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Thread: how long..??

  1. #11
    Senior Member sedoniaraqs's Avatar
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    how long have u been belly dancing?: going on 11 years

    how long did it take you to learn to dance professionally?: about 5-6 years (btw I consider myself a fast learner). During that 5-6 years I was very active in amateur performing groups, so I gained alot of performance experience.

    how many lessons did u take a week?: that has varied alot as I have lived different places and had varying levels of access to teachers. However, I had the good luck to have teachers that would correct me during class, which makes learning about 100 times faster than with a teacher that does not correct.

    how often did u practice at home? It ranges from several times per week to every day. It is not always a formal practice. At work I often take 10 minute breaks and dance to something in my office with the door closed. Sometimes I just put something on and dance, sometimes I am trying different choreographic elements for a particular piece I'm working on, sometimes I'm working on specific movements. I consider this practice as it really adds up over time. When I practice at home, I can easily lose track of time and dance for 1-2 hrs. In addition, each week I teach a 1.5 hr class, a 2 hr practice for my student group, and a 1-2 hr rehearsal with my professional troupe.

    how old were u wen u 1st started taking lessons? 30

    Sedonia
    Last edited by sedoniaraqs; 02-09-2008 at 03:03 PM.

  2. #12
    Member mahsati_janan's Avatar
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    how long have u been belly dancing?
    About 14 years

    how long did it take you to learn to dance professionally?
    I began dancing as a member of my first instructor's professional troupe after 2 years and she approved me for solo performances after 3 years.

    how many lessons did u take a week?
    I took two 1.5 hour group classes per week as well as private lessons and workshops.

    how often did u practice at home?
    Every day for approximately 1-1.5 hours

    how old were u wen u 1st started taking lessons?
    About 18


    I began teaching beginning classes after about 5 years with my first instructor's blessing and have continued to perform, teach, and take classes/workshops since. I still practice every day and teach 4 classes per week at different levels.

    Good luck! Practice a lot and study with as many teachers as you can This dance is a wonderful journey!

  3. #13
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    Wow! I wish I could take lessons from Tambra!

    You know what I really wish, though? I wish I had a gap year that I could travel all over the world learning from different belly dance instructors (like they do in kung fu movies....I mean, learning kung fu, not belly dancing). That would be the most amazing world tour...

    I think I have my post-college plans now.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default How long?

    [QUOTE=honey;62559][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Magenta"]hi everyone

    i just have a few questions....


    Dear Honey,

    how long have u been belly dancing? July 1st of this year it will be 34 years.

    how long did it take you to learn to dance professionally?- About 2 years, but before then I danced as an amateur pretty regularly after 6 months, and I actually started dancing "professionally" way before I could do real justice to
    the dance. I recommend at least 5-6 years of dance before even considering professional status for most people.

    how many lessons did u take a week? Most of the time I did not have the luxury of weekly lessons. When I first started, it was twice a week, because my teacher ( Jodette) was not going to be in the area for very long. I also did once a week lessons with Jeanette Cool while she lived here, fir about a year.

    how often did u practice at home? When I first started, every single day for hours.

    how old were u wen u 1st started taking lessons? 21

    i have only done 2 lessons so far, but i've always loved the movements of belly dance, i really hope i can dance how professionals dance some day.. but being 26 i wonder if thats possible..? You are never too old and 26 is like, a baby compared to when some women start. My newest dance company member started when she was 38.

    Regards,
    A'isha

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    I wish I had a gap year that I could travel all over the world learning from different belly dance instructors (like they do in kung fu movies....I mean, learning kung fu, not belly dancing). That would be the most amazing world tour...

    I think I have my post-college plans now.
    OOohh! Sign me up!!

  6. #16
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    Honey, there is a lot to think about here. You've received some great replies. Some things I would add would be that in addition to taking classes and practicing at home, you listen to as much music as you can stand. The middle east is a big area and there are so many cultures with their own music and dance styles. Be eclectic and take it all in. The dance and the music go together hand-in-hand. So while your body is learning the dance form, let your mind and your ear learn the music. this will help you determine what appeals to you when you start thinking about styles you want to work on.

    Also look into workshops in your area. Try to go to a few every year to study with master teachers and to see excellent dancers perform in various styles.

    The "how to" videos on YouTube have to come with a caveat. They are only as good as the person teaching them. And there are some pretty poor dancers with how to belly dance videos posted on YouTube. The reason I am saying this is that right now while you are learning the basics of the dance form you want to develop good habits and not ones that you will have to undo later on. Some of the ones posted on YouTube as "dancers" who have had no training, are simply imitating moves. There is no cultural context to what they are doing and often the moves are done poorly with poor music choices and improper posture.

    You wold be better off working on drilling the basics that your teachers gives you so that you can develop the muscular control to do them properly.

    If you goal is being a professional and teaching, take a lot of time to learn as much as you can about the history and culture of the areas that the various middle eastern dance forms come from. Middle eastern dance is inseparable from the people themselves as it is basically a folk dance that has evolved into stage and cabaret versions as well as social dancing.

    You'll also need to learn about the various rhythms in middle eastern music. How to identify them, how to play them on zills or drum, appropriate movements for each rhythm. Some of this will be simply studying as much as you can, and some will involve you learning by listening to, dancing to, and playing the the rhythms yourself. You will need this as a professional dancer as well as need it in order to teach.

    It might take you 3 or 4 years to feel comfortable enough with all this or it could take longer, depending on your skills, aptitudes, desires, and how much time and energy you can put into it. But since this can be a lifetime pursuit, it is time well spent. You will learn much about yourself as well as about other people.

    Good luck. Souzan

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Souzan View Post
    The The reason I am saying this is that right now while you are learning the basics of the dance form you want to develop good habits and not ones that you will have to undo later on. . Souzan
    Boy, ain't that the truth?! There is nothing harder than unlearning a bad habit.

    When I started learning miayas (sp?) (the figure 8 where the hip contracts, then goes out, then down and back to neutral, then start over on the other side), I was taught to lift on the heels of the feet, rather than using the hip and thigh muscles. Sometimes I still catch myself doing it with the feet. Not nearly as nice looking.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    MY first teacher told me that she didn't think that beginners needed too much technique, they just wanted to learn a dance. I now catch myself dancing with rounded shoulders. Not only that but she then said I couldn't join her other class (advanced!!)as I wasn't good enough, and she couldn't slow it down by teaching me technique!!!

  9. #19
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    thx 4 the great advice all of u..

    as im half arabic i lsn 2 arabic music alot and do social dance 2 it, so im familiar with the different types u can get. i need 2 broaden it 2 turkish aswell as thats wat im learning.
    thx 4 the tips on youtube, i'll be carefull bout them. i would like 2 aim by the time im 30, i dunno if u think this is realistic.. 3 1/2 years?
    i will keep on the lookout for workshops.
    next week we r learning gypsy style.
    i need 2 do some research bout the history on belly dance, but i think i will leave that till later on and concentrate on learning the moves at the moment.
    luckily my instructor is very good, she taught us the posture and she comes and helps and corrects u wen she c's that ur not doin the move correctly.
    thx again

  10. #20
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    Honey,

    It would be very helpful if you would right out complete words instead of using texting shortcuts. Remember that there dancers from all over the world on this site and for many English is not their first language. So it helps to use standard English so that everyone understands.

    And now on to some YouTube suggestions. You might want to check out the clips recommended here at Orientaldancer.net and at Bhuz.com. Sometimes people will post links for something on YouTube that is really outrageously awful, but usually the links here are for wonderful performances by excellent dancers.

    This will give you a chance to see many excellent performances in a variety of styles. And will help you hone your eye and ear.

    Good luck with your pursuits. You are on the right track.

    Souzan

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