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  1. #1
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Default Group dance routines with teacher?

    or without?
    Do you tend to dance with your students in performance.
    Does it depend on venue?
    I have heard opinions on both sides? What's yours? And why?

  2. #2
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    My teacher doesn't perform in the group numbers in our show, not even the beginners. She says it's because the audience should be watching us, not her.

    And it means we have to learn things properly.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    My teacher doesn't perform in the group numbers in our show, not even the beginners. She says it's because the audience should be watching us, not her.

    And it means we have to learn things properly.
    She sounds like me but I hear other opinions and as for me I prefer dancing with a group ( not my class though) than going solo.
    Last edited by lizaj; 10-04-2008 at 12:03 AM.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    I tend not too - unless we are short a dancer or I really, really like the piece.

    Why?
    • I often forget the choreography - even my own.
    • I have to work hard not to add flourishes - which isn't fair on the students.
    • I prefer improv.
    • I would hope my technique (and costume) is better than my students and I don't want them to look bad.
    • It is their chance to shine.
    • If I dance with them they are more likely to watch me than really learn the choreography.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    or without?
    Do you tend to dance with your students in performance.
    Does it depend on venue?
    I have heard opinions on both sides? What's yours? And why?


    Dear Lizaj,
    First, my students do not learn any group belly dance choreographies for stage, because they need to know right from the outset that this is a solo dance. Occasionally both they and I may end up being background do-woppers for other dancers, either as in the introductory piece for a belly dance, or in other kinds of dances.
    For example, last Saturday we had a performance in which 3 of my students and another professional dancer were background dancers for a Melaya number, and 3 of my students and I were background, well,.... sitters for a Guedra ritual. ( We wore all black dresses and were covered with black veils and sat in the background clapping, etc.) Both students and professionals in my shows often end up as background people, depending on who is needed where and for what.
    Re belly dance, my students learn to solo at student nights and such events, so that when it comes time to go out there and dance professionally, they have the experience already. My beginners learn one choreography, and they understand that the only time we will be doing it in a group is in the classroom.
    I know this is an unusual stance, but I believe that they have a better understanding of belly dance as a solo activity this way.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 10-04-2008 at 02:58 PM.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    Dear Lizaj,
    First, my students do not learn any group belly dance choreographies for stage, because they need to know right from the outset that this is a solo dance. Occasionally both they and I may end up being background do-woppers for other dancers, either as in the introductory piece for a belly dance, or in other kinds of dances.
    For example, last Saturday we had a performance in which 3 or my students and another professional dancer were background dancers for a Melaya number, and 3 of my students and I were background, well,.... sitters for a Guedra ritual. ( We wore all black dresses and were covered with black veils and sat in the background clapping, etc.) Both students and professionals in my shows often end up as background people, depending on who is needed where and for what.
    Re belly dance, my students learn to solo at student nights and such events, so that when it comes time to go out there and dance professionally, they have the experience already. My beginners learn one choreography, and they understand that the only time we will be doing it in a group is in the classroom.
    I know this is an unusual stance, but I believe that they have a better understanding of belly dance as a solo activity this way.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Dearest Aisha,

    I am with you on this. This is exactly what I do with my students. Spot light belongs to who ever is the main act (student or teacher). I was a "do-wopper" (LOL) many times. In my opinion there is nothing bad about dancing with students. It is how you assign the parts and how you structure the choreography.

  7. #7
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Without student nights (or haflas) the Uk would have no classes. there are no solo jobs in restaurants or on stage. We have just done a performance for charity. everyone had a spot from the beginners up. This one is for the public and in addition for raising probably £2,000 it helps the teacher to get publicity for her classes.

    Our teacher danced in quite a few of the dances because of people dropping out. we are not keen on this because she can't remember the choreography and so she put us off!!

    She also does a solo number near the end.

    The only chance I have to see BD of any quality is to attend this event and also maybe another 2 haflas.

    One other local teacher has a troupe from among her advanced students. She always dances with them, but most of this class do not dance. with her However,She valways arranges a public dance either in the park for charity, or this year at a hafla she arranged.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    Dear Lizaj,
    First, my students do not learn any group belly dance choreographies for stage, because they need to know right from the outset that this is a solo dance. Occasionally both they and I may end up being background do-woppers for other dancers, either as in the introductory piece for a belly dance, or in other kinds of dances.
    For example, last Saturday we had a performance in which 3 or my students and another professional dancer were background dancers for a Melaya number, and 3 of my students and I were background, well,.... sitters for a Guedra ritual. ( We wore all black dresses and were covered with black veils and sat in the background clapping, etc.) Both students and professionals in my shows often end up as background people, depending on who is needed where and for what.
    Re belly dance, my students learn to solo at student nights and such events, so that when it comes time to go out there and dance professionally, they have the experience already. My beginners learn one choreography, and they understand that the only time we will be doing it in a group is in the classroom.
    I know this is an unusual stance, but I believe that they have a better understanding of belly dance as a solo activity this way.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Gosh, Aisha that gives food for thought. I really like that idea. Getting away from the standard follow me. I have done a group dance made up of dancers doing little solo star spots but this seems like a good idea especailly to highlight a dancer's skill. Brilliant!And back to the spirit of things.
    I wouldn't want to see syncho group dance go--yes it is Western(or Reda!)---as that can be entertaining to our audiences.

  9. #9
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I like the sound of A'isha's approach too, but then I'm a belly dance nut! I think a lot of students here would be scared off at the emphasis on solo dancing though, even if it is what it's all supposed to be about.

    Perhaps it's what Jenc says about the lack of performance opportunities in the UK compared to the US. We don't see belly dancers in restaurants or at parties much (well I never did), so many students/teachers are less about training to professional performance level and more about learning something new and having a bit of fun. Some of our lot need a push to even perform the group numbers, let alone a solo.

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Students

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    I like the sound of A'isha's approach too, but then I'm a belly dance nut! I think a lot of students here would be scared off at the emphasis on solo dancing though, even if it is what it's all supposed to be about.

    Perhaps it's what Jenc says about the lack of performance opportunities in the UK compared to the US. We don't see belly dancers in restaurants or at parties much (well I never did), so many students/teachers are less about training to professional performance level and more about learning something new and having a bit of fun. Some of our lot need a push to even perform the group numbers, let alone a solo.




    Dear Aniseteph,
    Rule number one with me is that no student EVER has to perform unless they want to. I have a student who has been with me for about 5 years now and she chooses not to dance in public. this is difficult for me as she has talent, but it is her choice and I have to respect that. For those who want to perform, I have student nights about 3 times a year.
    Regards,
    A'isha

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