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  1. #21
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    that doesnt make much sense that a teacher would talk crap about a student. what if one day that student grows up to be a belly dance star and then what...how can she take it all back and say with pride, yep that was my student...i was her first teacher.

    that position is very influential, imo. you will always be grateful to your first teacher. talking about the students not only ruins a relationship but makes the time vested and overall learning experience into something catty and negative. thats a damn shame.

  2. #22
    Member perfumeshop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catwoman View Post
    Sorry for not getting back in touch earlier....things have been a bit hectic!!

    Thank you for all your replies, you really are great and such a help

    Its difficult because even though I do like the idea of the "uniqueness" of what is taught (and of course the others who attend), I feel that need to stretch myself. I see other styles and interpretations and think yes... I want a bit of that!!!!

    Lets see if the grass is really greener on the other side of the fence

    I am already putting feelers out, but if any one can make a recomendation, I would be greatfull.

    Did I say that you're all wonderful?
    Merseyside teachers(Immediate to the Wirral and the City):
    Caroline Thorpe, Susie Higgins,Carol Hall, Dee Eng, Nancy Johnston,Kathy Cheung.
    There are other teachers including myself but we are further out of the area.I can get you contacts if you PM me. There are regular haflas on Merseyside or nearby ..at least 9 I would say a year plus the Teacher Platform organised by Caroline Afifi. Actually this is imminant on Sat 8th September at the Unity Threatre in Hope Place Liverpool. Tickets from the theatre. You can see those teachers and other advanced students in action.

  3. #23
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    Hi,

    I always felt it was the hallmark of any good bellydance instructor to encourage their students to find other teachers. I may have a lot of experience and knowledge but there are others who have knowledge I do not. I always tell my students to learn from others if they can.

    In the area, one of the instructors (who was actually my first teacher) forbids students to leave her. She thinks all the other bellydancers are out to sabotage her and is very competitive and jealous. This has caused her to get kicked out of several places, as well as the general animosity of the bellydance community (many of whom were also once her students). She also went to a fair where there were bellydancers and she and her troupe hadn't been invited; during the show she was shouting 'Get the white girls off the stage! Where are your Arab dancers?!!'....that's a poisonous environment.

    I would say do what you need to do for yourself as a dancer.

    -Brea

  4. #24
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    Hi,

    I always felt it was the hallmark of any good bellydance instructor to encourage their students to find other teachers. I may have a lot of experience and knowledge but there are others who have knowledge I do not. I always tell my students to learn from others if they can.

    In the area, one of the instructors (who was actually my first teacher) forbids students to leave her. She thinks all the other bellydancers are out to sabotage her and is very competitive and jealous. This has caused her to get kicked out of several places, as well as the general animosity of the bellydance community (many of whom were also once her students). She also went to a fair where there were bellydancers and she and her troupe hadn't been invited; during the show she was shouting 'Get the white girls off the stage! Where are your Arab dancers?!!'....that's a poisonous environment.

    I would say do what you need to do for yourself as a dancer.

    -Brea

    Dear Brea,
    I think it is key no matter what one is studying to study with various people, to get different takes on the same thing, to learn more in one particular area or another, etc. Any good college or university has more than one math or science teacher!!

    ... How could anyone even begin to forbid grown up, free people to do anything???!!! What an idiot she must be!!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  5. #25
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    Hi A'isha,

    She's from Jordan, so she is 'authentic'...and therefore believes that only she knows anything about bellydancing. She was a great teacher back when I learned from her but she has changed a lot since then. Obviously when some people are forbidden to do something they go ahead and do it anyway, which is the reason that so many of her former students were at the event. Some of her troupe was in the crowd passing judgement as usual...kind of uncomfortable to see. I think of that when I think of the idea of a bellydance 'cult'.

    -Brea

  6. #26
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea
    "Get the white girls off the stage! Where are your Arab dancers?!!"
    I hate it when people say something like that. It's so offending.
    And since when do all Arabs have a dark skin colour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brea
    She's from Jordan, so she is 'authentic'...and therefore believes that only she knows anything about bellydancing.
    Uhm... I learned that bellydance originated in Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon, so how does that make her authentic?
    She might have an advantage because she understands the arabic songs, but she probably still won't understand the lyrics of Turkish songs.

    I agree with A'isha, she must be an idiot

  7. #27
    Member perfumeshop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    I hate it when people say something like that. It's so offending.
    And since when do all Arabs have a dark skin colour?


    Uhm... I learned that bellydance originated in Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon, so how does that make her authentic?
    She might have an advantage because she understands the arabic songs, but she probably still won't understand the lyrics of Turkish songs.

    I agree with A'isha, she must be an idiot
    Ah yes, we have a local dancer, originally from the Lebanon who before her group performs announced "This is the dance of my country" and looks about her very pointedly......as if to say "How dare you lot..
    Yes we dare and her neighbouring teachers (including mine) can dance her off the floor!!!
    I am afraid that with one very notable exception, I find that our local ladies of Arabic origin don't seem to think they need to train and study the dance.
    And as for colour of skin, I believe that Mona Said has said she found it harder to be accepted as she had a darker skin than the likes of Nagwa Faoud. The "idiot" you quote ,is she not aware that Egyptians vary in skin tone from very dark Nubians to Euro pale ( and very pale at that!)?
    She needs to get out more as they say!

  8. #28
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    Hi A'isha,

    She's from Jordan, so she is 'authentic'...and therefore believes that only she knows anything about bellydancing. She was a great teacher back when I learned from her but she has changed a lot since then. Obviously when some people are forbidden to do something they go ahead and do it anyway, which is the reason that so many of her former students were at the event. Some of her troupe was in the crowd passing judgement as usual...kind of uncomfortable to see. I think of that when I think of the idea of a bellydance 'cult'.

    -Brea

    Dear Brea,
    I think with a lot of natives, as well as with some of the western dancers, we get tired of people calling whatever they want to do by the term "belly dance". That might or might not be part of her issue. There is still no excuse for that kind of behavior in public. (You should actually lean over quietly to your best friend who is sitting beside you and say, "Oh my god, I gotta take a pill to watch this" LOL.) Actually both of my first teachers were originally from Jordan and one sang and danced on the Egyptian circuit. One of them was very adamant about "the true belly dance" as she called it. I take after her, but make room for good fusion if it is referred to as such. My other teacher never danced until she came to America and she was less adamant, but still could be seen to shake her head in private. Neither one of them would have acted like your teacher did. I am glad you mvoed on.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  9. #29
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    The teachers who take the "that's MY culture's dance" and sneer at everyone else are welcome to their opinion, same as anyone else. But if they are so great they should just get up there and show us why we are all so wrong. Wouldn't it be nice (and more productive) if they tried to educate people by being friendly and open with their insider knowledge?

    Resorting to making barbed comments and bitching a) does not help get your "authentic" belly dance appreciated any better, and b) sets a disgusting example for your students. that's probably why they do it, isn't it? It's MY dance and I'm the leader of my little pack.

    ... How could anyone even begin to forbid grown up, free people to do anything???!!!
    Quite. It's probably hard to see this when you are a beginner trying to extricate yourself from a dubious first teacher, with all the potential bad feeling, but when you step back and look at the bigger picture this is exactly what it comes down to. Who do you think you ARE!?

  10. #30
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    I find the 'cult' existing widely among westerners as they tend to argue over minor things and overanalize every little thing they've heard about or seen, much more than the people who come from the culture. You almost never see this in the Middle East, it could be the reason why dancers from those countries (eg. Egypt) look more free and relaxed when dancing. I personally think the dancing itself is no longer fun when it is a competition. Dancing in the west is nearly always a competition and proof is all the contests and 'pageants' that are taking place.

    I see many arab girls who think they can dance when reality is they can't, and yes, there are westerners who can dance circles around them. However, here are women who became great famous dancers without training (eg. Suheir Zaki), its rare but it is possible. I don't think the same could happen with someone who was not raised in a Middle Eastern culture. A non-Egyptian cannot dance the same way as an Egyptian, and this includes Jordan since it isn't part of Egypt. I can usually tell right away when a dancer is from Egypt (even the not so good ones), there is an inherent body language and cultural gestures common to all.. that one can't learn from watching videos or imitating famous dancers.

    Some think they cannot arrive at their goals unless they walk over other people. Your teacher's attitude towards you only reflects her personality, people like that exist everywhere. You're getting fed up with it, so it's time for you to move on.
    Last edited by gypsy8522; 08-27-2007 at 11:28 PM.

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