The place in question is an "adult exotic store" and carries lingerie plus "adult entertainment" in the form of books, magazines, and DVDs. (No live shows.)

    So what would you all do -- would you teach there, given that it's an obviously ADULT venue?
    I wouldn't do it because this goes right up the ally of what we are trying to get people to understand we are not. Whast they are looking for is something erotic, althought in this case its being geared towards couples in the bedroom, rather than a room full of guys.

  5. #15
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    Shortly after I started learning bellydance we got at least one student in the class who worked at a gentleman's club. She made it clear she was not there to learn moves just to add to her repetoire for dancing at the club. She was there to learn to bellydance. She also stated that she would be doing some bellydancing at the club but would not do it on stage, only on the floor as if it were a restaurant, she planned to stay clothed and not let it become in anyway "stripperish". I heard she did a really nice job of the dancing. I think if someone who is a stripper does come to your class, let them learn and they might fall in love with the dance form as many of us have.

  6. #16
    Junior Member Hanifa's Avatar
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    Wink Studio Rules and Exotic Performers as Students- HELP!

    I came on here looking to ask about studio rules and having exotic performers (strippers, and even pornographic models) as students.

    My question to this forum is two fold, I will start with this:

    #1 Studio Rules?

    I have a small home studio on the east coast. Only private lessons. I have NOT posted studio rules or have a student contract to sign (may be "my bad"). Do the teachers on this forum site do that? And if so, would you kindly advise me as to what is a proper expectation for any number of what I call "no-call/no-shows"?

    Should a student be allowed one "no show--no call" (I mean if they call to explain after 24 to 48 hours after the lesson?) To be honest, barring any serious emergency, I am cancelling the class because of that, as one of my rules. I have a student waiting list, where I can get paid for my time.

    If my policy is too harsh - what are some advised rules for "no-call no-show" and asking for payment for missed lessons? How many missed appointments -whether you get 24 hours notice or not -- are acceptable before you tell the student to "join another class" ;-)

    #2 Exotic/Pornographic models as students?

    One student I had recently was a "fetish model" for men's porno magazines. She told me this in the first five minutes. I am an open-minded person, and a kind person, and she was very young and I thought maybe this would help her in a new direction (I know, naive). I don't want to judge. She missed her third lesson and did not contact me for 48 hours - I told her by voice mail she needed to pay for the missed lesson and that maybe she should find another class. When she finally contacted me she said since she was "beat up" at a session (good lord) that I have no understanding or caring as a teacher. I said, well now that you told me this -- because I, of course, had no foreknowledge, I am concerned about your welfare - and of course I will give you your lesson money back, and you are welcome to come back to class. She said that I conduct "bizarre business practices" and many other choice words. Should I wait until I hear from these people, no matter how long, before demanding payment and cancelling class? I hold these spots for them, where other students coudl be paying me!

    You see that this person could have been a danger, even to me, because of the element she could have brought around me and my students, that's another aspect.

    Another student, who was a stripper, stole four videos out of my house. I finally got three back from her (dropping them off in my mailbox, without admitting she stole them). I have no other problems accept with people in this industry.

    So - you can't tell a person, obviously, "I won't give you lessons because of your lifestyle!"...These are very dramatic examples, I'm sure.

    I have other little college students, with parents who are excited they are belly dancing for fun, who might meet these gals at an event, and they might feel it's inappropriate for me to have them as students and I will lose them. I have only private students. So back to this - how to apply this all to Studio Rules and Student Intake? I appreciate any and all advice.

    Signed,

    Desperate Hanifa
    Last edited by Hanifa; 02-16-2007 at 08:18 PM.

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    [Actually, this is a really interesting topic because I've been approached by a place to teach a "Belly Dance for Romance" class (it was supposed to happen in time for Valentine's Day, but I didn't have my life in order at that time.) The place in question is an "adult exotic store" and carries lingerie plus "adult entertainment" in the form of books, magazines, and DVDs. (No live shows.)

    So what would you all do -- would you teach there, given that it's an obviously ADULT venue?[/QUOTE]
    No I wouldn't teach at such an event for the same reason I wouldn't perform at a bachelor party. As Tarik mentioned that's not an image I want to portray to the public.
    Yasmine

  8. #18
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I'm not PLANNING on teaching at the porn store, but I wondered what other people thought.

    (I did kick around the idea for a while, until I went into the place and saw the penis wall -- shelves from floor to ceiling containing multi-colored body-part-shaped "adult novelties." I thought it would be a little distracting ...)

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanifa View Post
    I have a small home studio on the east coast. Only private lessons. I have NOT posted studio rules or have a student contract to sign (may be "my bad").
    Yep, bad. Have a contract. Have it ALL in writing. People are used to it nowadays. I had to sign pages of documents just to go skiing. It's crazy, but it's modern America.

    (You also couldn't pay me enough to teach out of my home. Although I have a small "studio" in my house, my homeowners insurance was going to skyrocket if I taught dance or exercises there, and I really don't want people THAT into my personal business. But that's just me.)


    Should a student be allowed one "no show--no call" (I mean if they call to explain after 24 to 48 hours after the lesson?) To be honest, barring any serious emergency, I am cancelling the class because of that, as one of my rules. I have a student waiting list, where I can get paid for my time.
    We don't teach privates, so I don't have any applicable info, but I TAKE privates from a lady in Louisville (two hours from me) and if I cancel on the day of our privates, I still pay her. I'd feel guilty otherwise.

    A friend of mine makes her living by teaching clarinet and saxophone lessons from her home. She says 24 hours notice is required or you still have to pay for the time slot.


    How many missed appointments -whether you get 24 hours notice or not -- are acceptable before you tell the student to "join another class" ;-) .
    Um, I have no tolerance for that, so I would think one missed appointment might be forgiveable, especially if they call in advance. But two, or missing appointments and not calling for 2 days or so? I'd let this one go. She's obviously not in a position to take her private lessons seriously.


    She missed her third lesson and did not contact me for 48 hours - I told her by voice mail she needed to pay for the missed lesson and that maybe she should find another class. When she finally contacted me she said since she was "beat up" at a session (good lord) that I have no understanding or caring as a teacher. I said, well now that you told me this -- because I, of course, had no foreknowledge, I am concerned about your welfare - and of course I will give you your lesson money back, and you are welcome to come back to class. She said that I conduct "bizarre business practices" and many other choice words.
    You showed tolerance and understanding. Maybe that is a bizarre business practice, but it's the right thing to do, as a human being.

    But it seems like this one is not the best candidate for a private lesson. Some people you just CAN'T help.


    Should I wait until I hear from these people, no matter how long, before demanding payment and cancelling class? I hold these spots for them, where other students coudl be paying me!
    What does your doctor or dentist do for missed/cancelled appointments? What's his/her policy? You're a professional -- take a cue from professionals in other fields.


    You see that this person could have been a danger, even to me, because of the element she could have brought around me and my students, that's another aspect.Another student, who was a stripper, stole four videos out of my house. I finally got three back from her (dropping them off in my mailbox, without admitting she stole them). I have no other problems accept with people in this industry.
    Is screening potential students wrong? I think if I were going to give private lessons in my home, I would want to be able to meet the person who was going to be in my living room once a week. I don't know if that's weird or bad business, but sometimes you just get a bad "vibe" off of people, and it's best to listen to your inner voice on situations like that.

    I seriously think your situation is different than most studios, BECAUSE you teach in your home, and BECAUSE it's a one-on-one relationship. The one-on-one thing creates a different dynamic between you and your student. You HAVE to be able to trust him/her.

    I know a ballroom teacher here in town who screens his potential students. (I think he's afraid of a wacko accusing him of inappropriate behavior, and I can't say I blame him.)


    So - you can't tell a person, obviously, "I won't give you lessons because of your lifestyle!".
    Maybe not, but you CAN tell her "I don't think I'm the right teacher for you." My clarinet-teacher friend does that periodically -- when she sees that she's going to have trouble with the parents of a potential student.


    I have other little college students, with parents who are excited they are belly dancing for fun, who might meet these gals at an event, and they might feel it's inappropriate for me to have them as students and I will lose them.
    That's a tough one. I have no comments, but I'm curious as to what the others think.

  10. #20
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    as far as strippers for students... I have had several "x" strippers reach "student performance" level, & they have always been (some of) my best dancers!!!.... AND NEVER SLEAZY....
    in fact once when watching a bunch of students performing a while ago... another "student performer" was performing... shall we say in such a way that we hope NEVER happens in public (Kaya w/out the skill level!)....
    (& I to be truthful... I was thinking... thank god that is not MY student!!!!)
    and I overheard another student say to "stripper student" (nobody in class knew she used to be a stripper!) "wow... she dances like she wants to be a stripper".... & "stripper student" replied... "no... she dances like she WANTS to be a stripper" a REAL stripper would never dance like that outside of work"
    which (so far) I have found to be true... so I wouldn't worry about your stripper students embarrassing or discrediting you!...after all, they are professional dancers! but some of the girls grinding it in the nightclubs...... they are more scary (one month of lessons, 3 cocktails.... LOOK... I'm a bellydancer!!!)
    also, if your town is that conservative, who is going to admit they saw your student/ your moves in a strip joint... (what were THEY doing there ?)

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