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  1. #1
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    Default Certified Courses

    Heyas,

    I've noticed lately that there are a lot of belly dance courses popping up. I'm not sure of my own opinion on them so thought I'd ask you lot yours. Do you really think that courses like these are beneficial and would you consider taking one of them yourself?

    Here are a few examples of what I mean...

    ASMED

    Jacqueline Jamal - Professional Dancers Programme

    Jwaad - Teacher Training Diploma Course - Josephine Wise

    Is this a common thing? What would you say the benefits of a course such as this were?

    Do you think the certification is worth anything at the end?

    I'm in two minds about them and would like to hear what you lot have to say

    Cheers in advance,
    Sara

  2. #2
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Hi Sara,

    A short answer to your question is yes and no. I have done 2 teachers traning courses so far. One course taught me how to practice safe dancing. I was a great eye opener for me. I was trained by egytian teachers, and they lock the knees to execute many hip and stomach accents. It is not all good for the knees. Since my training, I have changed the way I teach and dance.

    From the other course, I have learned the logistics on how to survive as a bellydancer and presenting technique in many different ways.

    Yes, there is tons of info on the net. But having a real person to person exchange is amazing. I choose to do these course because and I knew the content of the syllabus being taught. Some of my friends did other course and were not happy. My suggestion is to check what is being presented and go for it, if it is suitable to you.

    Good luck!!!

    Cheers
    Janaki

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    I think certified courses are very useful when it's some kind of course like Janaki did, about safe dancing, or when it's about how to deal with students, how to give a good wharmup etc. The kind of certified courses I think are weird are those for beginning bellydance students in which each year you learn some specified movement or a choreo and you have to do an exam or something like that

  4. #4
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    The bad part about these course is, many beginner students go and get a certification and start teaching. These type of course are desinged to just make money. Boy oh boy, I have seen those!!! They don't evaluate the student that is taking the course at all. I have been in one of those. I walked out an hour later and demanded my money back. After 2 days of arguing, I got my money back!!!

    A good teachers training should have selection criteria. Teachers training is not for everybody. The students must posses enough technique and knowlegde base.

    Cheers
    Janaki

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Certification

    Dear Sara,

    I am technically against people claiming to certify people in belly dance courses. First, much of what is being taught as belly dance out there is not, so how can people certify anyone in something they are not doing? We also have the misleading idea that sine one is "certified" that they actually are qualified, which is two different things. There is also the implication that if one is certified in such and such method that it means something beyond what it does mean.

    How much is the piece of paper that says you are certified worth to you? How important is it to be a certified belly dancer when weighed against some of the rip-off prices you are charged for the certificate? I might add that I have a certificate from Jodette that says I completed her belly dance course. What does that mean in the real world of belly dance?? Not a thing, and I highly respect and love Jodette as a teacher and dancer!!

    I think in the end, we do not have the kind of dance form that benefits much from certification in the first place as this implies very set methods of teaching and dance that simply do not exist, even among the very culturally correct versions of the dance, never mind the fusion versions, etc. There is no "one way" to do things that would either call for or support certification programs.

    Like many long time instructors, I have developed a teaching methodology. I have also developed a teacher training program. In neither case would I assume that I have the right to certify anyone as a belly dancer simply because I have programs that train people to dance and teach.

    Regards,
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 06-18-2007 at 04:35 PM.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Hi A'isha you are very realisitic about what you said. My reasons for supporting these courses are;

    I have seen so many girls started teaching bellydancing after learning few classes.It is important that someone tells/teaches/trains them about how not to do certain stuff. Making them aware how much out there to study and how long it takes to study will give this kind of people something to think about.

    These are my comments about your post!!! My comments are included in the QUOTE.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Sara,

    I am technically against people claiming to certify people in belly dance courses. ME TOOO.First, much of what is being taught as belly dance out there is not, so how can people certify anyone in something they are not doing? YOU ARE SO ABSOLUTELY RIGHT HERE A'ISHA. I HAVE SEEN COURSES OFFERED BY AMETURE DANCERS/NOT PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS.
    We also have the misleading idea that sine one is "certified" that they actually are qualified, which is two different things. YOU ARE RIGHT! THERE ARE NOT MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE QULIFIED TO DO THIS KIND OF STUFF. There is also the implication that if one is certified in such and such method that it means something beyond what it does mean.

    How much is the piece of paper that says you are certified worth to you? I AM NOT SURE ABOUT IN USA AND OTHER PLACES BUT IN HONG KONG, I HAVE SEEN SOME GIRLS GOT CERTIFICATIONS SO THAT THEY CAN GET VISA TO STAY OR THE EMPLYER WOULD SIGN A DANCE CONTRACT OR THEY CAN START TEACHING DANCE. FOR MANY PEOPLE CERTIFICATION IS THE FIRST PROOF THAT A DANCER/TEACHERS HAS ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING. SADLY, THESE GIRLS LITERALY BOUGHT THEIR CERTIFICATIONS. How important is it to be a certified belly dancer when weighed against some of the rip-off prices you are charged for the certificate? IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE INDIVIUAL DANCER/TEACHERS. THERE ARE VERY HONEST AND GENUINE DANCERS LIKE YOU (IF I MAY, I WOULD BE HONOURED TO PUT MYSELF NEXT TO YOU HERE), AND THERE ARE COMMERICAL OPERATORS. FOR PEOPLE LIKE US A PIECE OF PAPER DOES'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. FOR THE OTHER GROUP, YES, IT DOES.I might add that I have a certificate from Jodette that says I completed her belly dance course. What does that mean in the real world of belly dance?? Not a thing, and I highly respect and love Jodette as a teacher and dancer!! MY BOTH TEACHERS TRAINING WERE USEFUL FOR ME. AS I MENTIONED BEFORE, I HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING USEFUL THAT I DIDN'T GET TO LEARN IN REGULAR BELLY DANCE CLASSES.

    I think in the end, we do not have the kind of dance form that benefits much from certification in the first place as this implies very set methods of teaching and dance that simply do not exist, even among the very culturally correct versions of the dance, never mind the fusion versions, etc. There is no "one way" to do things that would either call for or support certification programs.

    Like many long time instructors, I have developed a teaching methodology. I have also developed a teacher training program. In neither case would I assume that I have the right to certify anyone as a belly dancer simply because I have programs that train people to dance and teach. YES, OF COURSE! WHY NOT??? I THINK PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND FEW OTHERS OUT THERE (I MEAN THE GENUINE ONES) KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT THIS DANCE AND PERSONALLY I THINK YOU CAN CERTIFY A DANCER IN IN YOUR METHODOLGY. I WILL DO YOUR CERTIFICATION CLASS ANYTIME!!!!FF.

    Regards,
    A'isha

  7. #7
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Genuine professional certifications are offered by recognized organizations and educational institutions and not just anyone who decides she sounds a little classier (and can make a little more money) by offering her own certifications. Last time I checked, there were no professional organizations backing belly dance certification.

  8. #8
    Member deelybopper's Avatar
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    I don't think it's about lots of courses just 'popping up' - the JWAAD and ASMED courses have been around for many years. What has happened recently is a debate in the UK BD press about standards in BD teaching which has perhaps prompted more publicity about these courses. I have to admit I was unaware of the Jacqui Jamal course until now.

    As to the value of 'certification'...I have to admit that I am sceptical. This dance isn't codified and standardised in the way that other dances are or have been for the purposes of examination and certification, and I have to admit that's one of the things that I find attractive about BD. However, I think that many of the courses will have valuable elements in terms of teaching safe dance practice, and teaching people HOW TO TEACH.

    I also echo the other concerns regarding certification vs. qualification. Because a person has a certificate doesn't mean that they are 'qualified' or any good at teaching.

    However...I have been dancing for 11 years, and teaching for 5. I recently decided to stump up the cash for the JWAAD Teacher Training Foundation (NOT the full monty), because I felt under increasing pressure to prove that my 'standard' of teaching is good enough. So far I have attended the first weekend, and....didn't learn anything I didn't already know in terms of health & safety and safe warm ups, but did learn some more practical tips in terms of teaching certain movements. Without knowing exactly what the second weekend has in store, I think this is going to pretty much describe the whole experience for me.

    So - is it worth it?
    - The course that I am doing is basically confirming stuff that I already knew - which is a positive (i.e. I haven't been doing it wrong all these years!). It's also pretty expensive - which is a downer - I am paying money to confirm that I've been doing things right
    - I get a certificate at the end, which isn't recognised by any professional bodies, nor is it an official accrediation. But - it is proof that I have made an effort to look into H&S and teaching methods, and that may well count for something with some prospective employers - only time will tell on this front. - I get to meet and network with other dancers and teachers...although there are plenty of other opportunities to do this

    At the end of the day I can't say whether it's worth it or not, cos I haven't completed the course - but I've contributed to the thread, and probably to Sara's confusion
    D

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    A,ISHA...thank you for that mail!!! 100 % treu treu......i could never explain it like that with my clumsy english...have a nice day Lydia

  10. #10
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    Coincidentally, I've just found a couple of video clips of the professional troupe of Josephine Wise, the founder of JWAAD:





    In the first clip they don't seem to be terribly in time with each other (especially obvious in the hip circles) and at one point one of the dancers is doing completely different movements to the others.

    Earlier today I was watching a clip of a Norwegian troupe, the members of which I saw perform in Oslo this year, the difference in energy between the two troupes is massive:
    Divas of Bellydance - Film

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