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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Default In praise of good practitioners!

    Who are the instructors we have had good experiences with and why?
    how were they different and what qualities do they bring?

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Good instructors

    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    Who are the instructors we have had good experiences with and why?
    how were they different and what qualities do they bring?


    Dear Caroline,
    What a great topic!!


    My all time favorite instructor is Shareen El Safy. She has time and an eye for every individual person in class, knows her material inside and out, includes cultural anecdotes in every class, corrects with expertise and praises lavishly, is not afraid of those three little words that one rarely hears uttered by people in her position: "I don't know", is not afraid of the dance as vehicle that expresses sexuality. I could go on and on, but I am getting beyond smarmy here. (I should really hire myself out as her publicist!!!)


    Other instructors that I have enjoyed are-

    Mouna Said, because she will break things down if you want her to, but she is SO in the moment when she is dancing, and teaching is an extension of that with her. You learn ESSENCE, which is a most important element of the dance.

    Ahava because she breaks down movement very well and is a dancer who is all heart, soul and great technique.

    Sikander Jaad because she is great at breaking down movement and because she has been so very honest about what she presents as dance theatre. She is also very knowledgeable about the folkloric dances from which she gets her inspiration.

    Shakira of Ohio, who dances a very fusionistic style, but can present movement in such a way as to help people understand any style themselves. She also studied to be an MD and has an great understanding of how the human body works. Her teaching is fantastic!!!


    Sedonia Sipes, because of what she says here about movement, essence, etc. I have not studied with her, but I HAVE taught her students in workshop situations and they all have great basics and usually are so easy to teach. This is because she is doing something RIGHT!!!


    Mark Balahadia because he is great at explaining the fine tuning in the different styles when he teaches, as well as correcting students in a truly positive manner.


    Ann Higgins in Montana, who teaches only beginning belly dance, but does so with such integrity that her students can easily go on to study with anyone and go into the workshop or classroom with a depth of understanding.


    I can name so many who are no longer dancing, but that would not be too helpful. I think Sikander is the only one here who is not still teaching, but I hope to coax her out again one day.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    Mouna Said, because she will break things down if you want her to, but she is SO in the moment when she is dancing, and teaching is an extension of that with her. You learn ESSENCE, which is a most important element of the dance.
    I agree. I also like Freiz Said for the same reasons.

    Farida Fahmy, for being intelligent and strict.

    Khaled Mahmoud, for the funkiest Khaleegy and the biggest range of arabesques.

    Suha Azar, for her knowledge, intelligence and breathtakingly-beautiful Oriental style.

    Aida Nour, for refusing to compromise.

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    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    I suppose for me the person who I have had the most from in recent years is Sara Farouk. She has a background in contemporary dance and understands movement as well knowing exactly where Egyptian dance is now.
    Sara is also exceptional at teaching essence and feeling. She taught a mixed ability class lasy year at the Arabic Arts festival and some people had never been to a dance class in their life. It was difficult to tell as she works in a way which everyone understands and is a challenge as it connects movement, music and emotion.
    I heartily recommend her to anyone who is visiting cairo and I know she is doing a short selected tour of the States some point in the near future.
    The other thing is Sara is very direct and she may frighten some people.
    I like this becuase I like to be pushed and not played with in a gentle way. Many teachers are just too nice as they fear not being asked back.

    Shareen el Safy was also great but I have only had 2 workshops with her many years ago. I also loved Amel Tafsout for her Algerian and Leila Haddad for her Tunisian. I have had many workshops with good teachers but the environment was not productive for me personally. I work better with a relationships rather than one off workshops.

    For lesser known teachers I would say Venus Saleh for her Persian and Armenian. Houda Amrani is just wonderful and she is performing on Sunday at the Arab Arts Festival. She is strict too but her energy is amazing and she is a joy to watch.

    I also have alot of respect for many of the teachers local to me. There is some great talent emerging on Merseyside and this could never of happend without them.

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    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    Sahra Saeeda, because she's so incredibly precise with what she's teaching. The context, history and style was ever present in her workshops here in Denmark and she cleared A LOT of misunderstandings about BD among the dancers here. On top of that she has the loveliest, most pleasant personality.

    I agree with Suheir on Aida Nour. No compromises there. She could also completely control the classroom even with 50 participants (at the Stockholm festival).
    immer glimmer

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    Member Phoebedances's Avatar
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    My teacher for several years - Faten Munger, in Indianapolis. A beautiful and graceful dancer, but a real taskmaster in class. She could be funny, but was also demanding. We had a lovely old gymnasium at an old church to practice in and she would have us doing turns and walks from one side to the other, just over and over again.

    She also is a complete stickler on arms. I had completely awful control over my arms when I first started dance classes and I still can hear her yelling at me, 'Woman, your arms!! Your arms!!!' Being yelled at isn't my favorite thing, however, today I can say that I'm always aware of what I'm doing with my arms and they are never just hanging at my sides.

    She was very encouraging when it came to beginning to put together our own choreographies and would watch what we had and point out where what we were doing didn't match the music. But then she would make us think of things that would go with it.

    In workshops... Leila Gamal is just amazing. So generous and so vibrant and really makes the student feel the mystique and the sensuality of the dance. She did a workshop when I saw her on the dance styles of the Golden Age of Bellydance, describing different moves that famous dancers from Eqyptian film. So very inspiring and she's a joy to watch dance!

    When I first started dancing, my first workshop was with Mahmmoud Reda in Kansas city, MO. Unfortunately, I didn't have a good enough base in dance to grasp a 10th of what he was teaching, but I was aware enough to realize just how brilliant he is and feel honored just to be in the same room with him. He was teaching the choreography for a candelabra dance and it was so high energy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    Who are the instructors we have had good experiences with and why?
    how were they different and what qualities do they bring?
    Caroline, you have started a number of good threads lately, thank you for your contributions.

    I want to let everyone know that my favorite teacher is Aisha Azar. I get more out of a private class with her than I do from any workshop.

    She is so encouraging and has an incredible movement vocabulary that I could study with her for 50 years an not learn them all. She has also kindly allowed me to use her teaching curriculum of the 10 Fundamentals which gives me a strong foundation from which to teach.

    Marya

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    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Praise, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marya View Post
    Caroline, you have started a number of good threads lately, thank you for your contributions.

    I want to let everyone know that my favorite teacher is Aisha Azar. I get more out of a private class with her than I do from any workshop.

    She is so encouraging and has an incredible movement vocabulary that I could study with her for 50 years an not learn them all. She has also kindly allowed me to use her teaching curriculum of the 10 Fundamentals which gives me a strong foundation from which to teach.

    Marya

    Dear Marya,
    WOW!!!! Thank you so much!! I LOVE teaching and it is SO good to be appreciated in this way. I always look forward to our classes together and its so gratifying to see how much effort YOU put into studying dance and how you continue to grow as a dancer. A great student is a wondrous thing!!
    Hugs to you,
    A'isha

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    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    Dear Marya,
    WOW!!!! Thank you so much!! I LOVE teaching and it is SO good to be appreciated in this way. I always look forward to our classes together and its so gratifying to see how much effort YOU put into studying dance and how you continue to grow as a dancer. A great student is a wondrous thing!!
    Hugs to you,
    A'isha
    I suppose I should assure everyone that I receive no compensation from Aisha, other than good teaching.

    PS. Aisha is not the only person I have studied with.

    Marya

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Instruction, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marya View Post
    I suppose I should assure everyone that I receive no compensation from Aisha, other than good teaching.

    PS. Aisha is not the only person I have studied with.

    Marya


    Dear Marya,
    ..... Does this mean I don't have to pay you the $25 PR fee this week??? LOL! .....
    Hugs,
    A.

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