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  1. #11
    Junior Member MirahAmmal's Avatar
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    I start my students working on finger cymbals in level 1. Usually we start zills the 2nd or 3rd class, depending on the composition of the class (I like them to get a few basic moves under their belts before I throw the finger cymbals in).

    My philosophy, as I tell it to the students, is that the sagat are an important part of the dance that they ought to learn, but they are not easy. Therefore, we might as well start those when everything else feels new and awkward anyway so that they're used to the sagat from the start. That way they start them before they have a chance to become afraid of them. I've seen dancers who were in programs that didn't start zills until the next level (say, 6 months to a year after starting.) By that time, some of the ladies were starting to feel pretty good about some of their movements and didn't want to work on cymbals because it made it hard--so they became afraid of the cymbals and started avoiding them all together because they didn't "feel good".

    Also, many of the other programs in my area start zills in level 1--I share students with some of these (they take class from my school one day, the other school another, etc.) so while there will always be somethings about my school and focus that are different, I want my students to feel comfortable and prepared if they go to another school and for the other school's students to feel comfortable and familiar if they come to mine.

  2. #12
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    we start zills on the 3rd session.this allowes basic steps to gel, and the hands then added.
    we never take them off, we do veil with them on.
    but we do teach proper and easy ways to remove them in ending in a cane, or 9/8.(staking on stage finger, thumb, thumb, finger, so easy to put back on if needed)
    longa..2/4 taught first, then 4/4..chifty, masmoudi, 9/8.even thought zills are removed for hand signals.
    its part of it all, and treated as such.
    z

  3. #13
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    oops, 3rd session meaning 3rd week

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    At our school, my teacher introduces zills in our intermediate class(after 6 mos of beginners). I can certainly see the validity of starting zills sooner than that, but this is my teacher is the boss, so what she says goes however, I do understand why we begin in the intermediate level. Many of our students want to learn bellydance without clear cut goals and vague misconceptions about what the dance and music is all about. Secondly, most of the women who attend classes work so hard to perfect even basic stance that it would be overwhelming to introduce zill patterns and music interpretation in the first few classes. So my teacher learned long ago to work on the basic movements and musical theory and once the students developed some level of confidence then zills were introduced. By the time zills are introduced, the original beginners class has been whittled down to the die hard fanatics.

    I just started a new Beginner A class last night and they could barely hold their arms in basic position for longer than a minute, if I attached zills to their fingers their poor arms would fall off and hit the floor
    Yasmine

  5. #15
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I learned zils when I first learned to dance, and it seemed quite normal at the time.

    But now- a true confession. I hate to dance with zils. Ah, yes, I know, I know. I hear your gasps of horror.

    When I first started dancing, it was thought that if you danced without zils, it was because you couldn't play zils. Zils were expected, yea, even unto demanded, and I, as a professional, met the demand. Gave into peer pressure. Learned despite myself, and zilled away with every evidence of enjoyment and skill.

    But- I hated to dance with zils, and now I don't dance with zils, and I don't teach zils. Yes, yes, I know. It is a hole in my teaching method. I send students with a love for the noisy little things to the other teacher in town who adores them and offers regular workshops. Thank goodness for this dear fellow teacher- she keeps the world safe for my ears.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  6. #16
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasmine Bint Al Nubia View Post
    I just started a new Beginner A class last night and they could barely hold their arms in basic position for longer than a minute, if I attached zills to their fingers their poor arms would fall off and hit the floor
    LOL! ... we used veils in a class routine once and couldn't even hold up bits of chiffon for long. Zills? I'll need weight training!

  7. #17
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    I discussed the topic with some of the teachers round here, and they thought that bringing zills into beginners classes is not a good idea. They want the students to learn how to move first, and as we all know this will take a while So, adding another thing to concentrate on would make learning more difficult and slower. This approach also makes sense, doesn't it?

    Shanazel, I don't think you're a horrible teacher. If you told us that you tell all your students that zills are annoying, loud and distracting, then I might consider it But you've even set them up with someone who can teach them what you don't - that is brilliant!

    BTW, still haven't found my zills But did zill my heart out at the workshop with my instructor's zills. (And I mean zill my heart out - there were like 40 participants in that workshop, so we gave away free earplugs at the reception desk LOL)

  8. #18
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maariku View Post

    Shanazel, I don't think you're a horrible teacher. If you told us that you tell all your students that zills are annoying, loud and distracting, then I might consider it But you've even set them up with someone who can teach them what you don't - that is brilliant!)
    Want to know something funny? On Sunday, I went by to see the other teacher and ended up sitting in on part of her zil class. Ha. I can still play the things like I never put them down. Talk about body memory.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  9. #19
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    Default this was good

    the info was good here...i have thought about it for my classes coming up this summer--the first ones i will teach solo. I have broken the classes into 6 week increments and decided to do veil at the beginning of the 2nd six weeks and the zills in the middle. I agree---dance too long with out zills is hard to start..but too soon i think basic dance technique can suffer...

    just my humble thoughts

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