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  1. #1
    Member Emma_Williams's Avatar
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    Default workshop/student dance level....how do we distinguish??? grading??? exams?? discuss

    After reading the thread on students in advanced workshops, I felt I had a dilemma with a beginners workshop I attended recently.I have been dancing for 7 months. I go to ATS and Egyptian class once a week and do about an hr or 2 every other day. I would class myself a beginner and I struggle to do some things in class but others I feel come quite naturally. I booked a sharon kihara workshop which said ATS for beginners and it was designed for those who had never done ATS bfore. Even though I had studied some ATS I felt it suited my level. WRONG!!!!!!! The first hour was intense yoga and pilates which I couldnt do. It made me feel a complete fool. I was not alone, there was dancers age 18-60 in that workshop and only a few could even hold their legs up or streched out for the 5 minutes or so she had us standing in them.
    When we finally got to do some dancing we did drills and tummy rolls etc and arm techniques which I did not feel were for beginners. Baring in mind alot of these women had never even tried an ATS class (as this was advertised for complete beginners or those who had not studied ATS) it was far too advanced. She told everyone to go into "The turkish". How the heck do novices to ATS know what this is. It just was not explained. Luckily I knew a handful of moves from my class and so i felt comfy once we started dancing but I know alot of people felt uncomfy after speaking to them at the end.
    If there was a general rule for workshop levels and dancers levels we would all be OK. Ie tap and ballet get graded. Do you think bellydancing should be graded professionally ie exams etc?

  2. #2
    Member bellyfester's Avatar
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    I too attended both of Sharons workshops and found physically the beginners ATS one more challenging than the advanced one. I do agree that it would be hard for a novice to have done that, but having done some ATS I found it a really good drilling workshop.
    But out of curiosity what was your motivation for taking Sharons advanced workshop if you were relatively new to this? After that beginners workshop I was so nervous that I could not keep up with the advanced one I nearly bolted (and ive been bellydancing for 9 years!) but then the advanced one was disappointing in that it did not end up being very advanced and all the things that she said she would cover like flutters (yay!) she was not able to do. I think this issue has been summed up well in another thread though.

    So regarding the 'do we have exams'... well some people do have that like Suhaila, Fat Chance and other schools and it is probably a very lucrative venture... for me at least it is quite appealing to have some sort of clear criteria or format to work through and there is clearly the demand from many bellydancers.
    HOWEVER there is the obvious issue about terminology used for moves, what does emotion or personal expression of the music count for and will being technically proficient make you a better bellydancer than one who is less able to do the top level moves required in the 'curriculum' but is better able to say connect with the audience.

    I think there should be certain standards required to be considered a professional performer, and a teacher especially as if the teacher is sloppy and technically quite poor then what is she teaching her students to aspire to?? these standards would not necessarily need to be official (and thereby moneyspinning for certain schools) but more widely acknowleged as a required basis...

  3. #3
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribal_butterfly View Post
    If there was a general rule for workshop levels and dancers levels we would all be OK. Ie tap and ballet get graded. Do you think bellydancing should be graded professionally ie exams etc?
    Only is you are doing so&so's format that so&so has developed herself and is not pretending it is any more than that. When so&so (or a group of them, as if that will happen...) starts setting up National/International standards it is setting the Westernisation of belly dance in stone. It's totally missing the point, IMO.

  4. #4
    Member Emma_Williams's Avatar
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    i took the beginner not advanced

  5. #5
    Member Emma_Williams's Avatar
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    I agree it would defeat the point of it being the art form it is if exams were introduced i was just wondering how people grade themselves. There will be some who class themselves advanced when they are only beginner and there will be those who class themselves beginners but could do int stuff. Its all confusing isnt it indeed!

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