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  1. #1
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Default What is your bellydance class like?

    I'm so curious. What comprises your belly dance class? What is it like? I wonder if most classes are the same.

    The ones I have attended here have the following:

    1) Very short warm up and stretching

    2) Belly dance drills

    3) Choreography
    (some can have too many steps which I cannot follow anymore)

    4) Very short cool down and stretching

    5) Not so much talking, class is 1 hour duration


    I have attended one class in another school which only concentrated on 2 to 3 drills with more talking than my usual classes.

  2. #2
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    depends on level of course. I am looking for classes where reactoin to movement is taught in preparation for improv. Would also be interested in learning some combos, focussing on transitions etc. I know that many people on the forum teach like this............but I am having probs finding a class like this local to me. essex or Suffolk anyone......?

  3. #3
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    depends on level of course. I am looking for classes where reactoin to movement is taught in preparation for improv. Would also be interested in learning some combos, focussing on transitions etc. I know that many people on the forum teach like this............but I am having probs finding a class like this local to me. essex or Suffolk anyone......?
    I believe that's a higher level you're talking about as I have not encountered that in my classes. You're right, transitions and combos would be very helpful but I may not be ready for that yet? Oh well, patience....

    What is your present class like there, Jenc? Mostly drills?

  4. #4
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Depends on the teacher, the circumstance, and what they're trying to teach. I've had classes where:

    There was absolutely no, or very minimal warmup.

    The warmup was a full-on aerobic program lasting a whole hour. (!)

    There was no cooldown.

    The cooldown was everything short of a full (pagan-inspired) ritual.

    We did nothing but drills.

    We did nothing but choreography.

    We did drills and choreography.

    We had to improv to music we'd never heard before.

    We had to improv to music we'd been given the week before.

    Lots of talk and laughter.

    Absolute, stony silence.

    Blah, blah, blah...

  5. #5
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I understand that some people teach the way I have been describing from the beginning or thereabouts.
    Currently, I am dancing in a class which is all about an annual charity show. Warm-up is brief, but can be followed by an extended session of follow the teacher. We then practice the dances we have been learning all year. Sometimes we do dances that the others have learnt in previuos years and we just muddle along wih those as best we can. some of them I have learnt from this procedure some not. Dances are never broken down after the first few weeks when we are learning them - and the dance is usually compltee by week 3, although it can be changed up to last minute for better effect.
    this probably sounds deadly to you, but I love it. The teacher is egyptian and I love trying to follow her. i have gained a lot in confidence in this class after a fairly rocky start. BUT I feel ready for more technique, and more feedback on my dancing. I wold like to try out more complicated moves than can be done under these circs. at the moment, if a move is difficult it is simplified. The overall effect is the focus. And I don't like being told that it doesn't matter as it is all for charity (other dancers) and if you don't get it right well of course yiou are in the back so it doesn't matter.

  6. #6
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    Depends on the teacher, the circumstance, and what they're trying to teach. I've had classes where:
    Blah, blah, blah...
    Hahaha! Zorba, this sounds like fun doing varied activities especially for a whole course in belly dancing. I have yet to try a whole course, if ever there will be. What does "improv" mean?

    From Jenc: BUT I feel ready for more technique, and more feedback on my dancing. I wold like to try out more complicated moves than can be done under these circs. at the moment, if a move is difficult it is simplified. The overall effect is the focus. And I don't like being told that it doesn't matter as it is all for charity (other dancers) and if you don't get it right well of course you are in the back so it doesn't matter.
    Me too, Jen. I want to try more technique to see if I'm ready for it and of course, detailed feedback too. It would be nice if I concentrated on learning intensively one kind of bd too.

    In my BD school, there are 3 classes (1hour each class) every afternoon from Monday to Saturday with different teachers. I can go there any time I'm free, which is usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, and attend any of the 3 classes during that day, depending on my free time. The teachers teach varied styles - Egyptian or Turkish bd, bd with Latin, bd with hiphop, some tribal, etc. depending on what the teacher likes to teach.
    Last edited by AngelaJP; 08-24-2008 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Trying to figure out how to put 2 quotes in one message. So smart of me! :D

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    depends on level of course. I am looking for classes where reactoin to movement is taught in preparation for improv. Would also be interested in learning some combos, focussing on transitions etc. I know that many people on the forum teach like this............but I am having probs finding a class like this local to me. essex or Suffolk anyone......?
    I'm not sure any class can really 'prepare' you for improv. There just comes a point where the teacher's doing one move and you want to be doing another and you realise it would be easier to do your own thing than follow along. Then you know you're ready. I've found doing workshops with various teachers really useful; it might mean some travelling but its well worth the effort for the possible gain.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tezirah View Post
    I'm not sure any class can really 'prepare' you for improv. There just comes a point where the teacher's doing one move and you want to be doing another and you realise it would be easier to do your own thing than follow along. Then you know you're ready. I've found doing workshops with various teachers really useful; it might mean some travelling but its well worth the effort for the possible gain.
    Oh, now I see, improvisation!

    My mind is always concentrating on whether I'm doing my moves right, I don't think I still have the time to think about improvisation. Maybe later, but not too later, I hope!

  9. #9
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    Hey Angela,

    Yes, classes really vary a LOT. With mine, I do a long warmup that goes into isolations, THEN we drill, then we'll work moves around the room, and then either combo or choreography (very simple ones in Beginning). I try to integrate cool down with that, as even in 1 1/2 hour classes, I always run out of time to do everything I'd planned.

    Rachel Brice does about 20 minute yoga warm up and cool down,20 minutes of intense drills, then usually a choreography section.

    I've taken some classes that were all "follow me and do what I do" - I hate that.

    Just try different classes until you find one you like. You can also try asking your teacher for more of what you're looking for - it's worth a shot.

    Amira

  10. #10
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I've been to the same teacher for several years now! First we warm up to a music track, usually doing more or less the same every week, plus a few stretches concentrating on the bits we are going to be working on, then a warm up dance (either teacher improvs and we follow, or run though of a dance we have learnt).

    Then we work on the moves we are learning by doing some repetitions to music, and practising them in a choreography that builds over the weeks, incorporating new technique or things we've already worked on as we go. It's a drop-in but progressive class so the basics of the new stuff gets repeated for a few weeks for people who have missed any.

    If we haven't run out of time we sometimes finish with another follow-the-teacher dance, which she usually improvises (but always with things we have done and won't be totally floored by ).

    We only have an hour.

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