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  1. #11
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hadassah View Post
    We've had quite a few discussions on this topic, and we've pretty much come to the consensus that less than five years of dance experience(on average) is much too soon to teach..
    YES, YES, YES !!! Five years of dance experience is the absolute minimum.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hadassah View Post
    Also, you are very lucky your teacher didn't get angry at you for going ahead and teaching a class without her knowledge. This is a MAJOR faux-pas, and pretty disrespectful.. I'm surprised that with 20 years experience, she never told you this...Don't mean to be harsh, but here again, ethics are the core to professionalism.
    Indeed! If a student of mine would have done this after having just 9 months of training, she would have to choose between quitting her teaching ambitions or leave my school and never come back

  2. #12
    Member Hadassah's Avatar
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    Chryssanthi - and you would have been completely justified! Some teachers even make their students sign a contract that they will not:
    1. Undercut them on gigs
    2. Teach unless teaching under their teacher at her studio, with her permission
    3. Will not even take gigs without teacher's permission.
    4. Will complete sessions in a timely manner, not be late to class, not disrupt.
    5. Will not take lessons from other teachers (pretty extreme, but heard of)

    My teacher goes by an honor system, but she has been undermined and abused before. There is nothing more disrespectful than undermining another dancer, period. Especially your teacher. And nothing more special than the teacher/student relationship, where the teacher becomes a surrogate mother/mentor, and if she's a good teacher(like mine!) will do anything to help her students be the best dancer they can be. Which includes being an ethical dancer.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hadassah View Post
    There is nothing more disrespectful than undermining another dancer, period. Especially your teacher. And nothing more special than the teacher/student relationship, where the teacher becomes a surrogate mother/mentor, and if she's a good teacher(like mine!) will do anything to help her students be the best dancer they can be. Which includes being an ethical dancer.
    Hadassah, you are absolutely right! That's why I don't let my students sign contracts with the points you mentioned, but I try to make them understand not only the technique, but also the ethics of the dance. Until now I was lucky, none of my students tried to undermine me, but I cannot exclude that something like this happens one day. I do my best though to make them understand that doing such things one harms only herself at the end.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Mouse's Avatar
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    Have you been taught how to teach the movements safely in order for your students to avoid injury and what stretches etc you would need to do as warm up and cool downs depending on what muscles you are going to be/have been working? My teacher is very good in these areas and it is something I am very grateful for.

  5. #15
    Member TribalDancer's Avatar
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    "Even if your teacher approves your teaching abilities, this doesn't really give you the skills to teach. And if I am honest, I even doubt about the professionality of your teacher, if she finds it o.k. that a total beginner (because this is what you are after 9 months of belly dancing) teaches a class on her own. Maybe you are very talented, but still you lack a lot of knowledge and experience."

    I have to pipe up along with Chrissanthi and others. 9 months is waaaay too early. Even 2 years is waaaay too early. I would entertain earlier than 5 if it was under the eye of a teacher who is training you to teach. And the excuse, "But I am only teaching beginners" is the worst excuse because, as others have said, beginning levels is where you create strong foundations for a new dancer. This is the most crucial time for a new dancer to receive good instruction, with strong technique and safe habits of dance and development. Someone barely more experienced than them, no matter what other dance styles or movement they may have studied, is not a good mentor in their dance development. It's akin to the history teacher who reads a chapter ahead than their students...it's just not right.

    I hope you don't feel we're being harsh with you. The difficult thing about being a new dancer is we don't know what we don't know! I am frankly stunned that your teacher encouraged you at this early stage, and I, too, question her professionalism at doing so. And perhaps you are getting some major mixed messages from her about what it takes to teach...in which case, you can hardly be blamed for your ignorance in this.

    I wish you the best in whatever transpires. My vote would be to teach fire dancing, if you feel a strong desire to teach. Otherwise, steer your friends who are interested in bellydance toward a more experienced teacher.

  6. #16
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hadassah
    My teacher goes by an honor system, but she has been undermined and abused before. There is nothing more disrespectful than undermining another dancer, period. Especially your teacher. And nothing more special than the teacher/student relationship, where the teacher becomes a surrogate mother/mentor, and if she's a good teacher(like mine!) will do anything to help her students be the best dancer they can be. Which includes being an ethical dancer
    I agree. I've been blessed to have a wonderful teacher who works in similar ways to yours, Hadassah, and I cannot believe how anyone would dare to undermine his/her teacher for that matter. This is the person who tries her best to teach you well, or as Hadassah puts it eventually becomes your mentor and will try anything to help the students improve in dancing and will teach them what is important in for example dance ethics and cultural matters connected with dance. Ethics is important, that will just never change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadassah
    I am not a good teacher. I cannot explain the muscles, joints and such,used in each movement. I can show you, but I can't tell you in a concrete way. And beginners need a concrete way to understand the dance.
    This is my case too. Besides feeling that my three years of experience is way too short to start teaching, I can also not really explain in a concrete and proper way how every move works, while also checking for the right posture and making sure no one gets hurt. I feel having a teacher who can do all these things properly is the best and most important thing in learning to dance (next to ethics, again).
    Therefor I don't feel anyone should be taught by someone who (like me ) can't teach properly and is not able to give a strong and good foundation to build the rest of your dancing on.
    Though also a beginner teaching beginners sounds wrong to me. How will any beginner give good foundation for other beginners, while she is still a beginner herself?
    If you are really wanting to teach, maybe you should instead teach Fire dancing like Tribal Dancer suggested. You've obviously have got much more experience in that field so maybe that might work for you. For your 'students' I can't say much more than that it would be best for them to be taught by a more experienced teacher if they really want to learn.

  7. #17
    Member Mariyam's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong (but I'm sure you will pretty much all agree with me!), but a good dancer, even the best dancer in the world, doesn't always make a good teacher anyway. Some people, or dancers for that matter, are born-teachers, others are learned-teachers, but others are just *not* teachers at all.

    To me, teaching bellydance is not only about being able to execute a movement to perfection in front of my students, it's mostly about being able to explain, describe, decompose that movement so the student can reach (hopefully) this same level of perfection. It's sharing my passion, my knowledge about the dance, in all its aspects, just like Salome rightfully explained.

    I would love to be able to teach dancing one day. I'm currently pursuing a degree in adult education which embraces any kind of teaching to adults. I'm not doing it because I want to teach bd, but I'm sure that if ever I do teach bd (one can dream!), the principles learned in that course would be helpful...

    But don't worry, I certainly won't take the plunge and get my own class anytime soon

  8. #18
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Dear Mariyam, that is exactly what I meant. I see it in myself all the time. I can't really teach, since I lack the capacity to really break down the movements and explain what to do in a proper way.
    I hope I'll learn someday, but until then it's sticking to dancing, learning and performing for me

  9. #19
    Member Hadassah's Avatar
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    I just think, ladies, that if I, as a student - asked my teacher to show me a move, and she couldn't because of her own inexperience - that I would be very flustered as a student. That's my main concern for our nascent teacher here. If I want to see an umi, a camel, a four-point lock, etc - and teach can't produce, well, I just might walk outta class. Not to be harsh, but to call yourself a teacher after nine months? Can you all remember how you were at 9 months? I can! Scary...

  10. #20
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariyam View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong (but I'm sure you will pretty much all agree with me!), but a good dancer, even the best dancer in the world, doesn't always make a good teacher anyway. Some people, or dancers for that matter, are born-teachers, others are learned-teachers, but others are just *not* teachers at all.
    You are absolutely right! A good dancer doesn't necessarily make a good teacher, exactly as a good teacher doesn't necessarily make a good dancer. But still there are enough people who are good in both disciplines. Becoming good though depends on multiple factors:
    a) you have to be talented
    b) you have to study and train hard
    c) you have to gather experience
    d) you have to love what you are doing

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