Question of Style
is a subject I addressed years ago, but it crops up occasionally,
so it might be worth writing about again. At a recent workshop
some dancers felt that there were too many teachers and so many
styles, so they felt uncomfortable and stressed by it.
response to that is that in our dance form talking about different
styles is rather silly because unless you are very limited you
can pretty much follow any teacher's instruction. There are,
of course, some schools whose method of instruction limits the
students because they teach routines and insist that their method
is the only one.
If your only knowledge of the dance is one or more rigid routines
you will have a hard time following a new teacher who is offering
material you haven't yet seen. If you feel uncomfortable with
a teacher I don't think it is so much the teaching technique as
the teacher's personality. Certain teachers might be more attuned
to your needs. Some students crave a strict disciplinarian while
others rebel against any form of authority. With other words,
some like to be told exactly what to do while others need a freer,
more nurturing atmosphere.
are not only designed to teach new steps and routines, but
also to inspire you to use the abilities you already have.
In my seminars I have always tried not to change, alter or put
down any of the techniques or abilities of the dancers, but
rather to add some new ideas as to how they can improve what
they have. In short, teaching more attitude and less technique.
I would feel bad to take something away without being able to
replace it and add to the dancer's vocabulary; it is important
for the dancer to leave a class with a positive sense of achievement.
Students should be given a lot of leeway and freedom as to how
they interpret the material which they have been shown. We all
work from the same root movements and the question of style is
just a personal choice. Not liking someone's teaching style is
a different matter. Dancing styles and teaching styles are two
completely different things.
most of us have chosen Oriental Dance for the pleasure of doing
it, being a zealot about purity and ethnicity will just hamper
getting the fullest enjoyment out of the dance. One might say,
"Dancing is my oasis in the desert of stress that is daily life!"
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
Doing it my way
me, dance is not cerebral, but highly emotional.
2-25-00 North Beach
long last Bert begins his story
A Report of the 2004
Ya Halla Y’all Saturday Evening Show, by Leigh Allen
and Tamara Campbell, photos by Craig Campbell. Isis’
annual August shows are always great and professionally presented
but the show on Saturday truly lived up to its billing as ‘A
Gathering of Stars’. We can’t wait for next year!
Unity through Belly dance by Erica
If you are reading this publication, then you too have fallen
in love with belly dancing.