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  1. #1
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Default Short rant followed by sensible question

    An acquaintance (Let's call her LaLa) recently asked my husband if I teach private lessons since she has a new friend who is interested. He said I did and told LaLa to give her friend my contact information so the friend could call me. A little while ago, LaLa called, asked me the same question, asked me prices, told me about how this person is fun and all sorts of stuff, and basically took ten minutes to do so. I said, give her my contact information so she and I can talk about it. And by the way, says LaLa, she's blind and she doesn't speak English. BUT she has great rhythm and learned to samba and participates in the drum group. LaLa also said she'd talk to the woman (let's call her Isabel) and get more information for me. No, says Shanazel patiently, she needs to call me because if we can't manage enough Spanish and English between the two of us to talk about lessons we sure the heck aren't going to get anywhere in a class. LaLa doesn't speak any Spanish at all by the way so one assumes she converses with Isabel in English.

    ANYWAY...

    I'm always up for a challenge but I want to check with my wonderful sister and brother dancers out there and see if anyone has taught blind students before. If you have, I'd welcome input. Thank you!
    Shanazel
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  2. #2
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if my former teacher currently has a blind student, but it seems like I read on Facebook last year that she had a new student join her class, and that she was blind. If you'd like, I can ask and put you in contact with her if she has experience with blind students.

  3. #3
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Thank you. Tips would be welcome though it is the double whammy of see no/speak no that really has me thinking. We'll see what we'll see. So to speak and no pun intended.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  4. #4
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    My main teacher used to teach a group of visually-impaired people and she said that it really makes you analyze the dance verbally - you will need to talk a lot. But this can be a bit difficult in your situation, if you guys don't really have a common language... Anyways, I hope it works out well for you!

  5. #5
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    Mahin taught a blind student in the first workshop I took with her. She may have some advice.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    We've had two classes now and are having an absolute blast. Her English is as poor as my Spanish but we are both improving. With lots of giggling and hands-on demonstration and her previous salsa experience, we're also making dance progress. I've got to call LaLa and tell her it was a great idea. It would be an impossible task if Isa was shy or lacking in self confidence, but she just leaps right in and goes for it with everything she's got.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
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    This sounds amazing! I'd love to hear more about how you teach without sight or a language in common!

  8. #8
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    "Que esta la palabra en Español para..." (and touch item in question) gets used a lot as does ,"Que dice..."

    I also physically position and move her around and let her feel how I'm standing and which parts of me are moving. It helps that she was at least partially sighted until four years ago and that she learned to salsa prior to starting belly dance.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 04-13-2015 at 01:12 AM.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  9. #9
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    It depends on exactly how blind she is. When people say blind most automatically assume that they can't see anything at all aka just total darkness. However people can be legally blind but still see some vision as in shadows, make out faces/bodies, and light changes. For example, my friend is legally blind, if you ask him he says he is blind. However he does not need a cane because he still has 40% vision capabilities in one eye. He can 'see' just not a well as most people do. He goes to dance shows, uses computers, etc. You need to ask this lady what her degree of vision blindness she has. That will help you figure out what to do.

    Edit post: Didn't see you last one. Good to hear that she is having a great time with you.
    Last edited by ~Diana~; 04-14-2015 at 06:35 PM.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    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 ~

  10. #10
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Just now seeing this. She is completely blind- not even the strongest light gets through. I taught her a drop kick yesterday and that was a challenge but she got it by the end of the lesson. It has been interesting to teach a single student instead of a class; can't recall the last time I had a private student for an extended period. Isa is a remarkable person all the way around.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

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