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  1. #31
    Junior Member Hyacinth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Hey Hyacinth,

    Is the problem
    1. that you need the mirror to see what you're doing, no matter what direction you face

    or

    2. that you learned the choreography while your body was oriented a certain way (facing a certain direction) and when you face a different wall, it messes you up?
    Hi Aziyade,

    I also have a ballet background and don't have a problem with the arabesques, turns, etc - it's subtle torso movements that I have trouble remembering the feel of - guess I just have crap body awareness!

  2. #32
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    Shanazel-

    One of my first teaching experiences was in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia...where no teacher had been before. So I had more difficulty than is probably usual with my students. I think mirrors would have been intensely detrimental to people who were not accustomed to the 'shake' of bellydance, if you ken my meaning!

    I am a devotee of la fee verte...as well as whatever mystic thing is in charge of Scottish whisky.

  3. #33
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sedoniaraqs
    {shrugs} I guess you can teach cooking also without letting the students taste the food.
    Wow, no need to react like that...
    My teacher who teaches without mirrors is a very good dancer and wonderful teacher. I have never seen people in her class being "lost without a mirror". I was used to dance with a mirror before I started taking lessons with her and it took me half an hour to even notice there were no mirrors. Her style of teaching is very different from most teachers, that might make the difference?

  4. #34
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I think mirrors would have been intensely detrimental to people who were not accustomed to the 'shake' of bellydance, if you ken my meaning!
    I ken, but I don't agree. People are people. Some are intimidated by the mirrors to begin with, some are not. The ones that are intimidated get over it unless they have some pretty serious hang ups that need more than a dance class to fix. For the vast majority of students, it is just a matter of learning to use a new tool and facing reality.

    In some ways, being afraid to use mirrors is comparable to writing students who are terrified to read their work aloud: you can't really know your own dance until you see it or your own stories until you hear them. Silent reading and sightless dancing leave the performer at a loss, whether they realize it or not, and that opinion is founded on many, many years of teaching, studying, writing, reading and performing.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 02-27-2008 at 03:37 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #35
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Mirrors, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Wow, no need to react like that...
    My teacher who teaches without mirrors is a very good dancer and wonderful teacher. I have never seen people in her class being "lost without a mirror". I was used to dance with a mirror before I started taking lessons with her and it took me half an hour to even notice there were no mirrors. Her style of teaching is very different from most teachers, that might make the difference?
    Dear Moon,
    Especially if they have never used mirrors, students have no way of measuring their importance. I know that I can take a class in a room with 60 people in it, with no mirrors and still get something from that class. I can definitely state that the class would have been far superior for me if I could visually have checked my work against the instructor's input. If nothing else, mirrors should be an option for students. If they don't like them, they can always not look, but I find that most students value them as a learning tool. I have been teaching for 32 years and have not had any complaints about mirrors. And I seem to recall that every dance studio that I have ever been in has mirrors, from university dance classrooms, to ballet company studios, to the shabbiest little hole in the wall dance studio on skid row in Seattle , Washington, where I used to go to study with Feiruz. There is a reason for that.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  6. #36
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    Ok everyone. I will give it a chance. However it seems many of you want to attack me for this particular opinion. I find that very strange.
    Last edited by Brea; 02-27-2008 at 04:34 PM.

  7. #37
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar
    Dear Moon,
    Especially if they have never used mirrors, students have no way of measuring their importance.
    That is probably true. However in the group where I have lessons with that teacher, 90% of the students originally started with another teacher or still regularly take classes with another teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar
    If nothing else, mirrors should be an option for students. If they don't like them, they can always not look, but I find that most students value them as a learning tool.
    I agree having the choice would be best, though I think teachers should make sure students don't get mirror-dependent.
    However I just wanted to say teaching without a mirror is certainly well possible. Mirrors would not really add something to the teaching style my teacher uses, though they have their value for the style my other teacher uses. Maybe Brea also has a style of teaching in which mirrors are not so important.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar
    I have been teaching for 32 years and have not had any complaints about mirrors. And I seem to recall that every dance studio that I have ever been in has mirrors, from university dance classrooms, to ballet company studios, to the shabbiest little hole in the wall dance studio on skid row in Seattle , Washington, where I used to go to study with Feiruz. There is a reason for that.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Could that be because everyone is just so used to a mirror they think it's extremely important? I also thought teaching without a mirror was impossible before I experienced otherwise.

  8. #38
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Could that be because everyone is just so used to a mirror they think it's extremely important? I also thought teaching without a mirror was impossible before I experienced otherwise.
    Possibly. I certainly don't know any differently.

    But I've actually only been to a scant few actual WORKSHOPS where we had access to mirrors, and one was Suhaila's level 1 class, and the other was an Andalusian dance workshop, and I can tell you right now the mirrors did NOT help!

    You know, there were instructors on the MEDance list who taught blind students. That puts the whole mirror issue aside.

    Personally, I think mirrors help me get my beginners to see what's happening -- BUT I do have to fight with them to realize that their movements are probably not going to be as big as mine. That's always a struggle.

    I've also had students who I SWEAR never looked at the mirror. They looked at me, or (until I could break them of it) the floor. They did just as well as the others. I guess everybody learns in a different way ...

    I think I would be weirded out if I didn't at least have the OPTION to look at or ignore the mirror. Habit, you know.

  9. #39
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Mirrors

    Dear Gang,
    I have taught with and without mirrors and been a student with and without mirrors. I have found both jobs to be much easier with. When I teach workshops, I do everything I can to try to have the sponsor find us a locale with mirrors. I have had students come up to me after class and comment on how nice it was to have them, I also limit my workshop numbers to a manageable 30. It seems unfair to students to pack them into a place like sardines and then say, "Oh, learn this. with no feedback, no personal connection, no mirrors, no floor space, no acknowledgement of YOU as a single being and not a herd animal of some sort". I HATE THAT!!!!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  10. #40
    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    Ok everyone. I will give it a chance. However it seems many of you want to attack me for this particular opinion. I find that very strange.
    Brea, do not take things so personally. The fact that people dont agree with you does not mean that everyone "attacking you". It is not a reasonable thing to think. I see where you come from with people getting way too dependand on mirrors or just posing for themselves instead of paing attention to the instructor. You as a teacher have the power to direct your class wher you think fit, so you can reverse the class away from the mirror, and yes use it as a tool. TYhe fact that the mirrors been used for years and years in dance teaching maybe indicates ythat it is helpful? I personally not able to check myself without a mirror and I did really suffer in a clas without one.

    You however as a teacher can control the situation and why not worout some new approach faceing the problem of distracted students? I think Maria poined out some wonderful ways and I would really love to be in her clas one day!

    *hugs Brea*

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