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  1. #1
    Member ana_bat's Avatar
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    Question Blending various forms of tribal to create your personal vision of ITS, unethical?

    **First, I hope this is posted here appropriately as I my question revolves around an issue of training and learning**

    Lately I've had this issue nagging at the back of my mind and I would greatly appreciate some perspective as I don't have many people I can ask about this in real life.

    Recently I left a tribal group where I was a serious student and troupe member for some years. I've now decided to seriously study and pursue forms of non-FCBD tribal and belly dance in general. Personally I find it hard and limiting to pick one teacher and their style and commit to teaching it/ performing it strictly.

    I've thought about learning from my two favorite dancers who offer their various levels of certification and teacher training and combining what aspects I like from each, respectfully, and perhaps add some of my own movements down the line. I wouldn't go around saying "oh I made all of this up, this is purely my creation," but rather cite my sources and give credit where credit is due. My former teacher who I have immense respect for and brought this up to, said this sounded like it could be unethical. She told me that what I have envisioned would be rude unless I asked for permission specifically from the teachers who I receive certification from.

    The last thing I want to do is come across as rude or disrespectful, but I was under the impression that tribal has a history of blending and changing. If I'm not mistaken I've seen plenty of ITS troupes who blend what they like and many are wonderful at what they do, and they don't necessarily identify as being strictly ATS/gypsy caravan/blacksheep belly dance. I'm curious if my wish to study and blend two forms of tribal together and keep the things I like is unethical or odd. It just seems strange to me as in my other non-tribal belly dance classes I've never heard of this sort of thing before. I appreciate your opinion and perspective as I sure could use it!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    As a teacher I expect my students to take what they learn from me and apply it to their dancing lives. How they apply what they learn is up to them. Unless you are adapting large portions of specific choreography or teaching plans I don't see how combining the sum total of your learning into a tribal style dance that pleases you is unethical.
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  3. #3
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    You're going about it the right way sweetie. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't got their heads screwed on right. But you know something? I can think of one big name off the top of my head who started out that way & her journey ended with her creating her own style - Kajira! You're in good company there!

    Go ahead with your concept, remembering to stick to your intention to always give credit where it's due.
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  4. #4
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    I cannot see how it is unethical - unless you use the certifications which you have received as part of your publicity. As you will not be teaching X's style it would be unethical to advertise as X certified. As always truth in advertising. You may even want to drop the "Tribal" label - and almost definitely anything that suggests "belly dance" - but I cannot see why you cannot teach your own created dance style as just that.

  5. #5
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    ITA with dropping potentially problematic labels like tribal and belly dance if you're going off piste.

    I don't particularly see the problem using the certification in your advertising as long as it's clear that those are part of your dance biography rather than what you are performing now. If you were using ballet or ballroom techniques as part of a fusion style it would be entirely appropriate to mention any qualifications.

    I can understand why teachers of a very specific structured style want control over that - maybe it's like a copyright thing. But once you've taught it to people its out there and IMO you have to let the content go. No one signed the official secrets act or swore an oath never to reveal the secrets of the tribal sisterhood, did they? It's like teaching a choreography and then expecting students not to go out there and change it, miss their point or muck it up completely. It is going to happen, deep breath, get over it and try to take it as a compliment to your inspirational teaching.

  6. #6
    Member ana_bat's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your responses and great insight!

    I want to go out and learn with the two dancers I admire and I see putting on my website or dance resume what certifications I have done and completed, and explaining that they have helped me create my style of ITS, but the majority of what is performed comes from someone else. I just feel like it's important to study with them as opposed to just learning from their dvds and leaving it at that. I've thought about how taking other people's stretching and warm up routine is wrong, and I still have yet to think about how I would structure my own stretching and warm up, but I'm sure that it will come with time.


  7. #7
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ana_bat View Post
    I've thought about how taking other people's stretching and warm up routine is wrong, and I still have yet to think about how I would structure my own stretching and warm up, but I'm sure that it will come with time.
    I'd say it is often wrong because many teachers have really bad warm-ups. For instance STRETCHING IS NOT A WARM-UP. Stretching is needed for some of the more extreme fusion styles - but is not needed for regular belly dance. When it is needed, it is needed because the dancer needs to improve her range of motion and it should be tailored to her needs. Everyone is different. Everyone therefore needs a slightly different program with different stretches. These need to target a single muscle group and be done on a warm body - ie after 10-15 minutes of cardio work.

    However, every class should have a warm-up and cool-down which slowly raises the temperature, heart rate and blood pressure then brings it down again. Neither of these need to include stretches.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Every artist learns from their teacher and then goes on to create their own art. Why would any teacher expect you to be a clone? You purchased their teaching, but now YOU put in the work and make it YOURS. Acknowledge their teaching, because you owe them that respect, but you are not owned by them or their school. Go be wonderful.

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