Belly Dance Teacher training/certification

Darshiva

Moderator
I think that the key importance here is that the teacher training home-learning stuff is great if you don't already have a few years of teaching under your belt, and are after some pretty intensive info on how to run the business side of things. I also very strongly recommend doing it as the weekend intensive rather than the home study - for the reasons Mosaic addressed.

With that said, I am cutting & pasting my reply to Lilith here to save myself typing it all out again.

The coursework is comprehensive in that it covers both the business side of teaching as well as the practical side. Her demonstration classes obviously work well for her and I used them as the basis for my own lesson plans, modifying them over the course of two years until I found my own groove.

The business side really did help me because there's a lot of pitfalls for a new teacher, the first of them being the line between a hobbyist and a business. Admittedly Shemiran's training is very strongly founded in what works in Australia, so it's a good idea to back that up with a visit to/from the tax department anyway just to make sure everything's going smoothly.

There is some information omitted from the otherwise very thorough coursework, and that is pricing.

The business stuff covers marketing and branding (if you go search on google for 'echuca bellydancer' you'll see the results of her approach because I followed her advice to the letter) as well as networking.

The practical stuff covers how to teach to different learning styles, working with the limitations of your venue, etc. It does briefly cover safety with moves & stuff but if you're after in-depth anatomy in your teacher training you won't find it here.
 

Rania

New member
Certification

I wanted to ask about proper certification. To become a professional or an instructor. I found Things such as

Teacher Training | GoddessLife

Are these things worth it? Im not sure, because I have never researched it. What is the best way to go about it?
 

Kashmir

New member
Certification is often associated with a particular francaise. With that one you get "everything you need to begin teaching The Goddess Workout". I'm not sure how much use it would be if you wanted to do something different.

Also, what are you trying to achieve? Do you need paper for a job? do you need to learn how to teach? do you need to learn how to run a business? do you need to learn about belly dance?

Some years back, in Australia, there was a push to get all dance teachers (of any type) certified - as dance teachers. To this end a two year University course (about 8 papers) was offered in number of institutions. I know it didn't catch on and many courses have since folded. One of those papers was a "how to teach" module (other included Safe Dance, Dance Analysis and History, Dance Assement, Theatre, etc). That is, six months. You did the theory, did assignments, readings, prepared lesson plans and tried things out on real classes and videoed the results. You tutor then gave you feedback.

I found that course very valuable - despite having trained for a year postgrad as a physics & maths teacher and spent a number of years on the job teaching kids and (at that time) 5 years teaching dance. What I'm saying is to be generally useful you need meat - by people who have done the theory as well as the practice.

Some teachers here looked at cheaper options by joining a general "how to teach adults" class usually a year) and did some physio/PT papers. This seemed to also be useful.

Something you can toss off in a few weeks is unlikely to much use.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
It depends on what you are after in your teacher training.

I found Shemiran Ibrahim's teacher training to be a good overall in how to set up a bellydance school business. If you're after something with more meat in terms of physiology requirements then something along the lines of the course Kashmir did will be more of interest.
 

Taslin

New member
Not an instructor or certified myself but both instructors i take w/ are certified at different levels w/ 2 different BDSS dancers.

It's their excitement for learning from the dancers that they got certified w/ that seems to be important for them that impressed me, and makes me inspired in turn as a student.

Both get a glimmer in their eye when talking about the study/style/learning. So i do see it as encouraging to be learning from teachers that are placing such a passion on learning. But i guess if they just listed it as a credential and the other stuff (passion) wasn't apparent i wouldn't care.

I also highly respect who they are certified w/. Im not sure some random certification would impress or influence me as a student to want a particular teacher over another unless i had a connection w/ the certifying body.
 
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Farasha Hanem

New member
Noooooooooooo, don't cross over to the dark side!

I wanted to ask about proper certification. To become a professional or an instructor. I found Things such as

Teacher Training | GoddessLife

Are these things worth it? Im not sure, because I have never researched it. What is the best way to go about it?
Hi, Rania, how are you? I'd like to give you an honest opinion about this particular site: don't bother. There are far more credible certification programs out there than this one. It's run by a "bellydancer" named Dolphina, and I have her gosh-awful 3-disc "Goddess Life" DVD set. Granted, she can pull off some bellydance "moves," but her dance STYLE is on a kindergarten/maybe 1st grade level. She knows next to nothing about Middle Eastern culture (or Desi culture, for that matter). Although she has slick sets and costumes on her DVD's, the camera work is terrible---you can't see her moves clearly.

Dolphina is more of a New Age...hipster???...that uses bellydance as a marketing ploy. She puts waaaay too much emphasis on being "sexy goddesses," but has no real substance.

Sorry for the long rant, Rania. I kinda feel about Dolphina the way some people feel about three controversial performers (names left out to prevent another pointless flame war).
 

Rania

New member
Hey Farasha. I was using that just using that as an example. I have nothing against Dolphinia, however Im not going the Dolphinia workout route.

@Kashmir, oneday I was interested in teaching and running my own studio :) Thanks for you input. I will researcht these eventuelly!
 

shiradotnet

New member
I wanted to ask about proper certification. To become a professional or an instructor.
Although I haven't taken Hadia's teacher training, I'd expect it to be excellent because the workshops on other topics that I've taken from her were excellent. She also has strong knowledge of physiology due to her non-dance career in myofascial release.

If I were going to pursue teacher training, I'd either go to Hadia or to a series of university courses such as those Kashmir described.
 

LadyLoba

New member
I myself have probably been a bit too harsh on Dolphina in the past. I want to take back the out and out slam I did about Dolphina and GoddessLife before because, well...I don't know that it doesn't really help some women. For all I know, the program could have saved the life of someone whose view of their own appearance and sexuality was so horrible it prevented them from functioning. I'm still cynical about it....and suspect that it's very likely nothing more than a fad for a lot of women who already have very high regard for themselves in that area...but I shouldn't have just assumed that's what it was 100% of the time.


That said... I've looked into it...and it's not really a belly dance instructional program or a belly dance teacher training program. It is just a women's lifestyle and self esteem program focusing on sexuality. She offers some belly dance lessons, sure...and some burlesque dancing instruction...but those seem like they're just tiny aspects of an overall "How to Be Sexy" course...the rest of it being about making very "feminine" drinks, picking out lingerie, etc.

If your goal is to give yourself a very sexy lifestyle makeover...I'd say go ahead and try this if you have the funds...absolutely... But if your goal is a solid foundation in belly dance and a solid background in a belly dance career/business...I don't think this will do anything for you.
 

Rania

New member
I myself have probably been a bit too harsh on Dolphina in the past.

If your goal is to give yourself a very sexy lifestyle makeover...I'd say go ahead and try this if you have the funds...absolutely... But if your goal is a solid foundation in belly dance and a solid background in a belly dance career/business...I don't think this will do anything for you.
Im not sure what you posted about Dolphinia, however everyone including yourself is entitled to an opinion on a dance no matter if its good or bad. As long as its done with tact, i see no problem in a person handing a bit of criticism out.

No, i don't have the funds.
 

LadyLoba

New member
I couldnt afford that either.

I hope I was tactful. I am still critical of the fact that this is often marketed as "belly dance" when it's really just a women's self esteem and lifestyle program with a small belly dance component...I just dont think I was completely fair before.

If I did have the funds...Im not sure if it would work for my self esteem or not. I cant speak for anyone else, but normally things like that don't. I feel a lot better about myself when I work at and accomplish something solid than when I set out trying to raise my self esteem....so if I were going to pick a program...Id probably go for one that was belly dance and just belly dance. But I can't say that definitively, because I havent tried any.
 

Aziyade

New member
Dolphina's program is effectively a diploma mill. You send her a check for ... what is it $300 now? and she sends you a certificate. I know someone who did it. She is in no way qualified to teach anything, let alone bellydance. (groan)

I have a sticky in the Rest section, I think, that lists teacher resources if you're interested in teacher training.
 

LadyLoba

New member
I apologize to Rania if Im making her conversation veer off topic... and to the mods...who may have to break this and move it to off topic..but the post right above me made me think, as I was considering this Goddess Life (corny as I find the name) thing as a self esteem booster...just very aware that I wont be learning any more belly dance than I learned in my first week of studying it alone.

But...this now sounds like a very bad idea...like maybe even as a self esteem/lifestyle type thing it's a little bit shady. I know I can honestly...and without snark...say that I did not find her belly dancing at all impressive...but I was thinking maybe I should cut her some slack in the rest of it...

But youre making me think Id be getting ripped off no matter what I did it for.
 

Aziyade

New member
LadyLoba, I think you might really enjoy Keti Sharif's A-Z personal techniques course. It's a self-paced course where you learn and perform combinations, and then submit a video of yourself doing them to an assessor, who will critique you and evaluate your progress.

A-Z correspondence study courses


The combinations are really cute, and you can string a series of them together to fit a lot of different kinds of music. The course is a bit pricey, but you get really good evaluations and commentary, so it's like having a private instructor "grading" your progress.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
And if you're a perfectionist like me it will take you YEARS to complete!

I recommend them in conjunction with her 1001 Moves dvd, particularly if you're starting off with poor training or having taught yourself, as she covers every move she uses in the A-Z dvds in the 1001 moves with instruction from the front, side & back & uses serveral methods to teach each move.

I've not yet met anyone who found the 1001 moves dvds hard to understand, but the A-Z can be a big mouthful if you're not confident in your dancing.
 
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LadyLoba

New member
:lol:

True on the cupcake martinis. I watched that video of her making them..not sure what was more off putting...the whole "mmmm that smells so good" over the canned frosting that sounds like the dialogue from one of those cable channel shows that turns out to be thinly disguised softcore porn...or the actual "recipe" which turns out to be "buy some type of flavored milk beverage and spike it."

Perhaps I've never really taken to her or what she does because it's a "how to be sexy" thing...and what she presents as sexy...that whole cutesy...cupcakes and giggly talk and frilly things... isn't what I find sexy at all. I can't imagine anything that would make me feel less sexy than sitting in her pink studio sipping a drink that's supposed to taste like a cupcake.
 
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