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  1. #11
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isthisnametaken
    But did it take years to become good enough to perform? How long was it before you moved past the 'beginner' stage and felt more like an authentic belly dancer?
    Hi there. You can definitely perform at student shows after a few months, but please take your time to be a student. It takes time to move past the beginner stage.

    After studying for 1 or 2 years you will begin to understand the depth of movement, the way it connects to music, the way music is interpreted, but you're not there yet. You will become a better dancer with the years and continuing to learn.
    'Authentic bellydancer' is a difficult term IMO. You might reach this when you've invested years and years into studying Oriental Dance in depth and really know your stuff.

    Learning to perform well takes performing experience on top of your learning to dance. You will build this up by performing at student shows and moving on to other venues as you go. Dancing at the schools showcase in april is a reachable goal, but becoming intermediate or advanced, a good performer, takes more time. Learning to dance is one thing, but being a good dancer is another. It all depends on you and how much you're willing to invest.

    You haven't started classes right? Don't worry too much about this now. Go to class, see what it's like and have fun! Don't get frustrated if things take time, keep at it and If you will be ready for the student show by april, and who knows what else in a couple more years!
    Last edited by Yshka; 08-24-2008 at 01:34 PM.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsThisNameTaken View Post
    Thanks Lizaj for the heads up and Lotus for the encouragement.

    In reply to both of you, how long though did it take you before you were good enough to impress people and get out of the beginner stage?

    I've seen some people my age belly dance before and compared to what I've seen from performers in Arabian restaurants and on Youtube, they seemed pretty new to it, had very few moves with uncomplicated beats, and so on.

    I want to avoid putting myself out there like that if I'll look back at it later and realize how much skill I lacked. So I'm very curious as to how long it takes for people to get to the Arabian restaraunt/show-off-and-make-people-envious dancing level.
    Well, I once had a dance student who was a natural dancer, started belly dance when she was 14 and although she was always a good dancer, it took her 10-12 years to get to the level where she could reduce me to tears and make me want to kiss her feet and throw roses at her. She was only with me for about a year and quickly surpassed me as a dancer. She then moved on to Turkey to study dance there. I am of course talking about Jennet.

    Marya

  3. #13
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    ...if you continue to learn, you will someday look back and slap yourself on the forehead and utter some version of the phrase, "Uff Da! WHAT was I thinking?".
    This is SO true. I am in Uff Da country right now. Takes deep breath and philosophical view that it is all valuable experience on a pathway to something better. <sigh>

    ...how long though did it take you before you were good enough to impress people and get out of the beginner stage?
    It depends on the people - some are going to be amazed by an exotic costume and a bit of wiggling , supportive friends and family will be impressed by your just having a go, some people will think "so what, I could do that" when they have no idea how difficult it really is...

    Yshka's right, go to classes, have fun and see how it goes!

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsThisNameTaken View Post
    I was just wondering, many people on here seem to have been belly dancing for YEARS. I noticed that especially when I looked at the performing section.

    But did it take years to become good enough to perform? How long was it before you moved past the 'beginner' stage and felt more like an authentic belly dancer?

    I'm starting belly dancing on Tuesday, and I'm extremely excited, but will it take months, or a year or two before an average person is good?

    Dear ITNT,
    First, this is a very individual thing and some people learn faster than others, and some learn more slowly. Being "good enough to perform" should be a secondary goal for you right now and the first should be learning your fundamental dance techniques, listening to the the music and seeing how the movements and moods of dancers reflect it, etc.
    It does not take a month or two to become the good. The truth is it takes years to become good, and you will take the rest of your dance life to have an in depth understanding of what you are doing. I think most people who have it in them to become belly dancers begin to "feel like a belly dancer; after 5 or 6 years, when they have some experience in the dance behind them.
    Meanwhile, you can certainly hone your skills as an entertainer at student shows and things like that. However, I hope you will keep in mind that performing should not be the upper most thing in your mind right now. this is a little further down the road.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 08-25-2008 at 12:45 AM.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Depending on the person - their ability, talent, dedication and access to tutition - a performance for friends and family that is not embarassing could take as little as 9 months - or it could take years.

    But I take you don't mean a student performance. If you mean something that can hold and audience - and is in the genre (as opposed to wearing a bra and belt and doing a jazz or showgirl performance) - I'd be surprised at most people making in within 5 years. There are exceptions - including people that make you cringe after over 20 years.

    Youth and flexibility are definite assets. But be aware that being too flexible can be a liability as well. You need to be able to control your body - both for aesthetics and safety.

  6. #16
    Member Lotus Dancer's Avatar
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    Oops I have just re-read your post and realized that you haven't done a class yet.
    Honestly, you need to focus on learning about the dance. The music, the movement, the culture, the genres etc.. etc...
    You have to crawl before you walk.
    Take your time, have fun. Some of my favourite dance memories have been in Class, laughing at myself and at others(of course they have been laughing as well.)
    Performances will come in there own good time.
    It's like actors, singers, musicians, athletes, ballet dancers, they've all put in the hours to become good at what they do.
    It's the same with bellydance.
    Good Luck.
    Most importantly Enjoy your Dancing.
    Lotus Dancer
    Last edited by Lotus Dancer; 08-25-2008 at 12:13 PM.

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    Hello =)

    I realise that you want to impress and "show off" to your friends and school mates as most teenagers do, but please - you seem so enthusiastic about this dance, do take your time and learn first. There's so much to learn about the culture and the music and the movements before you can truly express it well. Make this your priority rather than showing off and impressing other people. Really make it about you first and other people later. With your enthusiasm, i'm sure you can work at it and become competent to perform later on!

  8. #18
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    I repeat my advice..just become the best dancer you can and then you may be worthy of pay.
    Forget labels they can be meaningless.
    After all there are some very poor actors and singers being paid for what they do and some amateurs performing in their leisure time who are top rate.
    I agree wiggling around in a few sequins does not a belly dancer make.
    Years and years of classes, practise and dedication and probably sacrifice will, with a huge dollop of luck ,make a successful dancer.

    If it is something you want to do, a youngster especially ,should go for it but like everything else in life you have to study and work hard to get recognition.

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