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  1. #11
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default Straight line? what is this?

    Hello my friends!

    Learning for me has never been linear, in anything i have learned so far.

    The funny thing with dance is that i never had considered a career or going pro in serious, although i have been bellydancing (the traditional way of my homeland) since i remember myself. Then i met my Arab friends in England 12 years ago, where i started to learn from them about music and dance - simple things, i mean the community style of bellydance.

    I would have never started formal classes if a doctor would not say to me, your health is devastated by stress, would you consider to go to an analyst? THen i realised that instead of sessions, i would take over what i had always wanted to do, and that was.... bellydance classes. I chose the best teacher i could find in Greece, Diana Rhea, and that was it.

    I studied with her since 2005 till 2009-2010, which is a bit more than 4 years, plus workshops with many other teachers since 2005 onwards. My other education obligations and also my financial constraints meant that there are times since 2010 where i had no workshops for 8 or 10 months, but i insisted in practicing everyday and learning anything i could from youtube or inventing my own dance projects.

    What was very important to me was to do field research concerning the local types of bellydance in Greece, which proved to be very fruitdful given that there is no such research and many things i see here and there on youtube are anything else but any type of local bellydance style.

    Now, i am preparing for my grad thesis (a thesis required for a 4-year undergraduate programme) in Turkish and Contemporary Asian Studies, which will be in dance. I also try to resume my music studies in Mediterranean music (greek traditional music has no notation, but turkish and arabic has and it is very complicated, as each region has its own maqams) and improve my Mediterranean drums skills.

    Given that i am done with modern Cairo cabaret style in music and dance and i have started considering to stop investing in this style, which is very popular in greece and available too, and collect my scarce money for teachers and workshops that might be more expensive but at least will develop my dance skills in a more global way.

    Oh, by the way, i also work on gypsy-roma style which is excellent, and yes, it is has not been researched in Greece either.

    finally, i also use instructions DVDs, to improve myself and have some access to teaching, whenever i cannot affort workshops.

  2. #12
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Wow, Walladah! Impressive background; great future in store for you, no doubt.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  3. #13
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    And when she says that she's doing research, that doesn't even begin to cover it. Walladah and I were chatting about this during the skype & stitch and it was absolutely fascinating. And by chatting I mean she talked and I uhuh-ed with the occassional question or comment from my own limited background. Walladah's research is amazing and I'm looking forward to the final outcome.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  4. #14
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    As soon as Walladah is publishing her finds, we'll all be referring to her research on greek bellydance and greek-roma dances. Walladah - the great pioneer in academia of this topic. Yay!



    My first bd teacher was half-greek and had been traveling with Greek roma people for some years before she started teaching dance. Another dancer in town also studied greek bd and greek folk dances for a while, but none of them have done academic research on the topic.

    And where am I in my educational dance journey?
    Currently walking down memory lane to the beat of the baladi drums... (or maybe I should say tsiftetelli instead? )
    Last edited by Daimona; 02-17-2014 at 08:26 AM.
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  5. #15
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I was crushed to miss the Skype session but I was a long way from the nearest available internet hook up at the time. Was it wonderful? Who else was there?

    But I digress.

    Again.

    As usual.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  6. #16
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Just the two of us this time. I believe the US was experiencing more white than was strictly necessary at the time.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  7. #17
    Junior Member BattyBaby's Avatar
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    I'm very early in my education; I began taking group classes in Egyptian and Amcab via groupon, to impress my sweetheart at the time, at the age of thirteen. However, ironically I fell in love with raqs and out of love with the girl I took it up for. After about two months I began taking certifications on top of my classes, and after a year and a half, privates on top of those. Eventually I decided that I wanted to spread out a bit and replace my certifications with group classes in Tribal Fusion and privates with whoever wanted to teach me. Now I'm 15 and have been dancing for about two years, much more to learn! It's wonderful, I'm so glad I took up Raqs, it's become my passion and my life.

  8. #18
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default My friends, you cannot imagine...

    ...how bellydance helped me to survive through very difficult situations, how it kept my body healthy and my mind sound to make my other, non-dance-themed research, and at some point, it gave me my only income to get by during hardships.

    Then, i feel bound to bellydance in many ways, and i decided to use my research skills for the benefit of the community of fellow dancers and for the art, as a collective creation, to gain some more info, that is around, but difficult to have in papers, books, or videos.

    So, i will let you know about my paper on greek tsifteteli i prepare for a conference that will be held in Athens next summer, and once my thesis is ready, i will also send it to you [in english of course! ]

    by the way, there is a possibility to have a documentary on gypsy music and dance in Crete and i might be involved as well. If the people who proposed it are serious enough about it, it will be ready in a year from now (and available online, probably).

    THen, i think that every bellydancer is doing research in some way, and it shows at her dance and discussions and in everything. Moreover, this research by doing is transferred to all of us, and this is how i learn and how we learn about our art. THat our western or westernised civilisation does not accept research but only the one written on paper.... well that is the wrong with that. IT is not a mistake of the dance or the dancers.

    PS/Battybaby, oriental dance is a true love itself! you are lucky that you discovered it early! Nice to meet you in the bellydance universe!
    Last edited by walladah; 02-20-2014 at 03:25 PM.

  9. #19
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    Walladah - I think your commitment is amazing! I am really looking forward to reading your research!

  10. #20
    Member Selene's Avatar
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    Reading all your belly dance journeys is amazing! Everyday I think of what I will do next because I've picture myself bellydancing for so long(since I was a kid) but I didnt have many chances for many years. I started learning on youtube because I didnt have another option back then and I even joined two talent shows and danced(I was so sure I knew so much lol I knew merely the basics) and I remember how it makes me feel being on a stage, how it makes me feel to practice everyday, it's such a great feeling!

    I continued researching, and learning, both the dance and the history. I was in love with the music aswell and there are so many beautiful and talented dancers out there that I couldnt help but feel a little bit sad because I couldnt see a way to actually starting to learn for real. Well, last year I found an opportunity to go to a belly dance school and I cant explain how excited and nervous I was. But I was disappointed after the first class, I didn't see the beauty I've seen in this dane for so many years and I didnt feel the teacher took her students seriously, sadly. I only went twice but I didnt waste time and looked for a second option. Found another school and I was amazed by the teacher but for different circumstances I couldnt get into the class. At that point I was a little bit frustrated because my desire to learn is so big but I couldnt find the chance. Finally, a year later after my first class, I found a class and enrolled without thinking twice and I am so happy now!!! I just finished the first period of the class which was just an introduction to all the basics of the dance, not focusing on an specific style (although it's inclined to egyptian, the classic). My journey it's small, for now, but I have no plans on stopping, I can't wait to start the next period next week and I really just want to learn and enjoy it as much as I can. I am not sure where it will lead me, I just want the dance itself to guide me through this journey, after all I'm just 21 and this dance and belly dance community have more to teach me than I can imagine.


    Too cheesy? Lol

    I love this forum btw, but Im usually a ghost Xd just reading and not commenting


    Omg after I posted this I noticed how long it is >< sorry!

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