What's the point?

perfumeshop

New member
Of Standards, of training?
I've decided to embark on a well known BD training course for my own satisfaction as much as anything else. I also want to make sure I do the best by my students. I attend as many workshops at festivals and the like as I have energy for in order to do this. I know I am not alone. I know others who put in lots of eeffort to become good dancers and teachers. However I had a fellow dancer phone me in some agitation..she had seen UK belly dancers from her area on TV and was totally shocked by their "standards": technique and appearance. Ishtar of Merseyside puts herself up on YouTube with embarassing regularity and the GP starts to say "this is belly dance?"
What hope is there that we will ever get a good press?
I see folks teaching with NO training and not even much experience. Either they have been dancing 2 or 3 years or say it's in their blood.
Just how widespread is this ? I am sure NW England is not alone in this? And what can be done about it?
I belong to a dance association and had to be "passed" as a dancer of decent enough technique and ability to teach before I could obtain PLI.
Do insurance companies, local authorities, sports clubs ask questions before they take teachers on or is it a dangerous and damaging free for all still?:protest:
 

Moon

New member
I just found the website af this company where 2 ex-fellow students who have had lessons for 1.5 years (they started being "professional" after a little more that 1 year), don't know anything about bellydance and have no feeling of rhythm whatsoever, are working for. So yes, I feel sad too and you're not alone...
 

Lydia

New member
Why you think i came up with the the idea of the worldbellydanceday??????? to educate about this issue what is bellydancing what is middle eastern dancing what is raks alsharqi ? What is this artform about,so by just sitting and thinking what to do it will not help ...if you love this art try to do something to make people understand what it realy is like,every one can do something ...big or small all little bits will help...so what are you waiting for?? big hug Lydia
 

perfumeshop

New member
Hi Lydia
I am together with other local teachers and dancers putting togther a theatre show looking at different aspects of BD and I hope we manage to attract the intrigued as well as the interested. We want to be informative as well as entertaining but it's pessimistic of me I know to think that these "all natural" opportunistic "unqualified" and unsafe teacher/dancer will never go away.
Whenever I have seen belly dancers on TV, they have always been the WRONG ones..never the classy, technically sound and tasteful ones I know but ...well..the opposite..YouTube is also producing some not very good adverts for belly dance,sad to say.
I also organise local events, encourage my students to get out there to workshops and theatre events and I love to promote the young dancers who have a lot to offer especially.
I want to see this dance get some respect! :pray:
 

Safran

New member
Dear Perfumeshop, you are not alone in this. I am sure most of us on the forum get depressed over such things every now and then... And even though it is not much comfort, the same happens in so many fields of life. But you are already doing the right thing - you are "fighting" against the general unawareness in a brilliant way. We can't change the world in an instant, but we can try doing it bit by bit

Btw, I found a wonderful article on HipCircle, maybe it will cheer you up

The Hip Circle:: online bellydance magazine, belly dance discussion and community
 

Lydia

New member
Hi perfumeshop....you stick here with us dear !! you wil get motivated and yes you are already doing so many nice things so? its a big job but money talks louder than most things in life for many many people .. so if it sells cool and they dont care but us we have to keep on trying and little by little who knows perhaps we are getting somewhere ...i have some little evil things in my brain i am working on LOL SO KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED...if that is gonna happen yippy!! i wish you a very pleasant day and keep on smiling and dancing...we will get there...oooo bdw are you in for the next worldbellydanceday??? big hug Lydia
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dear Perfumeshop,
Responses in context.


Of Standards, of training?
I've decided to embark on a well known BD training course for my own satisfaction as much as anything else. I also want to make sure I do the best by my students. I attend as many workshops at festivals and the like as I have energy for in order to do this. I know I am not alone. I know others who put in lots of eeffort to become good dancers and teachers.

A. writes- Yes, I think there are many responsible dancers in the world and we are making progress in subtle ways!


However I had a fellow dancer phone me in some agitation..she had seen UK belly dancers from her area on TV and was totally shocked by their "standards": technique and appearance. Ishtar of Merseyside puts herself up on YouTube with embarassing regularity and the GP starts to say "this is belly dance?"

A. writes- Unfortunately, this is really a problem. We can not do anything about unqualified people whop put themselves on YouTube. We can only do our best to teach our own students better. There will always, always be someone who has more ego than ability.

What hope is there that we will ever get a good press?
I see folks teaching with NO training and not even much experience. Either they have been dancing 2 or 3 years or say it's in their blood.
Just how widespread is this ? I am sure NW England is not alone in this? And what can be done about it?

A. writes- I think part of this is our own fault, because we have spent so many years being very politically correct and not being very honest about the dance, saying things like "Everyone can belly dance", letting things slide under the wire as belly dance when it is not, confusing the poor general public to death along with new students. Much of the confusion is because we have not been very good about taking care of the dance ourselves. The kind of stuff is one of the reasons that I continually push for definition that makes sense in ethnic and cultural context.


I belong to a dance association and had to be "passed" as a dancer of decent enough technique and ability to teach before I could obtain PLI.
Do insurance companies, local authorities, sports clubs ask questions before they take teachers on or is it a dangerous and damaging free for all still?:protest:
A. writes- Since it is not the job of these people to know what the dance is and is not, who is good and who is not, they do not ask questions very often. It is our responsibility, not their's. When we start caring first about the dance itself, then we can expect the same of other institutions and bodies, and not before. We often seem to be willing to pass the buck without seeing our own negligence in this matter.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Suheir

New member
A'isha wrote: "I think part of this is our own fault, because we have spent so many years being very politically correct and not being very honest about the dance, saying things like "Everyone can belly dance", letting things slide under the wire as belly dance when it is not, confusing the poor general public to death along with new students. Much of the confusion is because we have not been very good about taking care of the dance ourselves. The kind of stuff is one of the reasons that I continually push for definition that makes sense in ethnic and cultural context"

I totally agree. In the case of the UK, it's been "Everybody can belly dance, after 6 months of classes you're Advanced Level". When I started dancing 8 years ago I was lucky enough to see a fantastic professional dancer perform (Nabila Bergman of Germany) before I ever went to an amateur hafla and I could really see the difference between true Professional Level and the "four-to-the-right, four-to-the-left" brigade in the UK who considered themselves to be Professional teachers and performers. I went to the first big festival in London in early 2000 and I was utterly shocked by some of the performers - clumsy movements, boring, amateurish choreographies and cheap, nasty costumes. It put me off ever taking workshops with some of our own 'top' dancers.

Now that we have such easy access to real Master Teachers I am hoping that the level will be brought up but we desperately need to attract youngsters to the dance. In Finland at the weekend I stayed with a teacher who had hordes of young girls in her classes and they are so enthusiastic, flexible, agile and quick to learn that they quickly become good. Yes, of course there is nothing wrong with people of all ages learning and enjoying the dance but the youngsters are the ones who can most easily raise the level and have years in front of them to hone their craft.
 

Kharis

New member
It depends on what people are teaching. Some teachers simply do "line dance" belly dance, with absolutely little or no technique to speak of, and very ploddy, and repetitive....rather like a step class. There's not a damn thing anyone can do to stop this. What does concern me is when somebody starts training teachers. Who is doing the training? Does anyone ever fail the course? And where do these teachers go?
 

Suheir

New member
What does concern me is when somebody starts training teachers. Who is doing the training? Does anyone ever fail the course? And where do these teachers go?
A while ago someone who'd started their own teacher training course was trying to promote it on one of the Yahoo! message boards; when I asked what her training and credentials were she replied at great length (in marketing-speak) about how the course wasn't about *her*, it was about the training course. Er...

Another dancer who has started her own teacher training course (and calls herself a Master Teacher on her website) was recently interviewed on the internet radio station 'My Spirit Radio'. She boasted that she'd got her first job, dancing in a Turkish restaurant, by pretending she was very experienced and telling the restaurateur she was a fantastic dancer. She had no experience whatsoever and her only teacher had been this man:
About Adnan Sarhan and Sufi Foundation of America She'd spent several weeks on his retreat in the States after taking one class with him in London.

She has also produced an instructional DVD which is *dire*, both in its lack of proper instruction and also in the lack of skill demonstrated in the performances. This dancer now has her own teachers teaching her method (©,
naturally). Her classes are sold out.

I doubt anybody ever fails these courses and others like them. Stump up your wonga and you get your certificate, much like those meaningless certificates that Indian restaurants sometimes display in their windows.
 
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Aisha Azar

New member
Dance, etc.

Dear Suheir,
Responses in context below.

A while ago someone who'd started their own teacher training course was trying to promote it on one of the Yahoo! message boards; when I asked what her training and credentials were she replied at great length (in marketing-speak) about how the course wasn't about *her*, it was about the training course. Er...

A'isha wriutes- When people are reluctant to give you their credentials, or their credentials sound to good to be treu, then both are warning flags. Also, when you go to someone's site and they give you a dance biography sans dates (as in how long they have studied, etc.) they probably have something to hide, such as a very short time in the dance.



Another dancer who has started her own teacher training course (and calls herself a Master Teacher on her website) was recently interviewed on the internet radio station 'My Spirit Radio'. She boasted that she'd got her first job, dancing in a Turkish restaurant, by pretending she was very experienced and telling the restaurateur she was a fantastic dancer. She had no experience whatsoever and her only teacher had been this man:
About Adnan Sarhan and Sufi Foundation of America She'd spent several weeks on his retreat in the States after taking one class with him in London.


A.writes- Yeah, happens VERY frequently that dancers with little or even NO training get gigs because they are ultra cute, willing to go the extra 6 to 8 inches on the "casting couch" un the manager's office, etc. It's an on going problem in any entertainment field.

She has also produced an instructional DVD which is *dire*, both in its lack of proper instruction and also in the lack of skill demonstrated in the performances. This dancer now has her own teachers teaching her method (©,
naturally). Her classes are sold out.

A. writes- This used to frustrate me to no end and sometimes still does, Some VERY big name people out there are teaching drek, but because they know how to appeal to a person's sense of drama, spirituality or other important element of life, they rack up students like mad. Their marketing skills far surpass their dance talent on all levels!!

I doubt anybody ever fails these courses and others like them. Stump up your wonga and you get your certificate, much like those meaningless certificates that Indian restaurants sometimes display in their windows.

A. writes- I love that this forum is so international. I learn all kinds of good stuff here!! What is the translation of "Stump up your wonga"??? What is a wonga?? Do I have one anywhere on ME??? OH my god, I can't wait to find out!! ( I hope its something I will really, really want because I LOVE the word.)

Regards,
A'isha
 

Suheir

New member
Dear Suheir,
Responses in context below.




A. writes- I love that this forum is so international. I learn all kinds of good stuff here!! What is the translation of "Stump up your wonga"??? What is a wonga?? Do I have one anywhere on ME??? OH my god, I can't wait to find out!! ( I hope its something I will really, really want because I LOVE the word.)

Regards,
A'isha
Hee hee! It apparently originated as a Romany word, maybe Sara can confirm that? The Scotsman - Business - Wonga, dosh or bread, it’s cash, depending on where you live
 

Aisha Azar

New member

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Well, I've decided I can make big wonga by channeling some of the belly dance greats who have gone on before. I'm sure the voices in my head are Badia and Serena and Samia whispering their secrets to me. Anyone who objects to my teaching methods are just envous because the voices don't talk to them.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Wonga, etc.

Well, I've decided I can make big wonga by channeling some of the belly dance greats who have gone on before. I'm sure the voices in my head are Badia and Serena and Samia whispering their secrets to me. Anyone who objects to my teaching methods are just envous because the voices don't talk to them.

Dear Shanazel,
Er.... what are the voices saying?? Not to be critical, but I thought they were telling ME their secrets.... turned out the television was on real low and I forgot to pop out the dance video before I went to bed. Or, maybe they were telling me the secrets through the TV screen. You know, if I play that video backwards, maybe Paul McCartney will tell me some of HIS secrets (goo goo gajoob) .... or I could just call him I guess.
Fondest regards,
A'isha B. Masabni-Gamal
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Ah, now see, there's your problem: TV. I have no TV so I know the voices are real. If you want to know what they say, just sign up for my "I'm The Goddess You're Just a Wanna Be" workshop coming soon to a high school gymnasium near you. Bring wonga.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dance

Ah, now see, there's your problem: TV. I have no TV so I know the voices are real. If you want to know what they say, just sign up for my "I'm The Goddess You're Just a Wanna Be" workshop coming soon to a high school gymnasium near you. Bring wonga.


Dear Shanazel,
I saw Delilah Flynn in that role once at Med Fest. It was totally gag-making!! Nothing like a goddess in training and her stage full of acolytes to really turn a stomach, er... belly.
Love,
A'isha Da BOB
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Dear Ish Da Bob,

When did people decide they had to be goddesses as well as (or instead of) dancers? This is truely one of my pet peeves on a number of different levels.

Sincerely, Her Worshipfulness, Highest Grand Priestess of the Dancing Dieties Dance Troupe
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dance, etc

Dear Ish Da Bob,

When did people decide they had to be goddesses as well as (or instead of) dancers? This is truely one of my pet peeves on a number of different levels.

Sincerely, Her Worshipfulness, Highest Grand Priestess of the Dancing Dieties Dance Troupe

Dear HWHGPDDDT,
Yeah, me too. But then as Fran Leibowtiz has said time and again, "Always a godmother, never a god". ( Deep sighs and a limp wrist against my forehead here.)
With Existentialist angst and despair,
Soren Keirkagaard Azar
 

KuteNurse

New member
Lydia is right on here. This forum has helped me learn and to be motivated about belly dancing when I started last winter. There is great advice here from most. You just have to pick and choose who to listen to and who to trust just like in any life situations. This site and its subscribers are definately a positive ifluence in my life and I hope it is to everyone else who post here.:)

Hi perfumeshop....you stick here with us dear !! you wil get motivated and yes you are already doing so many nice things so? its a big job but money talks louder than most things in life for many many people .. so if it sells cool and they dont care but us we have to keep on trying and little by little who knows perhaps we are getting somewhere ...i have some little evil things in my brain i am working on LOL SO KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED...if that is gonna happen yippy!! i wish you a very pleasant day and keep on smiling and dancing...we will get there...oooo bdw are you in for the next worldbellydanceday??? big hug Lydia
 
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