Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Weston, FL
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default How to get from student to performer

    well, I've mentioned on this forum that I've been on and off learning how to bellydance. The journey began about 10 years ago. Just recently I've made a commitment to really develop and challenge myself, and try to evolve into a somewhat professional dancer. I would say I'm about intermediate level, maybe slightly more than intermediate. I recognize I still have to polish and practice. How long would you say it would take for me to really develop? I'm taking classes twice a week now, and participating at workshops as well. How long does it take to get to a level where you can say, ok I can perform now? I was thinking that starting out I would like to join a troupe, and then eventually do my own thing. More for pure enjoyment than for money. How many years, etc, how much do you practice, to get to that level, let's say to become an avanced dancer?
    thanks so much,
    Minerva

  2. #2
    Junior Member Demelza Aradia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    32
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This is just my thoughts, so it's not gospel and everyone else is free to shoot me down in flames.

    I don't think you can say you-must-spend-x-amount-of-years-and-attend-x-amount-of-workshops before you can perform. I remember another thread on here where someone surprised everyone with her amazing dedication and subsequent mastery of many techniques after a year's practice. I think it's all to do with confidence and mastering moves so that you can execute and layer them without thinking. This involves a lot of dull repetition (which is still better than real work any day, bellydance!). I don't believe you have to be a master of the dance to be a good performer at haflas and resteraunts, though I doubt you'd be a spine-tinglingly amazing one.

    To be an advanced dancer... I dunno, I'm not an advanced dancer, more of an intermediate fumbler, but I reckon it takes a hell of a lot of dedication, discipline and motivation. When I was on my quest to find out how old Jillina is I saw that she recommends practice for four hours a day to really build up your skills if you have your eye on a slice of the professional stakes. All i know that to get really really good it takes a lot more than I am giving it at the moment

    Do you do a lot of practice outside of classes?

  3. #3
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Iowa City, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    1,624
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by minervabellydancer View Post
    How long does it take to get to a level where you can say, ok I can perform now?
    A good place to begin with your thought process is to realize that there are different levels of performing, and different types of environments that are suitable to different levels of performer.

    In other words, a public performance as the featured soloist in a restaurant is a professional-level gig, and shouldn't be done until after you've had strong experience performing at the student level in student-friendly situations.

    I think a good place to start is to take a good luck at your current teachers, and ask yourself whether they are likely to provide opportunities for you to achieve your goals. Some teachers are very good at teaching performing skills such as stage presence and improvisation in classes, others just weakly tell you, "Smile more," which isn't helpful at all. Some teachers make a point of creating performance opportunities for their students, while others do not. So, your first step should be to ask whether your teachers are providing the opportunity to grow in the direction you want to grow, and if they're not, you may want to change teachers.

    Tell your current teachers that you want to grow your skills in a performing direction, and ask them what kind of help they can offer you. Teachers can't read your mind - you need to tell them if this is what you want to do.

    This article on my web site may offer some ideas, as well:

    Belly Dancing: From Student to... What?

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Weston, FL
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hello,
    this is great, this is very helpful, thank you. To answer the previous question, sadly I don't practice enough, but I'm working on that right now. I guess I have to talk to my current teachers and let them know what my goal is. I have a great teacher right now, she does a lot of emphasis on stage presence, and performance techniques, so I will speak with her and get her advice, and then find out if there are chances for us students to perform.

    thanks so much, and happy dancing!
    Minerva

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Philly, PA
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default going to pro performer

    Hi, I am going on to my 4th year and perform in restaurants. What helped me was pretty much obsession! I have a collections of DVD of instruction and performance. I attend classes with 2 teachers, 1 cabaret, 1 tribal, though I don't think that' necessary. What helped me was at least attending 1 class regularly. Practicing religiously. A few instructional DVDs: Blanca's and Sarah's. Why? These 2 ladies not only teach movements but putting the soul, life into the movement. These ladies teach me how to take it from just movements to more, to a performance level.
    Recommendations: "Lucious- The belly dance workout", "Sensual Bellydance"- Blanca's, "Love Potion", "Ultimate Bellydance Fitness Workout", "Seven Veils-Romantic Bellydance-SarahAriellah: her DVD stands out, use it alot, she is great on really breaking down and getting my movements just right. Her DVD helps keep my technique up. She is one of the best of breaking down and showing the movements.
    At night, instead watching regular TV shows, I am watching performances.
    Trying to pickup the nuances of all the great belly dancers out there, tribal and cabaret, troupe and solo. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Weston, FL
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi,
    yes, thank you this helps alot. I also have 2 dvd's, one is about drum solos and the other is about choreography. I will make a note of the ones you mentioned. I take two classes per week with the same teacher, she emphasizes stage presence, performance tecniques. Her class is very challenging which is good. How often do you practice? Would you say that practicing everyday is what's best?

    thanks so much
    Minerva

  7. #7
    Junior Member Demelza Aradia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    32
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I want to get really good, so I aim to practice every day (I have a lot of time on my hands so thats ok) but every now and again I'll have a really crappy day of practice and the next day I'll think "Practice, practice - I'll just sit here and Youtube for a bit" and I'll not really do anything for a week or so. Not everybody has the time to practice every day though, because they have real jobs to earn money to spend on bellydance

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cornfields of Evansville Indiana.
    Posts
    2,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think anyone who puts themselves forward as a "professional" needs to train like a professional. Daily structured practice is key.

    I don't think of "years" when I think of experience; I think of "hours." If you can only spend one or two hours a week on your practice, you won't develop the same skills as quickly as someone who can spend one or two hours a DAY.


    Keep in mind that learning the movements is the EASY part.

    The hard part is choreography or designing an exciting improv structure. The hard part is understanding the music and dancing with the music and not AT it. It's learning the riffs your drummer is likely to play, and having the self-control to not strangle him when he speeds everything up to lightning fast speeds.

    The hard part is learning all the music the band might throw at you, or learning what to do when your CD skips or the waiter gets right in front you at the moment of a dramatic spin. Or when one of the guest's kids decides to "join you" on stage. The hard part is learning to be flexible and dancing to music you don't know, but the owner of the restaurant thought would be fun to play that very minute.

    The hard part is the business end of it -- booking shows and cultural events, and actually getting PAID. The hard part is getting undercut or watching another dancer completely degrade your art form in a raunchy Shakira imitation.

    In short, the easy part of being a professional dancer is learning to be a dancer. The hard part is learning to be a professional.

  9. #9
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
    Posts
    2,028
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Dearest Aziyade,

    I *so* HAD to give you rep for that. You are right.

    It's not about how many years you spend at the dance per sé. Spending 10 years with one class per week and minimal practise hours will not make you as good a dancer as spending 5 years and practising every day, taking multiple classes, workshops, listening religiously (as Dreamkitaro said beautifully) to ME music, and really taking in as much as you possibly can. Also depends on how fast a learner one is. One person may pick up on stuff faster than the next. Depends on many things IMO.

    For me, I aspire to be a professional and I perform regularly now, with a troupe and as a soloist. I've been dancing for 6 years. First two years were about one or two classes a week, and some practise hours fit in whenever I could in my schedule (I was still a high school student). After that I upped everything I could, inlcuding workshops, classes, listening to music and much more practise hours. I live, breathe and sleep bellydance (drives my friends and family nuts, lol).

    I think part of being a professional is aspiring to learn and absorb everything you can about the dance, not just moves but also culture, music, people, language... That plus learning about the business aspects.

    For me being a dancer means fitting in dance whenever I can. I teach dance at a community center and at our school, have an office dayjob and am wanting to go back to university. I take classes and/or train for troupe and solo shows every night for at least 3 to 4 hours, and at least half an hour before work. Does that make me professional? I don't know, but I sure hope it will someday.

    What others said before is sound advice and I can only say that's the same I'd say you should do. Talk to your teachers about where you want to go with this dance and maybe perform at a student hafla or recital to start with. It's a good place to get used to performing and will help you on your way. And if you want to get there faster, practise, practise, practise, listen to music, practise some more, watch other dancers.... and then practise some more.

    Good luck!!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •