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  1. #21
    Senior Member taheya's Avatar
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    Hi Eshta, I agree with your comment about the best teachers you have been to have not been accredited to a particular school. Definately out of the teachers I have been to it is the independent ones who have really shone out. Also I know some people say that a good teacher does not have to be a good performer...i actually disagree with this cos I want to be inspired by the teachers I go to and I expect them to be better performers than me!!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by taheya View Post
    Hi Eshta, I agree with your comment about the best teachers you have been to have not been accredited to a particular school. Definately out of the teachers I have been to it is the independent ones who have really shone out. Also I know some people say that a good teacher does not have to be a good performer...i actually disagree with this cos I want to be inspired by the teachers I go to and I expect them to be better performers than me!!
    Also in agreement with Eshta! As for the theory that a good teacher does not have to be a good performer, I also disagree. If someone cannot execute movements correctly, can't dance in time, has no stage presence or cannot create a professional-level choreography, how can they pass on those skills to someone else? If I watch a performer and their dancing is amateurish, why would I have any confidence in their teaching? Performance is proof of their ability.

    I think there is far too much slack cut in our particular dance form which is one of the reasons that it's looked down upon by other dancers. I've even heard people say that you shouldn't be critical of performances because we should admire people for having the courage to perform in public - 'professional' performers?!

  3. #23
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    A'isha, I would love to attend your course! I don't suppose you're planning on franchising your course to Europe? Just kidding!

    On a serious note, the syllabus you describe sounds great, I wonder if our teacher training courses cover these aspects?

    Taheya, I've had the same experiences as you, and also found that a great dancer/teacher isn't necessarily the best marketeer, wesbite designer, etc. Sometimes they take some serious searching out, but it's worth it.

    Taheya, Suheir, I still don't know where I stand on the great teacher = great dancer debate. I know for a fact great dancer doesn't equal great teacher, but when it comes to the other way around, I've seen teachers who are very mediocre dancers produce very good dancers in their classes. I've also recently discovered what I would describe a very poor performer but whose class performed a very passable performance! Perhaps that teacher lacks the finesse to perform, but can inspire the student to want to invest the energy and commitment...? A student isn't always a fair assessment of a teacher. I'm waffling as I'm unsure where I'm going here!

    But for me personally, if I am to learn from them, they HAVE to be a dancer I am in awe of as a 'given'. THEN they have to be a half-decent teacher on top of that! Having had to unlearn and relearn so many things, I'm very protective of who I now let into my dance. But that then feels very contradictory to my previous statement...

    Help, it's late, I'm tired and now I'll be up for another hour pondering this debate!

  4. #24
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    A'isha, I would love to attend your course! I don't suppose you're planning on franchising your course to Europe? Just kidding!

    On a serious note, the syllabus you describe sounds great, I wonder if our teacher training courses cover these aspects?

    Taheya, I've had the same experiences as you, and also found that a great dancer/teacher isn't necessarily the best marketeer, wesbite designer, etc. Sometimes they take some serious searching out, but it's worth it.

    Taheya, Suheir, I still don't know where I stand on the great teacher = great dancer debate. I know for a fact great dancer doesn't equal great teacher, but when it comes to the other way around, I've seen teachers who are verymediocre dancers produce very good dancers in their classes. I've also recently discovered what I would describe a very poor performer but whose class performed a very passable performance! Perhaps that teacher lacks the finesse to perform, but can inspire the student to want to invest the energy and commitment...? A student isn't always a fair assessment of a teacher. I'm waffling as I'm unsure where I'm going here!

    But for me personally, if I am to learn from them, they HAVE to be a dancer I am in awe of as a 'given'. THEN they have to be a half-decent teacher on top of that! Having had to unlearn and relearn so many things, I'm very protective of who I now let into my dance. But that then feels very contradictory to my previous statement...

    Help, it's late, I'm tired and now I'll be up for another hour pondering this debate!


    Dear Eshta,
    I wish I could franchise it to Europe! I call the course, "Student Awareness based teaching" meaning that the individual student is the foacl point for the instructor, whether in class or workshop situations.

    Re performing/teaching: I worked with Leonard Fowler,who was quite old by the time I met him, in his 70s. I costumed some of his dance productions. He was no longer able to do all of those great ballet things, but he could certainly still teach them. He had not been on stage for years himself, but he could still teach presence in spite of his age and his inability to be a performer any more, or even actually do the technique in class perfectly, as he once had. When I am old (getting there a lot sooner than I had intended!!), I hope that I can still teach to some degree, long after I am no longer on stage.

    Regards,
    A'isha

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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Re performing/teaching: I worked with Leonard Fowler,who was quite old by the time I met him, in his 70s. I costumed some of his dance productions. He was no longer able to do all of those great ballet things, but he could certainly still teach them. He had not been on stage for years himself, but he could still teach presence in spite of his age and his inability to be a performer any more, or even actually do the technique in class perfectly, as he once had. When I am old (getting there a lot sooner than I had intended!!), I hope that I can still teach to some degree, long after I am no longer on stage.
    Well, the same with Mahmoud Reda but at least we have proof that he was once a fantastic dancer!

  6. #26
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suheir View Post
    Well, the same with Mahmoud Reda but at least we have proof that he was once a fantastic dancer!


    Dear Suheir,
    I guess I sort of see that backwards. Just because one is a fantastic dancer does not mean they can teach!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Suheir,
    I guess I sort of see that backwards. Just because one is a fantastic dancer does not mean they can teach!
    Regards,
    A'isha
    That's also true, but I've seen proof that a fantastic dancer can *learn* to be a fantastic teacher - our own Khaled Mahmoud really did not know how to teach when he first came to the UK but now he is one of the best teachers in the world!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    Taheya, Suheir, I still don't know where I stand on the great teacher = great dancer debate. I know for a fact great dancer doesn't equal great teacher, but when it comes to the other way around, I've seen teachers who are very mediocre dancers produce very good dancers in their classes. I've also recently discovered what I would describe a very poor performer but whose class performed a very passable performance! Perhaps that teacher lacks the finesse to perform, but can inspire the student to want to invest the energy and commitment...? A student isn't always a fair assessment of a teacher. I'm waffling as I'm unsure where I'm going here!
    I've also seen students who are much better than their teachers, I suspect these are the students who have the enthusiasm to seek tuition and watch performances outside the sphere of that particular teacher's classroom. I agree that student performances are not always representative of a particular teacher's skills, but watching fellow ('intermediate' or even 'advanced') students in workshops who cannot execute basic movements such as a Suheir Zaki 'chonk', that really is a damning indictment of their teacher! And as for having been in workshops with *teachers* who cannot execute basic movements...

  9. #29
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suheir View Post
    I agree that student performances are not always representative of a particular teacher's skills, but watching fellow ('intermediate' or even 'advanced') students in workshops who cannot execute basic movements such as a Suheir Zaki 'chonk', that really is a damning indictment of their teacher! And as for having been in workshops with *teachers* who cannot execute basic movements...
    Yes, it riles me to see so-called 'teachers' who you wouldn't be able to pick out from a beginner class. But I don't even really include them in the equation (it would get too depressing!)

    Possibly hijacking the thread a little, but what if you had the scenario of a teacher who has diligently studied the dance for a long time, has a huge wealth of knowledge, has great teaching abilities but just lacks that crucial talent. They're an ok dancer but will never be a great dancer. Could someone like that produce a good dancer, if they find the student with a little bit of natural talent?

    Going back to the original thread, how do these courses 'select' their students? Or is it open to anyone who wants to apply (ie, pay)?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    Yes, it riles me to see so-called 'teachers' who you wouldn't be able to pick out from a beginner class. But I don't even really include them in the equation (it would get too depressing!)
    Sadly, they are numerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    Possibly hijacking the thread a little, but what if you had the scenario of a teacher who has diligently studied the dance for a long time, has a huge wealth of knowledge, has great teaching abilities but just lacks that crucial talent. They're an ok dancer but will never be a great dancer. Could someone like that produce a good dancer, if they find the student with a little bit of natural talent?
    I'm sure that's possible, if they're able to supply a student with the necessary building blocks of knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    Going back to the original thread, how do these courses 'select' their students? Or is it open to anyone who wants to apply (ie, pay)?
    Well, at least one has a basic audition, but from the abilities of some of the graduates I've seen it must be the equivalent of just writing your name on an examination paper

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