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  1. #1
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Default Where have you been and where do you want to go?

    Dance-wise, that is. Share your trials, triumphs, and aspirations here.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  2. #2
    Member BigJim's Avatar
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    Great topic....it ties into my mindset at the moment.

    Where have I been...In the basement practicing for many years with the occasional foray into the mainstream bellydance world.

    Achievements....I did my first solo in front of a large crowd many years ago...once that is over the rest is cake.
    I taught myself to play the zils with some degree of competency.... I have been accepted into the local scene as someone who is serious .

    Where am I going... I was just at a great workshop and as it was ending the instructor really opened my eyes with a private comment..She said I was a real showman...a good entertainer. ..probably one of the best comments I have ever had.... But also a comment that may give a different message....I am maybe an performer that uses bellydance as my medium versus someone who is a pure dancer at heart,who can express the music from their soul and then shares this with an audience....

    It got me thinking about my place in the bellydance universe...Maybe it is to show people that even though a person is big...older than Shanazel...and a male it is okay to get up and dance....To entertain people and make them smile.
    To be a role model maybe.....

    All great questions that maybe I will never really figure out but regardless I will keep at it because it is so much fun....Jim

  3. #3
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
    Where am I going... I was just at a great workshop and as it was ending the instructor really opened my eyes with a private comment..She said I was a real showman...a good entertainer. ..probably one of the best comments I have ever had.... But also a comment that may give a different message....I am maybe an performer that uses bellydance as my medium versus someone who is a pure dancer at heart,who can express the music from their soul and then shares this with an audience....
    I just realised that about myself you know - that I'm an entertainer rather than an artiste. I'm skilled, don't get me wrong, but it's far more important for me to make my audience enjoy themselves than it is for me to have a flawless performance. Or rather, the audience enjoying what I'm doing IS a flawless performance as far as I'm concerned!

    I've also come to the late conclusion that one does not need to be an exceptional dancer to be a good dance teacher, rather one needs to be an exceptional teacher. Once again, I'm not suggesting that technique should fall by the wayside, but I consider it a grand achievement for a student to surpass me in ability.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
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    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  4. #4
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Someone is older than Shanazel? Wow. THAT"S old.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  5. #5
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    I just recently came to an awkward phase which has forced me to reevaluate everything. My main teacher has stopped teaching classes on the night I've been going to for years and is combining it with another night. It was her only advanced class so it kinda left me hanging. She's doing workshops so I'll keep up with those. (My teacher stopped teaching those nights for an awesome reason - she's getting her phd I think in some amazing science field and I'm ridiculously proud of her because she's awesome).

    I started (yesterday) taking classes from my dance "grandmother" so to speak. This woman has either taught or taught the teacher of nearly every dancer in the area. She was also in the troupe for nearly 30ish years that I am currently in. Her class is definitely geared towards the beginner, but I feel like it will help me significantly in many areas. First, it's a different look at the dance than what I've been getting (even though her influence is strong in my area). Second, it's a great way to go back to the basics and hopefully get better at zills. She's also letting me take over her winter classes (she goes south every winter). These classes will also help me with my own classes. Plus she's just amazing so it's great to be around her. She's got such elegance that I aspire towards.

    I feel that I need more focus in the class I teach. I have a month to get that down. I'm taking a much needed hiatus this month. The classes that I'm currently taking will hopefully help me focus.

    Over the past year, there have been some great things in my dance life. In April, my troupe celebrated it's 40th anniversary. It was incredible to be dancing with women who the troupe. I'm still in awe over that (it gets me teary-eyed). We had recorded music for the first half and then a live band for the 2nd half. We worked with the band for months so that we could have choreographies to the music that we helped arrange. I did my first drum solo to a live drummer and it was so amazing. She's an incredible drummer. I attached a photo from the event with all of the previous members who could make it. There were more women who were not able to attend. The woman in the far left corner not looking at the camera is the founding member and the woman in the red hipscarf up front was there with her. The woman on her knees in the blue coin hipscarf is the woman I'm taking classes from now. We gave the alums these adorable crowns as gifts. Those 2 ladies not wearing them had performed that night so they weren't wearing theirs.

    Tomorrow, I'll be dancing with a live band again, but this time to music I haven't been practicing to for months. One of my troupies and I are taking a 20 minute slot and splitting in half. We plan on sharing a song and do some fun duo stuff. We're even coordinating our costumes: both metallic, but I'm silver and she's gold, both with straight skirts. I'm excited for it, but not excited about how I'll feel Friday morning (it's a 2 hour commute, and we start at 8:30 - oof).

    I'm excited for all my troupe things coming up, as well as my solo stuff. I'm excited about getting my class situation figured out. I'm also just plain excited that I don't work in retail any more and therefore have more time to do stuff even though I'm working more hours.

    So that's where I'm at. I don't post much, but I like this topic a lot because I feel like it's good to reflect, see other people's goals, etc.
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  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I am so glad I started this topic! Allinorah, your story embodies the quintessential "one door closes and another door opens" theme.

    Too much can be made of the difference between "entertainers" and "artistes/pure dancers" as if the latter category is vastly superior both spiritually and visually to the former. It is not, so don't even go there with me, y'all hear?

    ...to show people... it is okay to get up and dance....To entertain people and make them smile.
    To be a role model maybe.....
    What higher calling could a person answer?
    "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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    Thanks Shanazel. I'm thankful I have the community that I do have, they're very supportive, especially when branching out.

  8. #8
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Wow everybody is so busy not me, I just dance at home once in a while when I can, that's not often and only very short time, but at least I can do that. I had plans, but they are on the back burner as I'm not getting better. I expected to have at least recovered a bit more by now, but I didn't.
    The only real thing I do is I still maintain my ugly costume blog, can't let the fans down

  9. #9
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Absolutely you cannot let us down!

    So very sorry to hear your health has not improved as we all hoped it would.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  10. #10
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default THank you Shanazel for this thread

    and thank you, my friends, for all your posts here!

    i was writing a long post and i missed it somehow, so i write the summary!

    i complete 10 years of systematic dance study and practice this October!! i cannot believe it!

    i want very much to resume my regular dance teaching activities that went down the last years due to general economic conditions - and my dedicated denial to undercut, particularly not to work for free, that became endemic the last years.

    i have several projects in progress, some of them you know already : research in greek traditional bellydance styles, collection of dance-related photos from museums, etyc.

    I am closing a cycle of re-exploration my musician-singer activities, hoping that i will find a band with hard-working attitude and focus so that i can improve my skills. I was in a music collective for about 1,5 year and it was a very nice experience in terms of thinking myself as part of a mediterranean music band.

    I think that oriental dance has been my companion and confidant the last 10 years - i am thankful to all our dance mothers and ancestors and to all my dance sisters and brothers worldwide for this.

    I wrote too much again....

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