Advanced Belly Dance Tip – How to pick a good workshop
You won’t believe tip number 4!
When you first start attending festivals and workshops chances are just about any presenter at a decently run event will have loads of great information to impart. After all, you are new to belly dance. However, when you have been to quite a few and are an advanced bellydancer, the amount you can get from each teacher can reduce. This doesn’t matter if you have plenty of time and money. Attending workshops can be a great way to connect and network with other dancers and if it isn’t as content rich as you hoped ….then you can think about it as practice.
BUT.. if you are not blessed with great finances then you have to be a little more discerning. Asking friends who they like can help but as we all have different needs and likes teaching wise this doesn’t always help. Here are my 4 top tips in picking the right workshops for you.
1) Check them out on YouTube – a good dancer doesn’t always equate to a good teacher but if you like their stuff then chances are better for a great workshop.
2) Do they allow videotaping of combos / choreography / whatever they are teaching for a least a few minutes at the end. I don’t know about you, but so many times I have thought, ‘That’s fantastic, I will never forget that’, yet after 3 back to back workshops I have. A video summary to look back on is GOLD. It is also often way more thorough than notes and takes less time so you can get on with having fun.
3) Do they provide notes / music?
4) What do they look like? ( this only applies to advanced dancers) This is a point I have only just started to realise. If the instructor has a body type similar to yours you are likely to find their combinations will suit you better. Now I know this idea may ruffle a few feathers at first, but bear with me. I have attended great (and terrible classes) with people of vastly different bodies, men for example, and still learnt a lot. I am NOT saying you can’t learn heaps off those that are different to you and indeed people with a vastly different take on things can expand your repertoire or at least extend ones experience. What I am saying is that if you have to be discerning, keep it in mind. If you are very tall and you book into an advanced floor work class with someone 5ft high, it is highly unlikely you will ever be able to do the moves unless you are a hard core Pilates, gym junky with abs of steel. Even then it’s unlikely; it’s a matter of physics. It is phenomenally harder to do these moves when you are much longer. (I have run this idea by 2 massage therapists; a physio, a Pilates instructor and a physicist and they have confirmed height does matter). As an aside, if you know of a female dancer that is over say 178cm (or 5’10) that does advanced floor work or even hip hop tricks, big lifts in ballroom whatever then I would love to see it – please post link below. Conversely, a tall dancer may present a smaller dancer with lines that just don’t have the impact on a diminutive frame. Same goes for slim dancers and much more voluptuous ones, moves can be lost or just look silly when you reverse the shape they were originally choreographed for.
Have fun at your next workshop! Do you agree? Comment below and tell me of your hot workshop tips?
NB: Heaps (Australian term for a lot)