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  1. #1
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    Default Stopping regular lessons for a while - advice?

    I go away for two weeks, and come back to find everything falling down: my teacher called last night to tell me that, due to a family situation she's going through, she had to make the decision to suspend her twice-weekly classes until after the summer. I've already thought up of two other teachers I could go to, and plan to do some more shopping around this week, but I'm still really sad about not being able to go to my regular teacher, as I really prefer her classes. Right now, I suspect I'm basically looking at about six months of not having regular class sessions, but instead taking workshops, ocassional lessons, and relying on videos, and I would love to hear your tips on getting the most out of these when not going to class. Additionally, I also wish there was something I could do for my teach, as doubtless this is a blow for her, both emotionally and financially, so any extra advice on this from instructors who have gone through similar experiences would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Hi Zurah,

    I'm also a bit stuck with classes. I can't go to my old teacher any more, and I have scheduling issues in general. I just signed up for a class with a really excellent teacher I've been wanting to take from, but I'm not sure if I will be able to make all the classes.

    I need a time machine.

    EDIT: I guess whining about my situation isn't particularly helpful, is it? I find practicing regularly (it's easiest to do it for a short time every day, so I never have to start up again after a break) helps. I drill on my own, and use videos, too. Snake arms, umis, pelvic tucks/drops, vertical hip figure-8s, and mayas are all on my must-practice list - they tend to look shabby if I don't practice them regularly.

    I really struggle a lot with feeling stuck and feeling like I'm not progressing. So I think the thing to do is to make an effective plan to hold your ground, dance-wise, and also identify something new you want to work on.
    Last edited by da Sage; 04-05-2008 at 03:36 PM.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    I'm not in the situation, so it's easy for me to say, but why not reframe it as an opportunity to consolidate and really consider what she has taught you so far. Sit down and write down what she has taught you, really focus in on and practice things. Figure out what you like, don't like, do well, don't do well, would like to work on more etc. And then work on those things. Sometimes when you're learning it easy to get caught up in continually learning and never reflect and consolidate. You've got a great opportunity to really reflect on what you've done to date, and prepare yourself ready for when she is back to teaching. You'll then be able to have a great focus on where you are at and where you want to go, when she is back.
    But that's all easy for me to say...

  4. #4
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Sorry moderator didn't realise that I posted halfway through writing. was it the TAB that did it?
    Last edited by jenc; 04-05-2008 at 04:40 PM.

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    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    This happened to me - in happier circumstances. My teacher is having a baby (next week?). Although I have tried other teachers, this has not really been very successful. I have practiced on my own - I will give you the benefit of my experience in getting the most out of it. I'm afraid this will be more along the lines of what I wish I had done.
    1 Identify what you are good at at and also what you are not so good at. don't think I don't need to practice that because I don't think I will need it. I have just started working on shulder shimmies after 6 months of planning my own practices, because I finally realised that although they are only a small part of any dance, I needed lots of practice to enable me to use them in layering so that I don't shake everything else.
    draw up a list of things you can practice in 5 minute bursts. shimmies, head slides etc that you can do whilst waiting for a bus, boiling a kettle etc and make sure you do some of each every day.
    practice at lest 15 minutes every day. We benefit more from shorter, more regular sessions.
    Watch some good dancing and it will sink in. I try to watch a dvd or some YouTube when I am too tired. I remember reading someon say that after filming some dvd the technicians who had never danced before had learnt how to do some moves properly.
    If you are lacking in feed back. Make a practice diary to note down what you praactice each week, and write down when you think you got something.
    you could also film yourself before and after.
    I'm off now to put some of that into practice myself!! I thnik I should take my own advice!!!
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Member Outi's Avatar
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    I really like Karena's answer. This could also be your chance to to get something new to your dance and get your own style stronger.

    Watch good performance videos of your favourite style, and maybe some others, too. Try get some different feeling from those dancers. Try to feel their emotion. See which things, steps with music, emotions, etc. you find interesting. And think why.

    Listen a lot new music. Study singers, songs etc.

    With all this you can easily spend a couple of months. And of course dance and improvise.

    Outi
    Outi of Cairo

  7. #7
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    reframe it as an opportunity to consolidate and really consider what she has taught you so far
    This could also be your chance to to get something new to your dance and get your own style stronger.
    I echo what Karena and Outi say!

    This is a wonderful opportunity to dance without the constant feedback of mirror, teacher, or other students. Draw on what you already know and put it together into something that pleases you.

  8. #8
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    I like what people have suggested so far. Due to my remote location, I am unable to actually take lessons so I rely on the occasional workshop and lots of DVD's. I try to practice at least 45 mins a day doing a variety of things. I found a wonderful DVD I use for drilling which I use for about 20 mins, then I put on a different DVD to work on things and end with 20 mins of music to just dance. I try to work out at least 5 days a week and I hope your time off works to your advantage.

  9. #9
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    Everyone has great advice so far. All I can add are a few positive words of encouragement. Keep remembering in the meantime, whether or not you decide to try a different instructor, practice at home the moves you learned or from dvd's, remember your instructor that you like and respect will be back to teach you again a few months time. You might find taking lessons from another instructor helps you learn certain moves in a different way or you might learn something new. Send your teacher a little card or a nice phone call, telling her you hope whatever she is going through turns out well and that she is in your thoughts. Good luck to you and I hope to hear what you decide to do. Hugs!

  10. #10
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    Not that I'd want to take 6 months off but I find I look forward to and enjoy the times when there aren't classes...it just feels like it gives me more of a chance to work on things I want to work on

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