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  1. #31
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    I didn't say continuing education was the stupid quirk, I said that having to get enough points in one year or you loss all you worked for and have to start all over again is a stupid quirk. Please don't twist my words around to have me saying that continuing education is not good.

    Certification is a nice idea but it is not practical unless it is easy or feasible for everyone to access it. If you live close enough to attend personal classes easily or are so totally dedicated to this style and money/time was not a factor, then it is an nice option. However for others, like me, it would cost thousands to fly in to get enough classes in each year to maintain their status.

    Where I live at there are never any classes or someone certified to teach those classes anywhere close to me. Frankly if I was to do it or lose it within 2 years but to do it would cost me between $10-20,000 or more, I can think of much better ways to spend the money.

    Though I am confused on the points thing since they state online that they only give out 5 points per year for online subscription, but then state in another place that if you renew for another year you get 10 that year?
    Last edited by ~Diana~; 08-01-2010 at 08:12 PM.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
    2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
    3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
    4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners
    .
    ~ Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher ~

  2. #32
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheart View Post
    I didn't say continuing education was the stupid quirk, I said that having to get enough points in one year or you loss all you worked for and have to start all over again is a stupid quirk. Please don't twist my words around to have me saying that continuing education is not good.
    I quoted what you said -- I'm sorry if you took that to be twisting.

    Continuing education = getting "points" (as you put it.)

    CEC's (the points) can be earned by attending either certification OR choreorgaphy workshops with Suhaila or Suhaila-approved instructors, as well as attending class in California. Now I'm not sure who in your province was the original sponsor, and certification groups might be much more sparse in Canada than they are in the US. But I do see Suhaila actively working to increase the amount of certification sponsors in the US.

    I got my original certification in St. Louis about 5 years ago. To take a level 2 workshop THEN I would have had to fly out to California. I opted to wait, and eventually there were enough sponsors and groups of certification students out there that now I can take a Level 2 class in New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, Missouri, or Miami. But yes, it's a major time and travel commitment. !! Last fall I drve 20 hours to New Jersey in the hopes of testing Level 2 but I just wasn't ready at that time.

    I've traveled around the midwest and the south to take choreography workshops from her, to get my CECs and just to learn new things. But that's what I enjoy doing, and I certainly don't think EVERYBODY needs to do that.

    BTW -- her CECs are exactly the way ANY CECs work in America, whether you're a fitness instructor, an engineer, or a nurse. If I don't finish enough CECs to maintain my ACE group fitness instructor status, I LOSE my certification and have to retest and start all over again. That's just how a lot of professional standards and certification organizations work in America. It's not unusual or a quirk of any sort to us, cause we're used to it.


    Certification is a nice idea but it is not practical unless it is easy or feasible for everyone to access it. If you live close enough to attend personal classes easily or are so totally dedicated to this style and money/time was not a factor, then it is an nice option. However for others, like me, it would cost thousands to fly in to get enough classes in each year to maintain their status.
    Like I said, I've seen the program gradually grow over the last 5 years to the point where I now actually have options on where to do the certifications. I expect in the next couple of years, there will be a tour of the Level 3 workshops as well.

    But seriously, one weekend workshop in two years is enough to maintain certification status. I'm not trying to sell you on certification and if you have no interest in certification, then none of the requirements matter anyway. But ultimately the highest level of certification will REQUIRE you to go to California eventually, just like Sahra Saeeda's Journey through Egypt certification requires you to travel to Egypt for the final phase.


    Where I live at there are never any classes or someone certified to teach those classes anywhere close to me. Frankly if I was to do it or lose it within 2 years but to do it would cost me between $10-20,000 or more, I can think of much better ways to spend the money.
    Sure Certification is an OPTION for some people who really want the entire experience of the program. There are people who live in the same city as Suhaila who still don't opt for certification. It is a lot of work, and some people have families or other interests that preclude them from having the time to do it.

    I probably won't ever finish through level 4 because it requires something like 40 hours of dancing with a live band, and I don't have access to a live band in my little cornfield. But I view the program the same way I view taking classes at the local college or college classes online -- I may not be able to get a "degree" but I can certainly learn something I enjoy. But that's my choice, and everybody feels different about the whole process.

    Though I am confused on the points thing since they state online that they only give out 5 points per year for online subscription, but then state in another place that if you renew for another year you get 10 that year?
    No, you get 5 CECs per annual subscription. If you get an annual subscription for one year, you get 5 CECs. If you continue the subscription for another year, you get 5 CECs for that year. That's 10 total in that 2-year window you have to earn 20 CECs. So for your TWO-YEAR WINDOW for certification, you can earn 10 CECs by subscribing to the online classes. Which is nice if, like me, you somehow find yourself 2 CECs short and you won't have another workshop for a while.

    Ultimately any workshop with her is going to be AT LEAST 15 hours, so with one workshop and an annual subscription in a two-year period, you can stay current in Level 1.


    But the certification thing IS NOT for everybody. I myself am trying to decide how far I want to pursue it, still. And if you are interested in certification, but there aren't many sponsors in your area, you may just have to wait for a while. It was 3 years before I saw a level 2 workshop outside of California. Now they're all over the place in the US. She has a pretty active international program going on, so I wold suspect that Canada will be hosting more and more certification workshops. The time may be right for you and certification LATER, if you choose to do it.

    For anybody considering it, I would really always recommend her Level 1 workshop (whether you test or not) because it really puts her method into context and perspective. If you really like what you learn there, THEN think about testing, and THEN think about certifying. It's always something you can do later.

  3. #33
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    Ah no worries, i'm used to internet text being misunderstood . We don't have any sponsors. My old instructor took her course while she was back in the states. I have yet to hear of anyone sponsoring or hosting anything of her's here in canada.There is nobody licensed here to teach in canada and suhalia rarely does any classes here.

    Ah ok that points thing makes more sense to me, it is a little confusing the way it is written on the site but then again I just might be misreading it.

    If it was closer and not so bloody expensive I would consider doing it for the accreditation. I understand why there is a need for it in the bellydance world and can agree with you there. It's just that for most people right now the cost is to much and can't outweigh the benefits you get from it.

    However the joint group thing to pay for the online is beneficial for those who can't take the offical training but would love access to the lessons. I've learned so much from them so far and am hoping that she will reregister again next year. Though we won't get level 3 it is still good for me and costs less than going alone.
    Last edited by ~Diana~; 08-02-2010 at 02:56 AM.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
    2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
    3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
    4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners
    .
    ~ Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher ~

  4. #34
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Default I'm ready to bite the bullet!

    Which of the videos available gives the best introduction to Suhaila's method as a whole (what I mean is, not just the gluteus maximus bit)? Or should I try the 3-day trial instead?

    I do not want to go to one of her workshops.
    Last edited by da Sage; 09-15-2010 at 03:42 AM.

  5. #35
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    Which of the videos available gives the best introduction to Suhaila's method as a whole (what I mean is, not just the gluteus maximus bit)? Or should I try the 3-day trial instead?

    I do not want to go to one of her workshops.
    The fitness fusion series of dvds (which are pretty cheap on ebay) are actually a REALLY good introduction to level one. I'd do those, and then try the 3-day trial classes.

    The 4 volumes of Fitness Fusion are meant as workouts, but the core concepts of Suhaila's method are there. She says she wishes they could be a requirement for people who want to take her Level one workshop.

  6. #36
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    The fitness fusion series of dvds (which are pretty cheap on ebay) are actually a REALLY good introduction to level one. I'd do those, and then try the 3-day trial classes.

    The 4 volumes of Fitness Fusion are meant as workouts, but the core concepts of Suhaila's method are there. She says she wishes they could be a requirement for people who want to take her Level one workshop.
    Is one of them better than the others? I know I've seen one of them before (I forget which), and it didn't seem very "belly-dancy" to me at all.

    What would you say those core concepts are?

  7. #37
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    Is one of them better than the others? I know I've seen one of them before (I forget which), and it didn't seem very "belly-dancy" to me at all.

    What would you say those core concepts are?
    The fitness fusion dvds are basically drills. Just like her classes -- you'll see that when you see the 3-day trial. I agree that they do not come across as very "belly-dancy," but that's a criticism leveled at her classes and drills as well. It's definitely not in any way shape or form Egyptian, and I've struggled a LOT with trying to mesh the two techniques.

    Let me do core concepts first, and then I'll go back and try to figure out what's taught on which dvd.


    Core Concepts of Suhaila method (in my opinion)

    1. All the hipwork is done with the glutes. Rotation of the hips is done with the obliques and glutes. (As opposed to it being done with the legs or the bending/straightening of the knee.)

    2. All of the basic isolations are accomplished using a small, single muscle or muscle group. The point of this is to allow for multiple movements to be "layered" together and to create compound movements out of simple isolations.

    3. Compound movements are made up of connected small single isolations, with a definite physical location at each beat. (Example -- a pelvic circle is a low ab contraction, followed by a release of that and a contraction of the right glute, followed by a release of that and a contraction of the lower back, followed by a release of that and a contraction in the left glute.)

    The downbeat or starting point of this movement can be with any of the 4 contractions. Coordinating a location in space with a physical movement is a way to achieve layering in different spatial planes as well as allowing synchronized movement for groups of dancers.

    4. Because the movements are generated without the use of gravity (you contract the glute instead of pushing against the floor for a hip lift) any of the movements can be done over traveling steps, and it doesn't matter if the working leg is weighted or unweighted.

    and unrelated to the physics of the movements:

    5. She uses a nomenclature that allows for a physical description of the movement and its velocity and "texture" that can be read and shared (like Labanotation) by anyone who knows the nomenclature. Part of our exercises are to write a choreography in her nomenclature and share that with the group, who then have to dance it without a visual demonstration.

    6. "Handedness" or "one-side dominance" is discouraged in favor of an ambidextrous approach to playing cymbals, and drills that focus on using both sides of the body equally. This isn't THAT unusual nowadays, but it's part of the program.

    7. Her "emotional expression" in music theory is kind of complicated, and it's not something I've studied in-depth. But that's considered level 3 material. From what I basically gathered, you devote one instrument to a body part. Hands represent flute, hips the violin, feet the drums, or whatever. I'm not saying it correctly, but basically you compartmentalize a sound to a physical region, or a shape of movement (accordion is circles, etc.) Similar to Keti Sharif's and Hossam Ramzy's theories, but different enough to be, well, different.

    8. She basis the emotional expression and musical understanding workshops upon the idea that the technique is the same for all bellydance styles, and that which makes one dance "Egyptian" and another "Turkish" is not a difference in technique, but rather a difference in styling. This I think is the most controversial part of her method, but I'm not prepared to argue for or against it.


    I try to pick and choose what parts of her technique I can use to make me a better dancer in the way I want to dance. I don't think she's particularly crazy about that idea and I believe she would encourage me to study and work on ONLY her method until I finished the 4 levels. While I openly admit that what I've learned from her has made me a stronger and more technically proficient dancer, I'm not convinced the level 4 "payoff" is enough for me to devote my training strictly to that method. At this point, anyway. I waver back and forth about the whole thing constantly.

  8. #38
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    That's brilliant, Aziyade, thank you so much!

    Hmmm. I have actually wanted to move away from using the glutes for hipwork, because I feel it unbalances my body. What do you personally do for ab-work to counteract this in your own practice/training?

    Personal interactions with Suhaila-philes have got me wanting to be able to master the techniques (just so I can say that I CAN do them), even if I choose not to use them most of the time.

  9. #39
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    I have actually wanted to move away from using the glutes for hipwork, because I feel it unbalances my body. What do you personally do for ab-work to counteract this in your own practice/training?
    Yay! I'm glad to help!

    Now personally, I don't like doing a hip lift from the glute. I do what Ranya Renee teaches and instead, lift from the obliques. I only use the glute to sharpen the movement.

    Of course in Suhaila's class, I do what she says, but in my normal day-to-day, I do something different. As you can see, I'm torn about how useful devoting myself to her method would be.

    I do Tae Bo and that's all the ab workout I do. (I'm not ashamed to admit it -lol) I'm not into the whole situps and crunches. I'm increasingly of the opinion that I am fit enough, and just doing my regular dance practice is enough to keep my abs in dance "shape." But my practice sessions are about 2 hours long and kind of ridiculous, so maybe it's more of a workout that I think.


    Personal interactions with Suhaila-philes have got me wanting to be able to master the techniques (just so I can say that I CAN do them), even if I choose not to use them most of the time.
    Drank the kool-aid, huh?

    I know -- it's COOL to be able to do some incredibly complicated thing, just to say you can do it. The problem I have is that a lot of the cool complicated combos just don't work for how I dance. I try to weigh how much I want to practice cymbals and drills against "walking half time with full time pelvic locks in 3/4 timing over chasse-pas de bouree to the side." Which is something I have actually practiced and in 5 years never used in a choreography.

  10. #40
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Yay! I'm glad to help!

    Now personally, I don't like doing a hip lift from the glute. I do what Ranya Renee teaches and instead, lift from the obliques. I only use the glute to sharpen the movement.
    That sounds like my preferred method. I noticed my glutes were sore after rehearsal the other day, which means I'm probably using them more than I realize! My teachers have always emphasized tautness in the the front, free-shaking glutes, and often they start people out using their legs...but frankly, I have very weak legs and must use my torso muscles to drive the motion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Of course in Suhaila's class, I do what she says, but in my normal day-to-day, I do something different. As you can see, I'm torn about how useful devoting myself to her method would be.
    Yes, I don't plan to adopt her method for general dancing, just for training purposes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    I do Tae Bo and that's all the ab workout I do. (I'm not ashamed to admit it -lol) I'm not into the whole situps and crunches. I'm increasingly of the opinion that I am fit enough, and just doing my regular dance practice is enough to keep my abs in dance "shape." But my practice sessions are about 2 hours long and kind of ridiculous, so maybe it's more of a workout that I think.
    Woah - that's awesome! I will find something to supplement my Suhaila training. I have some random exercise videos I can pull out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Drank the kool-aid, huh?
    It's more like a personality issue. Some (generally nice) people are rubbing me the wrong way. I figure the best way to counter such people's dismissive manners is to educate myself a bit more...and then I have better grounding for discussion, and I can make better informed choices about how I execute moves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    I know -- it's COOL to be able to do some incredibly complicated thing, just to say you can do it. The problem I have is that a lot of the cool complicated combos just don't work for how I dance. I try to weigh how much I want to practice cymbals and drills against "walking half time with full time pelvic locks in 3/4 timing over chasse-pas de bouree to the side." Which is something I have actually practiced and in 5 years never used in a choreography.
    It doesn't seem like a very "musical" combination. I personally think that practicing pretty and practical combinations is the way to go for beginners, to get the dance into their body. But Level 1 is not about musicality, is it? When does Suhaila begin talking about music in her program?

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