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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Default what do we want from workshops?

    What do we want from workshops?

    What do you get the most from and what do you tend to avoid?

  2. #2
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    In no particular order or completeness...

    Teachers I have seen perform and liked, or heard good things of.

    More technique, less "learn a choreography to perform" or combinations. Can't remember them to save my life, get left behind unless it is repeated about a squillion times (thank you Khaled )

    Taster sessions for styles/props I've not had much to do with.

    burlesque/fusion. A bit of fun is fine, but if it pushes out straight belly dance at an event, hmmm... and I feel that if I do a flamenco- or gypsy- or whatever fusion class I'm never going to manage more than a really lame attempt at the other half of the fusion.

    Teacher on stage/mic'd up if it's a big workshop. If it's cheap I don't mind huge classes and little personal attention, as long as there is space to move and I can see/hear the teacher.

    I object to paying megabucks for a star teacher just to be in a huge crowd; not being able to see is the final straw.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Workshops

    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    What do we want from workshops?

    What do you get the most from and what do you tend to avoid?
    Dear Caroline,
    When I attend as a student I want:
    * A class that is not too big
    * An instructor who knows her material
    * An instructor who knows how to teach. (For natives who are primarily entertainers, this has a different connotation than it does for actual professional instructors.)
    * To be treated as an individual

    I tend to avoid:
    * Classes with way too many people
    * Instruction venues without mirrors because I am a very visual learner
    * Instructors/performers who are all about themselves to the detriment of the dance.


    As an instructor I want:
    * Limited class participation ( I usually can have up to 30 people in the class and still give them what they need. More than that and I feel that my teaching skill level is affected.)
    * A room with mirrors so that students can see themselves and I can see them both as a group and as individuals.
    * If possible, a 15 minute break in the middle of a workshop, in order to show video clips of natives in action, using the concepts we are working with, and to discuss the dance a bit.
    * The ability to be flexible and gear the class toward the needs of the group.

    I tend to avoid
    * Crowding a classroom to the point where people begin to feel like a herd of sheep.
    * Cold rooms.
    * Throwing too much info at the students for the time allotted.
    * Teaching choreographies in workshop situations.

    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #4
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    When do we want it, NOW!

  5. #5
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    I tend to avoid workshops that teach choreographies. I'll make an exception if the choreography is in a dance style I'm feeling motivated to learn (such as a folkloric style that I previously have little to no prior experience with), since the choreo can help me remember the dance style. But if it's "yet another Oriental choreography" there are very few instructors that I would feel motivated to learn one from. Raqia Hassan, yes. Flavor-of-the-month U.S. dancer - no.

    If I do attend a choreography workshop, I like it better if it includes not only the choreo, but some instruction in technique. I especially like ones in which the instructor includes a liberal dose of, "In this place, I decided to use this move because...."

    I like technique workshops. Even if I know the technique being taught, I find it interesting to see how other teachers approach teaching it.

    I love folkloric workshops that teach not only movement but also include a lecture component about the ethnology. For that reason, I really like Morocco's folkloric technique workshops.
    Last edited by shiradotnet; 02-12-2009 at 06:15 PM.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    A challenge but not a drill session
    To pick up at least one new thing..that doesn't have to be a move . I just want a penny to drop.
    probably not a choreography but that's me. I take weeks to get to grips as my troupe mates will know. However a miracle worker called Morocco actually taught me one in one 2 hour workshop. That has never happened again
    I do like to go to someone new but equally am happy to revisit someone I have found a great communicator eg. I eagerly await workshops with Khaled and Maria at JoY.
    I actually do not want to do anything new, out side of the box. But I would like to expand my expertise of North African folk dance.

  7. #7
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Picking up on a comment Liz made...

    If I find a teacher whose teaching style I like, I'll happily go to that person again and again.

    I don't understand people who say, "Oh, is that person coming to town AGAIN? I loved her workshop 5 years ago and still use what I learned there, but I'd rather try someone new to me."

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Repeats

    Quote Originally Posted by shiradotnet View Post
    Picking up on a comment Liz made...

    If I find a teacher whose teaching style I like, I'll happily go to that person again and again.

    I don't understand people who say, "Oh, is that person coming to town AGAIN? I loved her workshop 5 years ago and still use what I learned there, but I'd rather try someone new to me."

    Dear Shira,
    I agree whole heartedly. I have had two workshop instructors that I followed all over the place for years, and would study with them again any day. (One is actually retired now.)
    I think, also as you get to be a dancer who has been on the scene forever, and also teach, you tend to know more what you want out of a class, and when you find someone who does that, you stick with them. A good teacher has something that you can pick up every time, is what I have found.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  9. #9
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    What do we want from workshops?

    What do you get the most from and what do you tend to avoid?
    Generally I avoid: choreography workshop. Not to say I haven't or couldn't pick something up but I'm never going to use someone else's choreography. Picking a few things that speak to me, I can do just by watching the dancer perform... I don't usually attend Egyptian or Tribal focused workshops, not my genre. I don't usually take from teachers who I've not seen perform in person or online/video.

    What I want to get: As a student I want a workshop to get me out of my comfort zone. Learning new material is great or even showing me a different way to approach material I already know. Anything that adds to my academic knowledge. Spending time on a topic in detail that's of interest. What I like to walk away with is the why and how, if I get that then it can be developed later in my own time, since that usually doesn't happen in a 2 hour period.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Salome View Post
    Generally I avoid: choreography workshop. Not to say I haven't or couldn't pick something up but I'm never going to use someone else's choreography. Picking a few things that speak to me, I can do just by watching the dancer perform... I don't usually attend Egyptian or Tribal focused workshops, not my genre. I don't usually take from teachers who I've not seen perform in person or online/video.

    What I want to get: As a student I want a workshop to get me out of my comfort zone. Learning new material is great or even showing me a different way to approach material I already know. Anything that adds to my academic knowledge. Spending time on a topic in detail that's of interest. What I like to walk away with is the why and how, if I get that then it can be developed later in my own time, since that usually doesn't happen in a 2 hour period.


    Dear Salome,
    The one place I would disagree with you here is that you generally avoid
    Egyptian workshops. I have had many American Oriental dancers tell me that in studying Egyptian, (or other authentic ethnic belly dance technique), that it brought a richness to their American style that they felt enhanced their dance very much. I even have Tribal dancers who come to study with me and they say it makes them better dancers in their own style.
    Regards,
    A'isha

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