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Thread: Dance Mentor

  1. #41
    Senior Member Gia al Qamar's Avatar
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    Shanazel, A'isha. Word! Nicely said.
    I posted this in the spin off thread...I'll post it again here...
    "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
    Michelle is FAR more interested in running her own agenda than in learning anything. She admitted that she dropped out of regular dance classes, I would assume, because no one can teach her anything.
    I am pleased that this was made public in an open forum so those who don't know better will know what's really being offered.
    Gia

  2. #42
    Senior Member sedoniaraqs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariella View Post
    Here's an idea for you. Why don't you teach dancers to use the software instead of "mentoring" bellydance? I personally would find it useful to be able to sit down and go over my own performances, and I'm sure that there are teachers that would want to use this tool with their students.
    This was my one of my thoughts more or less yesterday when I first read this thread. That perhaps MichelleD's technological video analysis talents might best be used either as a support tool for professional dancers, or in collaboration with dance teachers to assist other dancers.

    In this way, what she does might not be so much "mentoring" as providing a technological tool that might be of use to some people.

    Along a similar vein, I recently bought a copy of the core exercises for belly dancers by the Fitness Pharaoh. The Fitness Pharaoh is not a belly dancer himself, nor is he a dance teacher, but he is a personal trainer who understands enough about the dance to provide a support tool (core exercises) to dancers. Can he tell me how to make my hips more Egyptian? no. Can he help me exercise my core muscles so that I have more control over my hips? yes. I wouldn't call him a dance mentor but he is a non-dancer providing some expertise that is of use to me as a dancer.

    So MichelleD, you mentioned that you work best with dancers of a certain age. I'm not going to go into what you might have meant by that, but I would argue that the best test of whether your skills are useful would be to work with an experienced dance teacher and see if he/she thought you were helpful, and if so could articulate why and how. Perhaps that would help you focus more on describing exactly what it is you do. Because right now your posts have implied that with your guidance you can change an untrained person into a dancer of a particular genre. Possibly what you mean is that you have some skills that could complement or supplement a dance student's training.

    I have to agree with others that at your experience and training level, you shouldn't be claiming to be able to offer specific mentoring about specific genres of dance. I also think it is possible that you don't realize yet all that you don't know about belly dance or other forms of dance. In my experience, students go through a fairly predictable sequence of learning where early on they feel close to knowing it all, then a bit later they (often rather suddenly) realize just how huge and encompassing the body of knowledge/understanding is that the are dabbling in. This is generally a very humbling phase, one that we who have been through it never forget.

    Sedonia

    p.s. Einsteins comments were very much a product of his personal experiences: He was a rare genius who was almost completely disfunctional in a classroom environment. The average person, if deprived of math classes, will go through his entire life ignorant of math and unable to use math in daily applications. So perhaps some among us are rare "Einsteins" of dance, but odds are none of us are.

  3. #43
    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    Hi everybody the moon is full in dubai today it looks real pretty......lets just forget about it and believe that Michelle just want to help and perhaps did not explain it very well in her first mail.....oops again....huggy,s to all bellydance lovers and have a great weekend (bdw i think we make a real good team)!! Lydia

  4. #44
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    I think Michelle left the building some time ago.

    I really do wish her well and hope she's learned that the qualifications she was so dismissive about are very important to people who take belly dance seriously.

  5. #45
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Dear Kharmine,
    I think she got knowledge of technology confused with what one needs to know to teach dance. I can have the best technology in the world, but if I do not know anything about the subject to whcih it is realted, then I am still not going to be able to teach it. I think she just got the two confused, and as someone else wrote, she does not understand how complex the world of dance really is... I
    Regards,
    A'isha

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedoniaraqs View Post
    In my experience, students go through a fairly predictable sequence of learning where early on they feel close to knowing it all, then a bit later they (often rather suddenly) realize just how huge and encompassing the body of knowledge/understanding is that the are dabbling in. This is generally a very humbling phase, one that we who have been through it never forget.

    Sedonia
    hehehehehe... this is SOOOOOO true!!! I call this the "teen-age" phase! Most dancers who stick with their education eventually get over it after some sudden realization! (like when your "real" teen ager finally moves out.... and realizes that mommie actually knew what the hell she was talking about!!!!) Then they get "serious", take a good look in the mirror, and start asking interesting questions!.... Unfortunately, based on her last mudslinging post, I think Michelle hasn't even made it to teen-age-dom yet

  7. #47
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Kharmine,
    I think she got knowledge of technology confused with what one needs to know to teach dance. I can have the best technology in the world, but if I do not know anything about the subject to whcih it is realted, then I am still not going to be able to teach it. I think she just got the two confused, and as someone else wrote, she does not understand how complex the world of dance really is... I
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Yes, I agree. Having heart and a video camera does not make one a coach.

    IMHO, it's rather a good example of the old scripture admonition about not rushing to remove that speck of dust in someone's eye while ignoring that great big ol' beam of wood in your own.

  8. #48
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichelleD
    My last point. if this dance is an art, it has to be alive and open to the new.... Being so protective of the 'culture' is what has turned dance from art to nothing but knowledge.... mechanical and dead - clung to by people who need an identity and representation in a confused world. i hope you see what you are doing and the damage
    done.....
    I just came across this thread and reading it makes me feel a bit weird.. Just had to comment though I suspect Michelle has been long gone by now.
    This piece in particular just shocks me, so here's my questions:
    1) If a SPECIFIC art has to be open to the new, how can one develop "new" or even define what is "new" when they know nothing of the "old" from which "new" has to be created??
    - I'm sorry to say this, but this comment in itself shows Michelle obviously knows nothing about bellydance and it's different styles, or she would have known in Middle Eastern Dances, or Oriental dance, we ARE open to the new, the art is constantly changing and there are even NEW styles of bellydance present today. These new styles however were not developed by people who had barely any knowledge of the dance. These styles evolved from already existing styles of dance AND a great knowledge of 'bellydance' and it's movements for those styles to actually BE new forms of bellydance (does this make sense?). Today in bellydance we see traditional styles, but also we see very clearly new styles of our beloved dance and art. We make very clear distinctions between the styles, but also there are very clear (read: OBVIOUS) connections, which will all connect them back to one specific artform: bellydance.
    I find it ignorant to say one can create a new style of dance when not knowing of which styles it evolved, and knowing even less of the background of those styles in particular.
    And ofcourse art is also knowledge. Ballet is an art, but if I do not have the knowledge of what ballet is and how specific movements are in ballet, I will not be able to dance ballet at all and say it's an art. If you're creating a style and saying it's a NEW form of ballet, you can go around yelling it's ballet but if it does not have a connection to ballet in core movements, the ballet community will walk right over you for representing the art they have been training on for years to evolve.

    2) Then you say it is wrong of the well educated, highly knowledgeable and EXPERIENCED teachers here to want to educate others with the knowledge gained over SO MANY YEARS of experience. I have been dancing for 4 years only but intensive and enlightening as they have been (and now training with live teachers for over 7 hrs a week) I know the only way to truly know this dance is to consequently study and train to know both movements and background and I realise I have only seen a small part of it. To evolve the dance style takes years of training and knowledge to get to a point where you know the dance well enough to actually evolve and develop it, knowing full well what you are doing and what makes this new style a new style of BELLYDANCE in particular. You could create any style of dance and say it is this or that, without it having any connection to an actual dance style. But if you're not into bellydance, why call it bellydance? Why not start a new trend or style under a new name as well?
    Then again the little training you have had YOU state yourself: comes from dvd's. Who do you think made those? Someone who did not know bellydance?

    My guess is she probably stopped learning when she found out she'd never have the will (or any other reason we don't know about since it's personal).

    Now I am pretty sure the ones doing the damage are not the people protecting our dance on this forum. IM-very-HO I feel this is a case of drop-out-student with a bit of bellydance-delusions-de-grandeur... .
    Saying you only teach young dancers (beginner dancers in most cases) in someway tells me you are only teaching younger dancers because they are indeed (like some others have stated already) naieve enough to take what you are teaching as facts (though they may be true concerning certain movements, and I agree someone who has no experience in the same dance field might give interesting views to a dancer, or have insight in choreography or movement all the same, but this may not completely apply to bellydance).

    Then again, I'm sure Michelle's intentions to help people are right, but IMO her idea of her abilities to train in specific fields of dance (however she does know a lot about movement in general and has studied movement) is a bit weird (saying you could do what others have trained decades for to achieve) and she is definitely underestimating bellydance.

    Dear Michelle, I want you to understand this was not meant as offensive. You have the right intentions , but if you want to train bellydancers in specific (even if it's just video analysis concerning movement), make sure you know where those movements are grounded and come from (ESPECIALLY with young dancers).
    Sorry for the long post, had to get this BOB'ed up feelings off my chest
    Last edited by Yshka; 03-09-2007 at 11:42 PM.

  9. #49
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Yshka wrote:
    These new styles however were not developed by people who had barely any knowledge of the dance. These styles evolved from already existing styles of dance AND a great knowledge of 'bellydance' and it's movements for those styles to actually BE new forms of bellydance (does this make sense?). Today in bellydance we see traditional styles, but also we see very clearly new styles of our beloved dance and art. We make very clear distinctions between the styles, but also there are very clear (read: OBVIOUS) connections, which will all connect them back to one specific artform: bellydance.
    own style" would be an easier way out.


    Dear Yshka,

    If only that was true....Unfortunately there are thousands of people like Michelle out there teaching, performing, convincing people that their "new style" is indeed belly dance when there is no connection whatsoever...just like Michelle. What happened here with her is very common in this field. We just happened to try to dissuade her because she was naive enough to bring her intentions to the public eye before she got herself a career in misleading the students. She will obviously be out there doing her thing anyway, despite the advice of people on this forum who have hundreds of years of experience among them. There are many, many more just like her and some of them are very famous, loved and respected by many people in the dance community. It's not a surprise to me that she felt what she was doing was okay, because that is what she sees as examples every day.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  10. #50
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Dear A'isha, I was referring only to those styles of bellydance that we actually KNOW as bellydance, though they are far from "totally traditional" nowadays, not about just anyone who claims their style is a new form of bellydance. But then again I figure those styles were also criticised upon and only later they were accepted as being part of what is called bellydance.
    I guess you are right: Nowadays everyone could say what they're doing is bellydance while it is not. This is wrong and I am aware many out there do it this way.
    I was just saying bellydance IS open to the new and this is not something to be ignored by bluntly saying it is not open to any new influences simply because the experts with 20 or more years of experience want to keep it traditional (like Michelle states). What I mean is that newer styles of bellydance that are/will be established and accepted as being bellydance would most likely require at least a bit of experience in that field.

    I feel sorry for all those misguided by anyone claiming what they are doing is bellydance, while it is in fact a misrepresentation of the dance or they have little knowledge of the dance they say it is related to..
    Last edited by Yshka; 03-09-2007 at 11:59 PM. Reason: had a long thought and slight change of mind

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