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  1. #1
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    Default Getting back to dance

    I was learning belly dance for some years around twenty. I never performed, but I thoroughly enjoyed the art form. I was mostly self-taught from DVDs, but I had a degree of skill. I haven't danced for five years now because stuff sort of happened and I lost the desire to dance. It came back, but I was pretty displeased that while I easily remember the moves and the body remembers as well, I lack the appropriate muscle strength to execute them properly. I know the key is practice, but I'm a little unsure what would be the most effective and least frustrating strategy to get to any working level. I wonder if you could recommend any practice structure, video, DVD or something to start with- I'm a pretty chaotic being and I need some sort of frame or structure and I'm not great at creating them myself. What I have at home is mostly either too advanced for me or it's focused is on teaching, not training.

  2. #2
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Are there any classes nearby where you live?
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  3. #3
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Live teacher if at all possible.

  4. #4
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    I really dislike a class setting. I have some social issues and it's just so depressing going there, dancing your hour or whatnot, not saying a word to anybody, seeing them looking at you weird, seeing them talk and laugh together, including the teacher, while feeling unable to participate. And when I forced myself, feeling awkward, anything but invited, it was just... bad. I felt like I'm intruding on a private group session after a time. I tried three different classes at different points in time and it just didn't work. On top of that I feel like I'm getting a more in depth explanation on DVD, classes were just confusing. I have quite low motor intelligence and I need a very analytical approach. The loud music, all those people moving about, lights... Not a very good learning environment for me. I don't want to become a professional dancer, I just want to be able to enjoy myself moving.
    Last edited by Ameline; 09-27-2017 at 08:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Could private lessons or skype sessions be something for you, then?
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  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    If truly all you want is to enjoy yourself moving then following pre-recorded instruction is fine. Keep in mind, though, that if you ever do resolve your social issues so that you can attend class, you will find yourself with a number of bad habits to overcome. Having someone to watch, critique, and correct posture, etc. is invaluable and the very best dvd instruction is no substitute.

    I'm sorry that I don't understand what you mean by "low motor intelligence." Could you explain so that we have a better idea of what learning challenges you face and can make recommendations accordingly? Two or three of my students through the years have had some degree of Asperger's, for example, and their issues were different than students who suffered from debilitating shyness or those who had lower IQ or those who simply could not hear music patterns.

    Just read Daimona's post above. Good suggestions.
    "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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    Shanazel: It's funny because I actually had to re-learn a lot of what I learned in class in terms of posture and some of the moves which were putting a strain on my lower back. I haven't seen any of the teachers I had correcting anyone and I found the explanations insufficient and there wasn't room to ask - I have a hard time learning by imitation, no matter how slowly and deliberately it is presented, that's one part of what I mean by "low motor intelligence". Another is that I first need a good intellectual understanding of how it is done from the inside (unless dancing spontaneously) before I can do even the simplest of things. The good thing about videos is that they actually talk about what they're doing in terms of muscles and body mechanics. I need a very slow pace at first both to understand and not to injure myself, something I seem to be very good at, being hypermobile. I can go at my own pace with videos. I can also just study and get a feel of a movement before I try to use it in a dance, as opposed to a class.

    My overall life issues can be well explained by asperger's, but I'm not too pressed to get a formal diagnosis. This diagnosis wasn't around when I was a child and I just got one of those "something's obviously wrong and we don't have a name for it" labels. I learned to perform reasonably well in social situations, but the class setting was confusing to me - they sometimes chatted, sometimes not, I never knew when it's appropriate and it was more miss than hit if I tried. I wasn't comfortable talking while changing, but I think nobody is? And I thought others might be uncomfortable if I linger in the changing rooms too long. But they seemed to somehow end up in little groups after a few classes and I never understood how.


    Daimona: There are skype lessons? Wow, seems like a very interesting option. I might look around and find a teacher with who I was comfortable enough, around the world, there's bound to be somebody who I won't annoy that quickly This, just as any private lessons, is a solution for when I will have a bit of money to spare, though. Then again, I'm starting in a new job, so that solution might be just a few months away as opposed to that "someday" which means "never".

  8. #8
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    It seems you've hit a teacher that wasn't right for you. Knowing that you need someone to talk about body mechanics while teaching and not only teaching by "follow the bouncing butt" version is a good thing.

    One of my joys of teaching belly dance (or really, anything) is to adapt different strategies and explanations to suit the need for different students.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ameline View Post
    Daimona:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ameline View Post
    There are skype lessons? Wow, seems like a very interesting option. I might look around and find a teacher with who I was comfortable enough, around the world, there's bound to be somebody who I won't annoy that quickly This, just as any private lessons, is a solution for when I will have a bit of money to spare, though. Then again, I'm starting in a new job, so that solution might be just a few months away as opposed to that "someday" which means "never".

    Darshiva offers Skype lessons.
    You can work as fast or slowly as you need, ask all the questions you might have and probably also get corrections. Make her an inquiry, to at least see if this is an options in your near future.



    And of course there are other dancers that offers online classes as well, but I haven't explored these possibilities yet. You can read about them elsewhere on this forum.
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  9. #9
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ameline View Post
    My overall life issues can be well explained by Asperger's, but I'm not too pressed to get a formal diagnosis.
    Ah! I suspected so from your description of environment overload. I too am an "Aspie", although pretty "low in the spectrum". I understand and feel your pain.

  10. #10
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest Darshiva as well. Farasha takes lessons from her and has been very pleased.

    Yep, wrong teacher for your learning style. My student with Asperger's let me know about her learning issues from the start so I had an advantage over a teacher who never gets a hint and is left wondering why she isn't getting through to a particular student. I spent a little extra time with her before class and didn't comment when she went over to sit by herself for a few minutes- or more than a few minutes- when class got to be a bit overwhelming for her. She was also open with other students about it (her Asperger's is moderate to severe) so they were able to give her some extra consideration instead of simply being mystified by her behavior and correspondingly uncomfortable around her.
    "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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