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  1. #41
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    Hi teela-

    It is being offered through PE.

    A'isha-

    I just found out about this yesterday and the class won't begin until March so I have no syllabus yet. Their main interests seemed to be years of experience and education in the dance. As I do not have a 'diploma' (no teachers offered one that I studied with) there's not much else they can go by, I suppose.

    Here's Cassandra's page for the class at the U of M:

    University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts and Dance
    Last edited by Brea; 01-27-2008 at 05:20 AM.

  2. #42
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    Hi teela-

    It is being offered through PE.

    A'isha-

    I just found out about this yesterday and the class won't begin until March so I have no syllabus yet. Their main interests seemed to be years of experience and education in the dance. As I do not have a 'diploma' (no teachers offered one that I studied with) there's not much else they can go by, I suppose.

    Here's Cassandra's page for the class at the U of M:

    University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts and Dance

    Dear Brea,
    I must not be looking in the right place. Most Universities have a catalog you can look at to see what they are offering and what credits you get for what classes. I do not seem to be able to find that info. I am curious to see what the class entails and how many credits students receive for taking Cassandra's class. I also could not figure not from her bio if she teaches an accredited course, is faculty, staff, continued ed,(which often is not accredited. I was offered such a class and passed it by because I was too busy and it did not pay as well as my own classes.), affiliate, etc.. This is what I meant when I wanted to read her syllabus. Usually there is a blurb in the class catalog about the basics of the class, or there is a class syllabus that you can access on line.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  3. #43
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    In my past experience with colleges and universities (I am not saying this applies everywhere) you don't need the same type of credentials to teach a P.E. credit as you do to teach a class in the Deptartment of Theatre and Dance. One is considered more academic than the other. Usually a P.E. gives folks one maybe two credits while a class through a regular academic dept is worth 3 credits on average. have fun Brea and enjoy the experience.

  4. #44
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Brea,
    I must not be looking in the right place. Most Universities have a catalog you can look at to see what they are offering and what credits you get for what classes. I do not seem to be able to find that info. I am curious to see what the class entails and how many credits students receive for taking Cassandra's class. I also could not figure not from her bio if she teaches an accredited course, is faculty, staff, continued ed,(which often is not accredited. I was offered such a class and passed it by because I was too busy and it did not pay as well as my own classes.), affiliate, etc.. This is what I meant when I wanted to read her syllabus. Usually there is a blurb in the class catalog about the basics of the class, or there is a class syllabus that you can access on line.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Hi A'isha,

    As far as I know Cassandra teaches a normal dance class for undergrad U of M (Twin Cities) students to take for credit. It is only offered one semester a year, and it might not be offered every year. A girl who came to my Level 2 class was very enthusiatic about the University class. Edit: As you know, Cassandra emphasizes zill work from the very first class, as do the other teachers in her school. The girl who had taken the U of M class, said that Cassandra did not teach zills in the U of M class.

    And the continuing education class for the U of M (Twin Cities) is indeed a different animal in terms of credits, and that has been taught by Catherine Liska (a local dancer/teacher with a long association with Cassandra). I've enjoyed my occasional classes with Catherine, but I didn't take this class, nor have I heard anything about it.

    Two different classes, but I'm not sure of the exact content of each. Hope this helps!

    Edit: This is the link to the course catalog description that contains the Arabic Dance course Cassandra teaches. I really doubt that Cassandra would put her full course syllabus online.

    Twin Cities Course Details : University Catalogs : U of M
    Last edited by da Sage; 01-27-2008 at 11:40 PM. Reason: add content

  5. #45
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Dear da Sage,
    Thanks for the link!! I think their "Dance as a Cultural Practice" class ought to be prerequisite for all dancers who study any ethnic dance. I would love to see how Cassandra grades students, etc. I know she is pretty strict in her interpretations and is the only dancer that I have ever seen who seems to be able to really do justice to both American and Egyptian belly dance. These days, its seems she is doing more westernized dance from what videos I have seen, but she used to be one of the best Egyptian style dancers around, too. She is my favorite of the American Oriental dancers.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasmine Bint Al Nubia View Post
    [snip]

    Bellydance: As much as we love bellydance and devote a significant amount of emotional and financial investment...society does not need bellydancers. I know you may hate to hear it, but it's true. What society needs is an artistic community free from a certain level of restriction placed on it by an outside board of governors. The creative essence of this dance would be lost... it cannot be taught. It has to be discovered.

    I'm not dismissing the idea of belly dance certification, just highlighting some realities. For some people this is a great way continue the dance for others, it's just a piece of paper. As a teacher,I have discovered there is a difference between what is taught and the student actually learns and incorporates. If a certification would guarantee higher wages and benefits for nightclub dancers, or equitable respect with other dance forms or even recognition amongst peers, then I would be for it 100%. But it doesn't(not yet anyway) so for me ..why bother. I'll just continue to enjoy the dance in the meantime.
    Yasmine
    Dear Yasmine
    How beautifully you have encompassed belly dance [quote]"The creative essence of this dance would be lost... it cannot be taught. It has to be discovered.[unquote]

    No amount of certification can give you that.
    ~Mosaic

  7. #47
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    A'isha: Oh I thought you were asking me what MY class syllabus would be. I also provided the link to Cassandra's U of M class; maybe nobody saw it?

    Frankly I didn't even ask the dance department, because I was originally just looking for space to hold the class in. I didn't expect to be offered a position at the university doing it! I was sent to the health and wellness center. However, I might go talk to the dance dept and see if they would be interested. I would like to see more ME dance classes in universities; I think it will help give bellydance more credit in the world at large.

    Thanks for the well-wishing, everybody!

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    A'isha: Oh I thought you were asking me what MY class syllabus would be. I also provided the link to Cassandra's U of M class; maybe nobody saw it?

    Frankly I didn't even ask the dance department, because I was originally just looking for space to hold the class in. I didn't expect to be offered a position at the university doing it! I was sent to the health and wellness center. However, I might go talk to the dance dept and see if they would be interested. I would like to see more ME dance classes in universities; I think it will help give bellydance more credit in the world at large.

    Thanks for the well-wishing, everybody!
    Dear Brea,
    Yes, I saw the link, but it went to Cassandra's bio and what I was looking for was info on her class as far as credits, class content. etc.
    You are teaching dance in the Health and Wellness department? How many credits will the class be and how did they hire you without a degree in dance? (I believe that Cassandra does have a dance degree if I remember correctly from her info from years ago.) What criteria do they use for hiring you without a degree? Interesting!!
    I still feel that teaching in an academic environment is not going to be really great for the dance. I think I can use one if Cassandra's choreographies as an example. Looking at her Tunisian video on Youtube, somehow the "Tunisianess" of the dance is lost in her choreography, and the dance looks nothing like either modern or traditional versions that I have on video from Tunisia. What she presents on stage is lovely and it is done in proper costume, with the right music, and the totally wrong essence. Now, maybe this is explained in the program that more than likely is given to those who attend the performance, but unless she also shows a more Tunisian feeling dance, the audience is not going to know the difference and what she presents becomes the reality of the dance for them, whether or not it at all represents an ethnic reality.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  9. #49
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    Hi A'isha,

    All I know is that it was offered to me when I explained my performance and teaching experience. I tend to be more of a 'personality expressed through the dance' kind of teacher; I only do improv unless I am doing a group piece (which I know you don't think belongs in the dance). As a history and anthropology major I tend to also teach history and culture of the dance as well as the movement vocabulary.

    I do not have a degree in dance; frankly, from what I have seen, bellydancers with original experience in ballet seem to have trouble with the free flowing form of this particular dance style. Improv also tends to be very difficult for them. I think we've discussed this previously; you and I seem to agree about the dance in a lot of ways. That is, I disagree about the feminine essence thing, but I do agree in general that this dance is mainly about the spirit and passion behind it, expressed in the dance form.

    Since this is all very new, I haven't heard back about how many credits it will be. I will get back to you when they tell me; they are still discussing it amongst themselves.

    Here's Cassandra's info page from her website; I don't recall ever reading that she got a degree in dance, but I could be wrong! I do recall that she was perfectly fine with my interest in auditioning for burlesque shows; I think she started out in one herself. I intend to continue my studies with her (when I can, because I have relocated, but it's still not that far to travel to learn from one of the best!)

    Cassandra - Biography
    Last edited by Brea; 01-28-2008 at 06:09 PM.

  10. #50
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    Here's Cassandra's info page from her website; I don't recall ever reading that she got a degree in dance, but I could be wrong! I do recall that she was perfectly fine with my interest in auditioning for burlesque shows; I think she started out in one herself. I intend to continue my studies with her (when I can, because I have relocated, but it's still not that far to travel to learn from one of the best!)

    Cassandra - Biography
    I haven't ever heard that Cassandra started in a burlesque show...I thought they were a nineties thing (after they faded from popularity in the fifties or whenever). I would love to hear that story!

    Also, I'd like your opinion on how private lessons with Cassandra work out, let me know. Sometime when I have more $$, I will need some privates to work on some things, and I'm not sure who to go with for that.

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