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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Default When your teacher says something inaccurate

    My teacher told us in class that when dancing khaleegy, young unmarried women show off their hair but cover their nose with their hand to still keep it a bit shy and modest, something like that.

    Now I know she probably didn't make that up herself. I've read enough stories here about myths that khaleegy is all about showing off your hair, costume and jewelry, but fortunately we have experts here like A'isha who told us the hair swishing is done to mimic the movement of water plants and the hand on the nose move is done to mimic pearl divers.

    Now, what would you do when your teacher says something inaccurate? I want to avoid being a know-it-all so I just kind of stood there biting my tongue, but

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    You might engage her in conversation outside of class about the alternative explanation you've heard.

  3. #3
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Hmm, that is difficult. It's hard to know what to do in a situation like that without embarrassing your teacher and/or coming off looking like a smart-aleck (which I know you're not, Moon). If you've been with her for some time, then you probably have a pretty good read on her personality, and how she might react to something.

    Maybe if she brings it up in class again, you might wait until after class and say something like, "Wow, that's really interesting what you said in class about khaleegee. Did you know that there's another school of thought about the origins of the hair flipping/nose covering..." and kinda go on from there. If she's the kind of teacher that is always looking to grow in knowledge herself, and is receptive to learning, even from a student, she might appreciate the new knowledge. However, if she's one of those teachers that thinks she knows more than her students, then I'm not sure what to tell you.

    My daughter ran into similar problems in jr. high and high school. She would catch a teacher teaching something she knew was wrong, and she wasn't above correcting the teacher right there in class (she didn't get that from me, that's her dad in her O.O ). As a result, a couple of her teachers retaliated by giving her bad grades, even if her work was correct.

    I'm not sure if anything I've said has been helpful. Anyone else have any ideas on how to handle something like this?

    Whoops, we must have posted at the same time, Shanazel! You said in just a few words what took me three paragraphs to say!
    Last edited by Farasha Hanem; 10-09-2008 at 08:15 PM.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    I have a similar story. When i began dancing, my teacher said that it was rude to place the palm of yoiur hand facing the audience..as in Arabic cultures it was considered rude and a sign of disrepect. I thought nothing of it and just accepted it as knowledge that my teacher was passing on to me as it was passed on to her.

    Couple of years later, during a seminar that featured Aegela, another student asked her about it. The answer was no. However, a dancer shouldn't show the soles of her feet to the audience. At this point my teacher sweetly defended her position. It provided an opportunity for all of us to learn several things:
    Even teachers can unknowingly pass on inaccurate information.
    Our distance form the cultures of origin can be distorted and msinterpreted
    We are ALL students of the dance and the culture and we should always continue to learn and grow. Toss out misinformation so we can make room for the truth.

    I don't believed my teacher lied to us intentionally, she was passing on info form one perspective. Even so, a native of the culture may also have different interpretations of the same event......just keep an open mind!
    Yasmine

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    experts here like A'isha who told us the hair swishing is done to mimic the movement of water plants and the hand on the nose move is done to mimic pearl divers.
    This is a joke right - because dancers I know who have lived and worked on the Arabian Penisula laugh themself silly over that one!

  6. #6
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    My teacher told us in class that when dancing khaleegy, young unmarried women show off their hair but cover their nose with their hand to still keep it a bit shy and modest, something like that.

    Now I know she probably didn't make that up herself. I've read enough stories here about myths that khaleegy is all about showing off your hair, costume and jewelry, but fortunately we have experts here like A'isha who told us the hair swishing is done to mimic the movement of water plants and the hand on the nose move is done to mimic pearl divers.

    Now, what would you do when your teacher says something inaccurate? I want to avoid being a know-it-all so I just kind of stood there biting my tongue, but
    Did A'isha say that? I'm not sure I buy the "water theme" explanation. I'd love to hear the original source for that.

  7. #7
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Why was anything done originally - sometimes hard to tell. Why do individual dancers do anything - may vary. I would be wary of catch all explanations for any kind of traditional dance.

    I know Aisha says it is not to show off dresses because they crush them up in hand - but sometimes you show how rich you are, or how well dressed by being careless of gorgeous things!

    Although I am NOT putting forward any theory myself - just possibilities

  8. #8
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    For me it's really important to remember that there the idea of something being 'true' or not is trying to chase something that doesn't exist. When the dance evolved including hair flicks, everyone involved did not sit down and say OK let's decide why we are doing this and then that will be the only answer. It evolved, people will tell different stories, and people looking at it now will construct a version of the history that is meaningful to them now and in their context. So the important thing is not challenging a teacher that they are wrong, but like others have said being aware that there are different schools of thought, and maybe bringing it up as "I heard x" rather than "That's not true". There are things that have been repeated so many times on this forum so as to become 'true'. It doesn't mean they are. It also doesn't mean they're not either. People in any field don't agree, but some versions of the 'truth' dominate, for many reasons, many not rooted in evidence.

    (Btw I'm not applying this in particular to Khaleegi anymore than anything else, just a general principle)

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    This is a joke right - because dancers I know who have lived and worked on the Arabian Penisula laugh themself silly over that one!
    Hi Kashmir,i am sorry to say but its treu!! the hair supose to look like the waves and the plants in the sea!!
    In our days perhaps dancers,, wave ,,the hair for a differant reason??
    It looks kinda cool....
    But it the old days it was realy about the sea ...
    that is also what the old local lady,s in the gulf telling me,i am sure they know best.....have a nice day Lydia

  10. #10
    Member Samira bint Aya's Avatar
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    Roll  Eyes Teacher’s inaccuracies

    Moon, I have this problem a lot.

    My teacher here in my island, Crete (not Maria Aya, she lives in Athens) is not very knowledgeable about belly dance technique. I never argue with her in class, and show acceptance of her as a teacher.

    However, if a fellow student approaches me after the lesson to ask for advice as to how to execute a certain move, I explain the correct technique, irrespective of what the teacher was saying.

    Our class from Crete are going to Nile Group next month. My teacher is in for a rude awakening!

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