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  1. #111
    Junior Member SumayaSaahir's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I don’t think that certification or standardization is necessary, but I think it’s a good option for some. Many of us start teaching before we know it all (or even just a little), and there are certain gaps in our training, I’m sure that we’ve all experienced. Which is why many of us go to many different teachers throughout our careers. As the president of the Chicago Chapter of MECDA, I thought long and hard about what I could do for the community that would be beneficial to us all (besides the weekend workshop).

    So I thought I’d book Hadia for her teacher certification series because it seemed a lot of us in the community had reached a critical 5 year point where we were interested in teaching and performing on a more professional level. I thought that a certification program could go a long way for making sure we're as knowledgeable as possible before going out into the world, as it were.

    Necessary? No. But I believe it can be useful and has its place. Regardless, its all just IMHO, so thanks for listening

  2. #112
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    psst -- Sumaya -- thanks for letting us know about the Hadia program!!! I'm going to try to make it up there for the level 1 -- I'm not sure about level 2, as that would depend on if it was in early or late October (end of fiscal year gets CRAZY at my office!)

  3. #113
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    One point I had to make is that 'uncertified' dance instructors (of any kind) get less pay than others. There is no all-over bellydance instructor certification so that can be a bone of contention with potential employers. I suppose that's why many of us wind up opening our own studios.

    Another thing about it is the travel and expense involved in getting certified. I wish there was something local just so I had a piece of paper to show people who were looking to hire me as a teacher. Because the thing is...anyone can just go out and teach this dance, nobody has any idea whether they are even experienced. So how do we solve that issue?

  4. #114
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    anyone can just go out and teach this dance, nobody has any idea whether they are even experienced. So how do we solve that issue?
    If and when you figure this out, please alert the ballet and tap and jazz community

    Didn't you ever see a "Little Miss Suzy's School of Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Acrobatics, Hula, Flaming Baton, Lion Taming, and Sword Swallowing" ?

    Seriously -- the standards for commercial ballet instruction got SO poor in the 80s that Bill Noble wrote the book (literally) The Parents Book of Ballet, which was a guide for parents to help them evaluate ballet schools and instructors, and gave guidelines to deciding upon pre-professional programs or just recreational ones.

    Parents who don't automatically KNOW, or who don't realize that not all dance education is equal, often send their kids to the closest dance studio, or the one where all their children's friends go. This book gave parents the KNOWLEDGE to choose an appropriate instructor instead of just assuming the school knows of what it teaches.

    But you STILL see Little Miss Suzy schools all over the country, and you still see some pretty poor instruction, even on the recreational level.

    DanceMasters and "certifying" organizations exist for ballet/tap/jazz, and their standards for certification can be pretty rigorous and thorough -- but there aren't that many parents who realize or care what certification means.

    So would adult belly dance students care what "Certified Middle Eastern Dance Instructor" means?

    That's one of the arguments against "certification" programs in general -- we dancers might recognize them, but the public may not see the value in them. So why should we spend the energy creating programs like that? That's a very valid criticism and concern.

    For me, I want to go to Hadia's teacher training because I would like to be the best teacher I can possibly be, and I like Hadia's personality and her dancing. I don't need "teacher certification" from her to continue to teach, but it can't POSSIBLY hurt to go and hear wisdom from someone who's been teaching longer and has more anatomy/physiology knowledge than I currently do.

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