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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Dear Babylonia,
    YOU Go GRRRRLLLLLLL!!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  2. #12
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    Jenc-

    This seems to be a bizarre recent interpretation of how to teach belly dance. I agree with Babylonia's teacher...SO important to know your music, because improv is the heart and soul of this dance. Think about it- you can screw up a choreography but when you improvise there is nothing to screw up! I would generally plan a beginning and ending to each piece and then improv the rest of it. During the class I would also have my students dance their own improvisation using the taught moves by playing a song none of them had heard during the class (or possibly ever). THIS, I believe, is the most important drill, because it gets them accustomed to the kind of spirit live drummers bring to the dance (ie, the dance in its natural habitat).

    I also did eventually teach a group choreography at the end, with the dancers who were solidly certain they wanted to be in the end-of-year recital. However, they were coming from a solid base of the dance as improvisation, and their solos were all danced improv onstage. It looked beautiful! I believe that teaching improv is the best first, because it is the basis of this dance.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I presume you mean how I was taught was bizarre, not my suggestions of how you could get the uptight British to start to improvise!!!

  4. #14
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Hey Babylonia, way to go!

    If you have any tips on how to teach seniors, I would love to hear them.

    My mother teaches line dancing to seniors, and when she was finally able to get to a certification course, they told her not to start them out with grapevines, as they might not be flexible enough for them at the beginning of class - if you do grapevines, wait until the middle of class (after they're warmed up), and go slowly at first. I mention this because most of my BD classes have included grapevines at some point.

  5. #15
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    Jenc-

    Yes, of course!

  6. #16
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    Hey Babylonia, way to go!
    Trimmed...

    If you have any tips on how to teach seniors, I would love to hear them.

    I occasionally sub the seniors cardio circuit and a seniors yoga class through a national program. In our certification training, they stress senior specifics that sound very stereotyped, so not all these will apply to every senior. My dad won't take the class, he says it's full of "old people"! He *is* old people, but only chronologically.

    Here's some stuff, in no real order, they have us do with seniors that translate to a BD class:

    - make sure they have a docs permission to excercise

    - maintain direct eye contact. teach facing the class, not facing a mirror.

    - don't spin fast or have the student's backs to you. keep senior students facing you. avoid rotational and multi-focal choreography. maintain the eye contact.

    - minimal traveling

    - verbally cue more loudly than you normally would and physically cue as well. give plenty of warning when changing movements or sides, but don't change to fast. fast changes, especially in footwork, can be a fall risk.

    - being aware of specific individual's physical limitations

    - get first aid certified, seniors are a high risk group

    - using a lower volume of music that's more classical in scope, not pop or hip-hop sounding. only go up to about 128 BPM

    - not a lot of change, many of them dislike any change in routine (and boy do they let you know it!)

    - low impact

    - encourage seniors to count with you. this forces them to breath.

    - encourage hydration

    - student chair options: can remain seated or use a chair for support. teachers teach from a standing position

    - allow seniors to wear whatever shoes they need, many seniors have special foot support needs

    - watch seniors for hyperflexion and hyperextension of the joints. Don't let them go beyond:
    neck 30 degrees
    shoulder joint 180 degrees
    wrist 90
    forward hip flex 45 degrees
    lumbar spine at the waist 30 degrees

    - watch for overuse of a joint or muscle group

    - never let seniors do squats, deep knee bends, sustained shoulder aduction

    - I'd start seniors with a 45 min class time.

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    I wish some of you guys had been teaching me. Based on my experience I would say that many beginners want choreography because they want to feel safe. My beginners class taught one choreography over 20 weeks. Pretty well the only stuff we worked on every week would be a small segment of the dance. This was so boring. After 20 weeks I still couldn't remember the dance and I have been left with such an amount of stuff not covered. We were asked to improv once, but about week 3 when no one felt secure. One way to move them on would be to teach 2-3 moves then combine into short sequence, then dance to different music, different tempo, small/large, smooth, accented. Once they are used to this you could ask them for suggestions. how i wish I had done this from the start.
    Jen
    At our school we TRY to place an emphasis on improvisation to the music. Ours is a 12 week beginner A and B course. Each time I teach a class I focus on the students so each class will always be different! Although I understand how reluctant many students feel about improv. There is a fear of letting oneself 'go' and being self-consciuos of the other students around them. However as a teacher, I must teach according to certain principles and not always on the expectations of the students. In other words, If I shy away from teachig improv...then the students will never develop the sense of musicality and free style expression. If I only taught choreography, they will become dependent on the facade of the dance rather than it's true essence. If I didn't provide some level of challenge(according to their abliity) then the student will stagnate and not develop the holistic approach that this dance demands. I know that students DO NOT practice the lessons that are taught, but yet they expect the teacher to pour the knowldege into their brains and bodies. It just doesn't work that way. Practice creates the kinetic memory necessary for success, however many adult students don't get this concept and I can see the frustraton in their eyes.
    Yasmine

  8. #18
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    I occasionally sub the seniors cardio circuit and a seniors yoga class through a national program. In our certification training, they stress senior specifics that sound very stereotyped, so not all these will apply to every senior. My dad won't take the class, he says it's full of "old people"! He *is* old people, but only chronologically.

    Here's some stuff, in no real order, they have us do with seniors that translate to a BD class:

    - make sure they have a docs permission to excercise

    - maintain direct eye contact. teach facing the class, not facing a mirror.

    - don't spin fast or have the student's backs to you. keep senior students facing you. avoid rotational and multi-focal choreography. maintain the eye contact.

    - minimal traveling

    - verbally cue more loudly than you normally would and physically cue as well. give plenty of warning when changing movements or sides, but don't change to fast. fast changes, especially in footwork, can be a fall risk.

    - being aware of specific individual's physical limitations

    - get first aid certified, seniors are a high risk group

    - using a lower volume of music that's more classical in scope, not pop or hip-hop sounding. only go up to about 128 BPM

    - not a lot of change, many of them dislike any change in routine (and boy do they let you know it!)

    - low impact

    - encourage seniors to count with you. this forces them to breath.

    - encourage hydration

    - student chair options: can remain seated or use a chair for support. teachers teach from a standing position

    - allow seniors to wear whatever shoes they need, many seniors have special foot support needs

    - watch seniors for hyperflexion and hyperextension of the joints. Don't let them go beyond:
    neck 30 degrees
    shoulder joint 180 degrees
    wrist 90
    forward hip flex 45 degrees
    lumbar spine at the waist 30 degrees

    - watch for overuse of a joint or muscle group

    - never let seniors do squats, deep knee bends, sustained shoulder aduction

    - I'd start seniors with a 45 min class time.
    I agree 100%
    Yasmine

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Default improv

    If you ask beginners to improv, your class looks at you like this:



    I wait until they have a basic choreo down so they have some movement vocabulary and transitions to draw on. I save improv for our cool down toward the end of class. They are more in the zone at that point. I turn the lights out and sometimes leave the room or go through papers for a short while, so they don't feel inhibited or that I'm looking at them critically. For the very nervous, veils are like security blankets. We play a lot of improv games, it's more fun and gives them something to focus on while they let the rest go, kind of like meditation. My favorites are:

    - your feet are stuck to the floor
    - musical statues
    - dance while sitting in a chair
    - you can't use your favorite move
    - combo telephone
    - restaurant dancer
    - dance with eyes closed
    - mirroring with a partner

  10. #20
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    I occasionally sub the seniors cardio circuit and a seniors yoga class through a national program. In our certification training, they stress senior specifics that sound very stereotyped, so not all these will apply to every senior. My dad won't take the class, he says it's full of "old people"! He *is* old people, but only chronologically.

    Here's some stuff, in no real order, they have us do with seniors that translate to a BD class
    Thanks, Jane! What an incredibly useful list!

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