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  1. #1
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    Default Students with injuries. Advice!

    I have a few students in my class who after being explained the movement and shown multiple times are still having trouble doing the movements like the shoulder shimmy and chest circles. I have used many visualization techniques and have emphasized proper posture and execution of the technique. One of my students hurt her should by overdoing the shoulder shimmy and the other came to me with sore shoulders from the same reason (after I told them to keep it small at first). I make sure I do a good warm up and cool down and I tell them to only do what they can and make the movements small at first and if they feel pain to stop! I have only been teaching for about 6 months now (dancing for 7 years) and the last thing I want is my students doing the movements wrong and hurting themselves. Plus, I do not want to be known as the teacher who's students get hurt! Does anyone have any advice for students who don't practice at home and who still cannot do the movements after weeks of instruction?

  2. #2
    Member gwinity's Avatar
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    From a student's perspective: Be patient with them, and vary the movements you're teaching.

    Everyone learns at different rates, and if they're not 'in tune' with their bodies, it's going to take them longer to get a move than some of the fitter people in your class, and if they see the class moving too fast for them, they may try and over-do it in an attempt to catch up. They may have underlying injuries or tension that have been exacerbated by overusing the muscles. Next class, maybe give the shoulders a good rest and focus on lower movements - shimmies, figure 8's and so on.

    There are and have been students in my classes who have not 'got' some of the basics even after a couple of terms, but when the move finally clicks, it's awesome. Don't focus on the fact that they haven't got it, but be encouraging over the one they have mastered, and good luck!

  3. #3
    Member Ariella's Avatar
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    Hey,

    In my (very limited) teaching experience, I've found that having students sit upright in a chair is good for initially getting them going with shoulder shimmys and chest circles. Sitting in a chair forces them to isolate the upper body.

    Something else to consider - your injured students may already be weak or injury prone in that area, so it may not be the fault of your instruction.
    Last edited by Ariella; 05-02-2007 at 01:53 AM. Reason: Formattingage

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rheia View Post
    I have a few students in my class who after being explained the movement and shown multiple times are still having trouble doing the movements like the shoulder shimmy and chest circles. I have used many visualization techniques and have emphasized proper posture and execution of the technique. One of my students hurt her should by overdoing the shoulder shimmy and the other came to me with sore shoulders from the same reason (after I told them to keep it small at first). I make sure I do a good warm up and cool down and I tell them to only do what they can and make the movements small at first and if they feel pain to stop! I have only been teaching for about 6 months now (dancing for 7 years) and the last thing I want is my students doing the movements wrong and hurting themselves. Plus, I do not want to be known as the teacher who's students get hurt! Does anyone have any advice for students who don't practice at home and who still cannot do the movements after weeks of instruction?
    Oh Girl I feel you, you have received some very good advice so far, so I would like to add the following: You may want to make a general announcement to the entire class in regards to students working within their own pace and ROM. Stress the potential for injury if certain movements are done incorrectly. Continue this general announcement until it becomes the class mantra. Afterwards you may want to provide individual attention to those students who continue to execute poor posture. Finally, sow down the progression of the class until eeryone (including you) feel comfortable then move on. Good Luck.
    Yasmine

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for your advice! I'm new to this and feeling a bit paranoid. I'm confident in my skills as a dancer but still working on my confidence as a teacher! I just want to make sure my students don't hurt themselves, that is why I stress posture, small movements at first and warm up/cool down.

  6. #6
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    good luck!!!!
    there are ALWAYS those students who will NOT listen to the idea of SMALL movements/ going slow/ do not over do at 1st etc....
    since you COULD be held liable for THEM NOT listening.... sometimes you have to re direct them... so yeah.... changing to a WHOLE different body part, when you notice this type of behaviour is sometimes your best bet... as you teach more this will become 2nd nature... so don't get discouraged!!!!

  7. #7
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Students who don't practice yet expect to learn to dance are the bane of my life. (Of course, I was a cello student who didn't like to practice, so it's not like I'm a stellar example myself.)

    ANYWAY: I try explaining in every way possible that practice is necessary to learn skills and build stamina, but I never get through to some people. One time, out of sheer frustration with a particularly obtuse group of students, I led them in a fast paced piece of music that lasted a good six minutes. By the second minute, people were gasping, by the end of fourth minute, people were staggering, and by the end of the piece the point was finally made in a way they could understand it. I figured I'd lose half the class after that, but by george, they were all back the next week ready to rock.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    I have been teaching for 4 years over 10 classes a week. My student ages range from 16 - 75 years. This is what I have learned from experience. These are the things I do before I start the class.

    1. I Ask the students if any one has injuries and problems that prevent them from doing certain moves. I pay special attention to those. It is really working for me and my students. I spend little extra time after the class to check how they are feeling and try and help if they have any problems.

    2. Posture is important and I spend time to help them to correct their posture before they even start the warmup.

    3. I let all my students know, to dance at their own pace. I also make it very clear that it takes a lot of practice to dance like the teacher. Pls insist that they should listen to their bodies. Body come first and then the dance!!!!

    4. I choose moves that uses differnt body parts, that way they learn to work the whole body.

    5. I also tell my students that some moves come easier than others.

    I agree with Ariella, for my beginner students, I make them sit upright to do the upper body moves. It helps them to keep their hips still.

    I have written few instruction manuals for my studio and my my fellow teachers. I am happy to share with you if you need them. My goal is to publish them.

    Cheer up my fellow teacher!!!! Teaching is not easy and but it the best part of bellydancing!!!! There is nothing like sharing your knowledge with others!!!!

    Cheers
    Janaki

  9. #9
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    We do an intake form before we even set foot on the dance floor so we have some awareness of people's injuries. For example, we don't let anyone with tendonitis in their elbows go near zils. and we use the 'if it hurts don't do it' model. then we find a way that doesn't hurt. You have gotten some good advice here, and we (I co-teach with someone) use the sitting down method for upper body stuff in the beginning and we also play with where they are moving from. I don't know how to explain that one well in writing. but it seems to work ok. Anyways, its good to have each other to check in with and figure things out. That's what we're here for. and you are so smart to be concerned about not injuring people. You must be a good teacher.
    Last edited by sparklyraven; 05-10-2007 at 06:12 AM. Reason: speling

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