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Thread: *sigh*

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    Default *sigh*

    I keep watching these videos of these absolutely beautiful, expressive, amazing dancers, and I keep wondering to myself, "Will I *EVER* be able to do that?"

    I'm eager to take lessons from a renowned instructor in the area, but I'm really afraid to, because Ive heard she has certain ideals of what a dancer should look like, and I don't fit the criteria. Ive seen her students, and they are all about 5-7 inches taller than me, and weigh about 20-30lbs less than I do. *sigh*

    Ive never been the type of person that had to take years to master something. Ever since I was a little girl Ive been quick to pick up everything. So imagine my surprise and frustration when I realize that YES belly dance IS going to take YEARS to master.

    For the first time in my life, I feel fat and slow. I dont like this feeling. I love to dance so much! But I hate the feeling I get after Im done and think to myself, "Ah man, I KNOW I could have done this better, that better etc etc"

    Anybody else ever feel like that in the beginning? How did you get over it? What kinds of things helped you? I need some encouragement!

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    Oh dear heavens.

    You know, I came to this forum with one question in mind and I've seen quite a bit of posts about this one instructor with the dreaded "requirements" for her students and I think my question has been answered.

    This woman you speak of who doesn't allow overweight students sounds like a nightmare to me as a woman, to me as a bellydancer, to all womankind, and to the art of bellydance itself.

    I've been dancing everyday for the past 5 years and have become what I consider an "advanced" bellydancer. The reason I was able to stick with it is because I love it so much, it's become an addiction.

    It also helped in knowing that although I was/am overweight, it didn't matter. Of course, dancing for 5 years has helped me tremendously with my self-image and has facilitated in my losing about 50 pounds.

    I'm still chubby, which brings me to my question. I want to start instructing bellydance in my city. I wanted your opinions on how I should go about this.

    I feel intuitively that this is the "next step" for me. The "problem" is that I have never performed, and I doubt I will ever be interested in performing. I think bellydance is a great way for people to get in touch with and be able to listen to their bodies and it's a great form of self-love.

    I want to express to prospective students that because of my years of training and taking many classes with different instructors, and my background in massage therapy (which means lots of extensive anatomy and physiology studies) I have the means to show people how to use their bodies to express themselves and become healthy and whole in mind and body.

    What do you all think? I would GREATLY appreciate your opinions. Would it put you off if you saw an ad for a bellydance instructor and later found out she's never performed? Oh and also, the reason I want to instruct is because in the many classes I took it was very easy for me to help the other students grasp the movement the instructor was trying to teach...basically, it's easy for me to articulate what needs to physically be done. That's probably also because I grew up with bellydance.

    And in more response to that instructor you all are talking about..I was nervous about being overweight and wanting to instruct bellydance, but after reading these posts about her I wanna do it even more, just to spite her

    And Amber, you are a goddess. Please don't ever forget that. Godesses have lots of learning to do too, you know You WILL be able to do that some day. And don't EVER EVER EVER feel "fat and slow". That's not the real you talking, it's the false messages people like this instructor is trying to convince you of.

    I hate nothing more than when other WOMEN are discouraging and judgemental of the different shapes and sizes of women.

    Good luck to you, I know you will succeed!

    Rita

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    I have to agree with Rita. I think you would be better off finding a different instructor in your area who treats everyone with respect. Belly dancing is meant for all shapes and sizes. It does take a LONG time to master, but have fun while you are doing it That should help you feel good about yourself. Hugs and Kisses to you and happy dancing.

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    Smile

    I would say... just be yourself and dance!!!!
    When I performe I do It for myself not to show to others how I look or how I dance!Enjoy and feel the music....and of course forget your size!!!! I have seen realy fat woman doing amazing bellydance!!!

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    I agree with the others. If that teacher thinks you should be tall and thin to be a good dancer, than she doesn't know what the dance is really about.

    And yes it takes years to master, but the good thing is you can have so much fun with it already when you haven't mastered it yet!

    I hope you will be able to find a good teacher who respects everyone and you'll have a lot of fun dancing with the other students of all shapes, sizes and ages. Good luck!

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    There are instructors in my area that have these 'requirements' too, which is an absolute load of ****!!! Belly dance isn't supposed to be about weight. That is why I am opening my studio here. Don't go with a teacher with that kind of obsession, because they'll be more interested in your weight than your prowess as a dancer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber View Post
    I keep watching these videos of these absolutely beautiful, expressive, amazing dancers, and I keep wondering to myself, "Will I *EVER* be able to do that?"

    I'm eager to take lessons from a renowned instructor in the area, but I'm really afraid to, because Ive heard she has certain ideals of what a dancer should look like, and I don't fit the criteria. Ive seen her students, and they are all about 5-7 inches taller than me, and weigh about 20-30lbs less than I do. *sigh*
    Hi Amber,

    You say that you have seen her students...have you seen all her students perform, or is it just a semi-professional or high-level troupe she directs? Has she said particular things in class that a friend is reporting to you?

    Lots of teachers are perfectly fine with students that don't fit a certain mold, but they won't include them in gigs for pay. And a teacher might be fine with all different body types in performance, but choose 90% dancers of a certain type for her troupe, because she wants a uniform look. The odd 10% tend to be excellent dancers, particularly good friends of the director, or both.

    Locally, about half the troupes have a certain body type, and about half don't. After watching lots of BD performances, I understand why a director would want to create a uniform look - it adds something. But just because her troupe is one body type, doesn't mean a teacher can't (or won't) teach a student of a different body type professionally and enthusiastically.

    If you want to learn from this teacher, go for it! Get everything you can out of her classes. Just don't get too hung up on getting into her performance troupe - if you're interested, eventually talk to her about it, but realize it might not happen.

    And if the issue is something she said...take it with a grain of salt, if you didn't witness it yourself. Women in general have HUGE body insecurities, all different ones because they have different bodies, and teachers have to deal with them all in the same class. It is really funny to see a teacher first tell the class to keep their lower abdomen in "so it doesn't jiggle", then say that the dance is meant to make your womanly parts shake, and that a little extra flesh is the best thing for the dance, and then assure a small-busted, beautifully muscular woman that she doesn't have to have a huge rack to make a shoulder shimmy look good. This was all in the same five minutes! And any of the supportive comments could have made a differently shaped woman feel slightly insecure - although that was not the teacher's intention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    There are instructors in my area that have these 'requirements' too, which is an absolute load of ****!!! Belly dance isn't supposed to be about weight. That is why I am opening my studio here. Don't go with a teacher with that kind of obsession, because they'll be more interested in your weight than your prowess as a dancer!
    I know exactly who you are talking about and I totally agree. It is really a shame and hopefully someday she will be put in her place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rita View Post
    I've been dancing everyday for the past 5 years and have become what I consider an "advanced" bellydancer. The reason I was able to stick with it is because I love it so much, it's become an addiction.

    It also helped in knowing that although I was/am overweight, it didn't matter. Of course, dancing for 5 years has helped me tremendously with my self-image and has facilitated in my losing about 50 pounds.

    I'm still chubby, which brings me to my question. I want to start instructing bellydance in my city. I wanted your opinions on how I should go about this.

    I feel intuitively that this is the "next step" for me. The "problem" is that I have never performed, and I doubt I will ever be interested in performing. I think bellydance is a great way for people to get in touch with and be able to listen to their bodies and it's a great form of self-love.

    I want to express to prospective students that because of my years of training and taking many classes with different instructors, and my background in massage therapy (which means lots of extensive anatomy and physiology studies) I have the means to show people how to use their bodies to express themselves and become healthy and whole in mind and body.

    What do you all think? I would GREATLY appreciate your opinions. Would it put you off if you saw an ad for a bellydance instructor and later found out she's never performed? Oh and also, the reason I want to instruct is because in the many classes I took it was very easy for me to help the other students grasp the movement the instructor was trying to teach...basically, it's easy for me to articulate what needs to physically be done. That's probably also because I grew up with bellydance.

    Rita
    Hi Rita,

    I judge a teacher by how well she teaches, combined with how well she demonstrates moves. I take into account how much I like her performances, how much I enjoy her classes, and how well her students dance.

    If you don't perform, you will probably get fewer students. But if you are a good teacher (and it sounds like you would be), you will retain your students longer, and get more word-of-mouth referrals.

    Word-of-mouth got me into the class of a dancer whom I always thought was "boring" from her performances - turns out she is a great teacher. Watching a student performance where the quality of each student's performance seemed linked to individual talent, instead of a more uniform quality which would indicate more in-class correction and rehearsal, made me decide not to take classes from a dynamic performer.

    I hope you do teach, and I hope you also challenge yourself to perform a few times...that way, if a student asks, you can honestly say that you have performed, but it was not something you enjoyed doing. Best of luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    Hi Rita,

    I Watching a student performance where the quality of each student's performance seemed linked to individual talent, instead of a more uniform quality which would indicate more in-class correction and rehearsal, made me decide not to take classes from a dynamic performer.
    hmmmm if I understand you correctly, you may want to rethink that.... a teacher who produces many decent students who are projecting their INDIVIDUAL talents well would seem to me in keeping with the true spirit of bellydance as opposed to cookie cutter corps de ballet type students.....

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