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  1. #11
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Depend on the level of the teacher and the workshop - your teacher might be in the masterclass ones while you are doing something more basic!

    I have no idea if we are behind in the UK - difficult to compare. And I haven't been dancing long enough to know if things are improving.

    Are dancers/teachers more professional,better organised,providing a real traning ground as well as the chance to keep fit and have fun?
    Training for what? I hear "training" and think serious tuition for a career/performance (& ballet mistress with a big stick ). Training in terms of taking it seriously enough to want to do a reasonable job in the student show, be in a troupe one day, keep progressing?

    I get the impression (might be completely biased) that belly dance has a higher profile in some countries (USA, maybe Germany???) so might attract a different sort of student e.g. aiming to go professional, join troupes, perform at parties, dance in restaurants, teach, etc. Whereas round here it is more of a hobby thing, some keen types will go to workshops and regular classes, others are much more casual.

    4.Do we need a governing body? if so just who would that be?
    <crouches down in foetal position gibbering at the thought>

    7.What kind of press does the "belly dancer" get? Is it still the ill-informed snigger reaction or are pennies dropping that this can be a tasteful from of entertainment?
    "phwooooagh" for the Sophie Mei's and that Nuts thing, or "snigger, look at the sad middle aged women dressed as harem girls with their bellies and boobs all over the place, but they are having fun so maybe good for them in a grudging kind of way". And tribal getting under the radar and being scary or "ethnic" so we can't laugh.

    8.What impact have the many variations made on more "traditional" forms of belly dance ie Egyptian and Turkish: ATS/ITS, Tribal Fusion,Burley Fusion, Gothic had on peception?
    OK, horribly subjective and just my impression: I think the perception of performances of ATS/ITS, Tribal Fusion and Gothic is that it's quite cool, bit more edgy/scary/subculture/strange, and taken more seriously because people are not sure of the intent behind it. Whereas for more traditional belly dance they THINK they know the intent (sexy seducing of sultans) and you have to be pretty good to get them past that cheesy image.

    Burley fusion is different IMO; the intent there is pretty well understood, which is why in performance it can be so cringe-making if it isn't quite right, belly-fused or not. For me the burlesque overpowers and the belly dance content is less (unless it's burlesque-in-a-bedlah pandering to the sexy sultan seducing image ).

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathy View Post
    But as far as teachers taking workshops. I was behind Jillina at one AWS workshop last year. And quite a few NYC teachers attended a workshop by Raqia Hassan that I also went to, last spring. I think Raqia offers a whole "teacher training" workshop in Cairo in December, right?
    She does, it is a winter intensive course.

    I can understand why anyone would only want to take a class when they think they could benefit. That is, a teacher of 5 years' experience may take a workshop from another teacher with 20 years' experience but not necessarily the reverse, unless it was in something that the 5 years' experience teacher had more knowledge of.
    It depends on the person and what they have been exposed too. Longevity means nothing unless you are still open to learning. When I first began teaching, other teachers came to me and some had been dancing way longer than me. I am often more than happy to go to one of my fellow teachers workshops. Peopleoften process information differently and take in different details.

    I guess there is a question as to whether ego or laziness might get in the way in some cases.

    Cathy
    This will be the case in some instances, but there is also something uncomfortable about being in a workshop and your student gets it but you dont.

    I dont usually care too much about this as it shows different people have different strengths and this dance is hard at many levels.

    There is also an attitide of nobody can teach me anything, because I am above it all.

    We cant possibly know everything no matter how long we have been around.

    We also have to remember that things constantly change and keep moving.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    There is also the attitude of I have been dancing for 15 years, so I expect my students to be at a much lowr standard. I therefore will not correct or give them easier choreos, I will just accept a sloppy level of attainment.l

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    And how many teachers still do workshops? hopefully all but I know that is not true.

    There is often a mentality that when you are a teacher you should not be seen 'learning'.

    Many teachers do not keep fresh and up to date with new ideas and think festivals and workshops are only for them to teach in.
    Dang, but the high end ones are effing expensive. I'd really like to do Randa but it's £45 squid I don't own. So at the mo, I'm studying as much footage as poss on You tube and DVD.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    I think there are various factoes but do big names go to workshops? has anyone seen any?

    .
    Depends what you mean by big names?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathy View Post
    I have no opinion on the state of dance in the UK as I cannot really observe or participate in it. I have been to only one show in the UK so far.

    But as far as teachers taking workshops. I was behind Jillina at one AWS workshop last year. And quite a few NYC teachers attended a workshop by Raqia Hassan that I also went to, last spring. I think Raqia offers a whole "teacher training" workshop in Cairo in December, right?

    I can understand why anyone would only want to take a class when they think they could benefit. That is, a teacher of 5 years' experience may take a workshop from another teacher with 20 years' experience but not necessarily the reverse, unless it was in something that the 5 years' experience teacher had more knowledge of.

    I guess there is a question as to whether ego or laziness might get in the way in some cases.

    Cathy

    I can't say I've actually noticed this so much. For me, it's often lack of finances or time. I'm self employed and life is hard at the mo. Also, I've often paid a lot of dosh to go to high end teachers only to be very disappointed at the content, and I've learned nothing I don't already know. So I want to be blown away for £50 a workshop.

  7. #17
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    There really isn't an excuse for sloppy teaching.
    I can well understand that prople don't have £25 plus travelling and subsistance to spare very few weeks but there are alternatives.
    I can understand not forking out £300 for a JWAAD foundation course.
    But a day of workshops at a nearby festival such as JoY where some of the workshops are very reasonable in cost.Why not even once a year?
    Why not take a weekly class or bi weekly with an experienced teacher near you?
    yer Caroline here on the forum is running monthly workshops and some of us local teachers sweat away alongside students. And Kharis you yourself do/did (?)something similar. So Manchester/Liverpool teachers can get to sharpen up their skills.
    There are some well produced dVds on the market that can give teachers new ideas. Good teaching practise doesn't need to involve high cost.
    I think there are still teachers out there who keep information on workshops and other events to themselves..now what could be the motive there?
    Students are left in the dark regarding regarding workshops and festivals. They get to platform themselves where their teachers decide!
    Luckily in the days of internet info. anyone determined to operate in their restrictive little bubble will find it harder.
    I also hopes the days are ending when teachers regard their students as being in their thrawl, belonging to them, having no will of their own. We have a Merseyside teacher who threatens her students with retribution if they go to others but is that any worse than those pursue a policy of splendid isolation. Most teachers I know, like myself hand out info on haflas and JoY and local workshops and recommmend to students that once they have a grasp of basics and are obviously interested they attend another class as well. We don't want to lose them but we want them to have new experiences and every chance to develop.
    But I have continued the slide off topic. From watching dancers and listening to teachers there has been, as far as I can tell, a desire to promote high standards of performance, to go beyond the "let's have fun" in our teaching in the UK. I think teacher training has something to do with this as it makes people think about wether or not they are capable to pass on any skill they have. I do hope it also means that students will make demands..".er...how are you qualified (or what background do you have ?) to teach me bellydance?" " Why are you not correcting/reinforcing what I do/encouraging me/praising me personally? Can you cater for me as I develop myself? Will you be honest enough to disclose where I learn further?
    There is nothing wrong with putting on a light hearted class but you still have to "do it properly".

  8. #18
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharis View Post
    Depends what you mean by big names?
    I dont know what I mean by big names?

    I suppose people who have international recognition Suhaila? i dunno

    I know workshops are expensive but some are not.

    I suppose if you buy a DVD you can watch it over and over but for me it is different from actaully physically doing it and interacting with that teacher.

    I feel loads better since I started workshops again, I had a very lazy/busy streak and missed out alot.

    I am off to JOy and will train with Sara Farouk and Eman Zaki at the end of the month too... then I am off to Cairo for more.

    I hope to be able to crack nuts with my thighs by mid May!

  9. #19
    Junior Member Demelza Aradia's Avatar
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    When I was at Majma this year at a workshop with Nawarra I was standing there next to Valerie Romanin, who was one of the workshop leaders at Majma and an incredible dancer at the shows. Seeing her there really made me feel... more at home? As in knowing that even the dancers who you go "Phwoar man can she dance" when you are watching them perform are still learning like you are. You know that there isnt some great dividing line between students and the pros - we are all still learning. The perceived gulf is lessened. She was really lovely to talk to as well

    I do feel that it is mostly a hobbyist circuit here in the UK, but I dont really feel like I have been around the community long enough to comment. I also agree with Aniseteph's description of how bellydance is seen in the UK - it's still a bit nudge nudge wink wink, especially with us younger folks. I think most people, especially guys, as was demonstrated by a dude I was talking to yesterday, think of bellydancing as some kind of middle eastern foreplay, and most women I talk to seem to have the attitude that they would absolutely love to do it (because it's fun and exotic and sexy) but they themselves could never do it because... well, I'm not really sure why, I think a lot of it is body insecurities. Also its... what would the husband think?!

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    I had a very lazy/busy streak and missed out alot.
    It's a Libran thing...

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