Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Student Beware...Or, Shame On You, Teacher

Lately I've noticed an sudden surge in the "teaching" genre of bellydance.  Well, to be specific, since I've been physically been back to teaching bellydance on a regular basis,  my radar has picked up on a how, why, and who is teaching in my area.  There have always been magical and well qualified teachers, but suddenly there is a new teacher in town.  And I use that term lightly.
Here's the deal...personally, I have three to four "grown-up" years (I kinda count the ones in my younger days, though I'm sure my technique has grown!) in cabaret, and four more in tribal fusion bellydance, to which I can attribute hundreds of hours of classes, workshops, and one on one sessions perfecting technique.  If I didn't completely master every move, I'm good with that because the mechanics and understanding is there and the rest will come with practice.  I am a constant state of learning, and because of this, of teaching.
I supplement dvd's and online classes from time to time, mostly because I have the knowledge of basic movement vocabulary that makes up the language of my dance.  And, most of these dvd's are by dancers/teachers that I have the pleasure of actually learning from in a workshop/class situation.
That being said, I know I will never stop learning, and that I am not perfect.  This is a good thing, because I am passionate and will continue to become a stronger dancer, performer, and teacher.
Current conundrum.  Taking a eight week or so beginner's class and watching YouTube or DVD's and then teaching bellydance scares me.  Because, these are people's bodies, their spirits, and self confidence you are messing with. 
Shame on anyone who thinks they can teach something they've just learned (and are doing not for the love of, but for the love of money) without training of some sort.
But, as a student, please know who your teacher is, how they learned their craft, and maybe why they teach.
I teach to give my students confidence, passion, and joy.  And in return, they give me back the same in return.
Know what you are giving and getting....

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