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  1. #21
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    as far as private lessons/contracts Hanifa..
    how about...
    type up a quick contract, including release from liability, AS WELL as a missed class policy... most dentists/doctors have this right on their appt. card. (something like unless cancelled 24 or more hours in advance, you will be charged for missed appointments)..
    ALSO... start a PAY IN ADVANCE POLICY.... then they WILL call you!
    you can even write in your contract..
    "this is my job, and my time is valuable. If for some reason you have to miss your scheduled class, I need at least a 36 hour notice, in which to fill your time slot with someone from my waiting list. If you give me less than 36 hours, your money will only be refunded if I am able to fill your time slot. thank you for your understanding."
    of course I am always too understanding (the 1st time it happens) if they call the morning of with a sick child, broken car etc.... and I will reschedule them with no extra charge... but no longer in a "prime time" slot!!
    GOOD LUCK!

  2. #22
    Junior Member Hanifa's Avatar
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    Thanks, Ayizade for taking the time to answer all my points one-by-one. I have been told many times that bringing students into 'the home' is a dangerous dynamic at times. My husband mirrored a whole room, so it is a beautiful space for teaching, that would be hard to give up.

    Believe it or not, some teachers have nothing in writing that I have known - it's all by the fly. This is INCLUDING, my teachers! These days, as you say, you can't be careful enough and a paper trail is the best way.

    I have already collected a few student/teacher contracts from different dance studios today, so I'm on the right track. My major mistake is not doing this in the first place, esp. having it in my home.

    My husband is a big toughie - and assuredly, he is home for any new students that come in and keeps an eye out. You don't know these people!

    I just want to do the right thing for THEM ethically, and myself. When you stand there with no student after waiting for eight hours and preparing your studio for a lesson, when you could have a paid student from your waiting list - it doesn't feel very good.

    I don't want to teach groups, because, it is absolutely not my thing. Everybody has an instinct or talent and mine is one-on-one teaching. My students seem to advance well and the personal relationships are rewarding.

    I may have a pre-student interview on the phone "So what do you do" "Are you a student" "What are you looking for in a teacher" - do some fact-finding and then "tool" my availability as to whether that person gives me a bad feeling.

    Thanks again, Ayizade and Belly Dancer for your comments.

    Hanifa

  3. #23
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    hanifa, i think because you do lessons out of your home, you have every right to discriminate against what students you accept and dont. and so developing a sort of "application" process, is probably even okay. as a student, i would understand. i would just make certain if you have a contract, you view it from both sides. for example, include a clause that states that you can refuse anyone's business at any time and that if you so choose this cancellation of classes a full refund for classes paid and not received will be given. do you get the gist of what i'm meaning? there is probably a more professional way for it to be stated. but its a clause that allows you to maintain the most professional and safest environments for you and your family and your other students.

  4. #24
    Junior Member Hanifa's Avatar
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    Default Thank you

    Thank you. I am taking all of your advice and developing a plan.

    It is rather sad that it is so difficult. If you teach out of a local community center or studio outside the home, they are legally responsible for all of this.

    Maybe I can teach privates through a studio, I don't know if they offer this!

    Thanks again, all.

  5. #25
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    Default An Ex-Exotic Dancer's Perspective

    I get very emotional about this topic on both sides. I feel like putting in my 2 cents.

    I was an exotic dancer/stripper whatever you want to call it for 7 years. I have been seriously taking Belly Dance classes for about 8 months and am working towards public performance and joining my teacher's troupe. I am also developing my own class teaching exotic dance and pole dancing to women who are interested. It is totally separate from my belly dancing. I would never dream of mixing them because they are not the same. And I would educate anyone who tries to put them together. That's not to say I will never borrow elements from one to another, but all dances do that. (Suhaila's Belly Dance/Jazz tape comes to mind) The thing is I will never say they are the same. I would never use Belly Dance costume, body posture, energy, choreography, music etc if I ever went back to the clubs. I might do a hip circle a bit differently now. It might be a bit more BD inspired, but then again I've trained my muscles to do that. I would never tell a gentleman in the audience that I also do Belly Dance, he would mentally equate one with the other. Similarly, if I get to the point where I perform BD at an event or restaurant I would never use stripper moves, posture or anything else to get another tip in the basket. I want to be tipped as a Belly Dancer for the skill in my art, not my sexuality. I think you get my point. Performance Exotic Dance has a lot of similar movements, but so do a lot of other dances. In Exotic dance you hold your body differently, you place emphasis on different body parts than in Belly Dance. For example, BD is hips tucked under emphasis on belly, exotic is hips pushed out emphasis on rear and chest. The two dances both celebrate femininity but they are two different sides or energies of that feminine spirit. These are just my personal observations an feelings being someone who has done both dances.

    I took stripping seriously. I performed on stage, I thought about my costumes and music. I made eye contact with the audience. I brought them into my world and took them on a journey. I didn't have to be overly sexual about it because I was truly an entertainer. In my time at the clubs, I worked with very few other women like that. The majority are just average women, college students, single mother's, just trying to get by. Many of them have been abused, have or had addiction problems etc. They are either still stuck in bad habit or are trying to work their way out of them. Financially (if the women actually save their money) stripping is a great way to start to get back on your feet. Unfortunately, because of the way society looks upon the industry the clubs have plenty of corruption and temptation. The girl that was abused, got out of a bad relationship and is now trying to support herself may find the allure of alcohol too appealing (or drugs, but honestly the drugs are kept WAY quiet. I never saw a single drug in my 7 years at different clubs) or may start dating a equally abusive customer. If the industry had regulations and standards a lot of this could be managed if not eliminated. Now these are not ALL the women. A good chunk are just average women who aren't sucked into the negative. And some women are true performers who will embrace any form of dance and artistic expression and honor that art. It's not the club they work at or the fact that they are a stripper, it the woman herself, her background, ideals, morals, etc.

    It's not the fact the person is a lawyer, it's that person's background, ideals, morals, etc.

    It's not the fact the person is a different race..... etc. etc.

    Yes, because the adult entertainment industry is the way it is you might come across a few more bad strippers than good. I'm not making excuses for these women, they've made their choices to be dishonest or to just think about the next dollar in the garter, but the way society views the profession has a lot to do with the women who end up in it. There are plenty of good strippers and ex-strippers. Please be aware of the realities of the profession, don't let your guard down, but don't turn them away initially. Really, don't let your guard down with anyone. Even the a shy housewife could give the art a bad name, or steal from you, or anything else dishonest. If you come across a bad seed then you deal with it but don't label them as bad from the start.

    Get to know your students. Teach your students not only the movements but the history behind the dance. The genuinely good people, no matter where they come from, will honor Belly Dance.

    Sorry for such a long post, but I do get very worked up over these issues. Just as Belly Dancers are working to get rid of the perception of them to be like strippers, plenty of strippers are working to make their art more professional and accepted. I'm trying to honor both sides.

    Thank you for reading.

  6. #26
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    thank you silvrmoon for making your 1st post such an honest, heart felt one!
    good luck in your belly dance!

  7. #27
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    It is nice to hear it from the perspective that you have.

  8. #28
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Welcome Silvrmoon, It was refreshing to read your post and it made a lot od sense too! BTW hope to get to meet you soon since you're from my hometown. Do you take classes with Cassandra Al Warda?
    Yasmine

  9. #29
    Junior Member Zandra&Zindor's Avatar
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    Default Thank you, Silvrmoon.

    Hi, Silvrmoon.

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. I feel like I learned something important from you, today.

    Best wishes.
    Zandra

  10. #30
    Junior Member Zandra&Zindor's Avatar
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    Dear Shanazel,

    I know I tend to be a bit overprotective of my friends. I thank you for your explaination and understanding!

    Zandra



    Don't apologize; perhaps you did misinterpret some responses, but that's okay- you did it with a loving heart . . . .


    What a good friend you are to have taken this subject up, though! I'm sorry if either you or Kelly thought I was passing judgement on her. . . .

    Please realize that when one of us asks a question on this forum, the others answer honestly and sometimes vehemently, but the vehemence is for the subject and not for the person who posed the question.

    Shanazel

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