Belly dance lessons for free!

jenc

New member
Have done some digging and found she is a dancer in Edinburgh who has been teaching for 4 years and dancing for 12. Can't find anything but vids of poses to music - no actual dancing.

thinking of signing up though
 

adiemus

New member
Maybe I'm being too harsh - but the advert just tangled my tassles! I'm still not sure why someone would offer free lessons? Knowing how hard it can be to run a business as a teacher, why would you do it?
 

Darshiva

Moderator
To get bums on seats, maybe? Addict them with freebies & then up the price.

Or maybe she's just really annoyed at all the people out there actuallymaking money from teaching & wants to put a stop to all this crass commercialism. :p
 

Maria_Aya

New member
Well... the site says "start" bellydance lessons for Free...
maybe continuing is not Free??? hehe (I hope)
 

jenc

New member
They are 10 minute vids of the kind that are done by expert village (amongst others) starting with postuer and shimmy. Unuusual choice for the first "lesson" don't you think.

The website advertises 2 choreography downloads. Zeina, a veil piece comes in 15 "episodes" (average time 5 mins) you can also download a pdf booklet, and a hrad copy will also be available. No price as yet (although apparently I will get a discount coupon when these are ready.

The free lessons are harmless enough - but would you buy a choreo from someone who has no clips of themselves dancing?
 

Gillian

New member
Sounds like a good idea to me...

Hi, just thought I'd add my 2 pence...I don't see what the problem is...in the end, if she get's more people interested in belly dancing then it may well mean more teaching for local belly dancers...It's easy to knock things down rather than build things up...oh, and I just signed up and happy with it.

No doubt I'll be lambasted for daring to support something rather than being bitchy...but there you go.

G
 

adiemus

New member
No Gillian, I won't lambast you at all! You make a good point, and hopefully some people will get enthused enough to enrol and learn from a teacher - but I do worry about the Shakira reference! It's good the videos start with posture, but shimmy is probably not what I'd choose for a beginner (given that I'm definitely a newbie!), I'd be more inclined to teach something like hip slides, hip bumps - ways to isolate movements. The bad habits people learn early on are incredibly difficult to unlearn as I know from bitter experience!

yes, it's that Shakira reference - just takes the glitter dots right off my costume!
 

shiradotnet

New member
Lots of qualified belly dance instructors will mention Shakira in their promotional material. She's the "hook" that brings people into our classrooms. So it doesn't bother me to see belly dance teachers advertising "Shake it like Shakira".

I think Darshiva's right - ie, I suspect the purpose of the 10 free lessons is to get people hooked with a free sample, in the hopes of later selling them follow-on lessons for a fee. The "free sample" concept is a long-time marketing ploy - often when I go to the grocery store, there will be a free-sample setup inviting me to try whatever products the store wants to showcase that day. I have indeed gone on to purchase products based on having tasted them first as a free sample. I've also received over the years free samples of body lotion, shampoo, dishwashing soap, and other items.

I have not downloaded/viewed her materials, so can't comment on those.
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
I'm watching the first one now. OMG -- is it somehow weird of me to say that her accent is ADORABLE!!!!! I could listen to her all day long!!

Sorry. Back to watching...
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
The free lessons are harmless enough - but would you buy a choreo from someone who has no clips of themselves dancing?
Yeah -- I agree. It looks like a pretty new project, so maybe she'll get performance videos up soon.


I don't mind the "dance like Shakira" thing, or talking about Bond girls. That's really how a lot of us were exposed to our first dancers, so I think she's on target.
 

Suzanne Azhaar

Active member
There is no harm in attending the class and judge for yourself if your time and instructor's knowledge was worth "free".

Shakira and Bond girls...I'm all right with that :lol:. Neither are trying for a life of belly dance, but if it encourages others to come to class and be educated that's a good thing.

Watched the first free video and thought she did a good job explaining posture and one version of a shimmy. Her accent is adorable.
 
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Shakti

New member
Sounds interesting. Shakira does get ppl into classes. when she first came out, there was like 50 people in class. I think she has a new/ recent album so maybe it will drive ppl to come to classes.

Shakira's style is a fusion of Dance Hall style, & merengue, fused with elements of bellydance. A girl who I practice with is an African Dancer, her sister is a Dancer hall dancer. She said that In Shakiras early days she was accused of copying the late singer Aliyah. I am a fan of both. Had Aliyah been alive today the whole music scene would be different.The influence of the both of their styles brought world music to a new audience.

There is a big kinship of cultures of South American and Carribbean music. I vacationed in the Domican Republic recently, the home of Merengue Music, the mother of all latin American music. As an American I was a minority, most vacationers were SAmerican.(I loved it there, BTW!)Bellydance is huge there and everyone dances like shakira! So if anyone really wants to dance like Shakira, learn some Dance hall, pair it with bellydance, then go to the DR , learn some easy merengue ,to show off your skillz!Dont drink to much Rum though! BTW the guys are very SEXY!
 

seona

New member
If I see one more advertisement to dance like Shakira, I'm going to be violently sick.
:lol::lol::lol:

Oh you made me laugh there! Poor Shakira - loved by millions - but maybe not belly dancers?! lol

Aziyade, I'm curious about her accent now, is it Scottish tones? he he!

Iam quite interested in this as I can't attend class at the moment, and need something at home to motivate me. I had looked on utube, there seems to be a lot of amatuers teaching there, but I did find a lady who seemed good - tiazza belly dance. Has anyone else seen her? I'd apperciate your thoughts or any other recomendations for utube instructionals? I just need someone decent to motivate my arse at home. I have asked santa for ranya renees dvds...but thats weeks away!!!
 

seona

New member
Maybe I'm being too harsh - but the advert just tangled my tassles! I'm still not sure why someone would offer free lessons? Knowing how hard it can be to run a business as a teacher, why would you do it?
I totally see your point there. Although I have searched for 'free instructionals' on the web purely for financial reasons. My partner and I have both been hit with cuts in our jobs and for the moment I can't cover my lessons. I feel bad for my teachers- as everyone is struggling at the mo, but they understand. I would love to support my classes - but the money is just not there :( I would prefer to support teachers buy buying dvds but even thats a luxury now. Will just have to wait for santa!... And meanwhile seek free instructionals....Not ideal and not what I want, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! But I totally see and understand your feelings.
 

missanime

New member
So fellow dancers, what do we think of this advert?

Here's the link!

Please excuse my skepticism, but seriously - free? Dance like Shakira?
Lol like Shira and others mentioned already, its really just a 'hook' for the woman's ad for her video lessons, and you're perfectly free to take it or leave it ;) I pesonally find it a bit hokey, and imo if you"re gonna take classes than i dont think a vid would be the first choice lol :)

Shakira's style is a fusion of Dance Hall style, & merengue, fused with elements of bellydance. A girl who I practice with is an African Dancer, her sister is a Dancer hall dancer. She said that In Shakiras early days she was accused of copying the late singer Aliyah. I am a fan of both. Had Aliyah been alive today the whole music scene would be different.The influence of the both of their styles brought world music to a new audience.

There is a big kinship of cultures of South American and Carribbean music. I vacationed in the Domican Republic recently, the home of Merengue Music, the mother of all latin American music. As an American I was a minority, most vacationers were SAmerican.(I loved it there, BTW!)Bellydance is huge there and everyone dances like shakira! So if anyone really wants to dance like Shakira, learn some Dance hall, pair it with bellydance
oh thats so cool--i'm totally gonna go youtube some dancehall right now and seecit (i used to listen to tons of reggaton too lol). But yea isnt it amazing and so wonderful that dance is far more actively integrated into their culture? :D I think its such a shame that we aren't as nearly.

:)
 
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Yame

New member
She said that In Shakiras early days she was accused of copying the late singer Aliyah.
Huh? In Shakira's early days, she was a Colombian pop-rock singer who played her own acoustic guitar and sang in Spanish. How is that even similar to anything Aaliyah did? Even if one is talking about Shakira's early days of success in the US, how is something like "Whenever, Wherever" anything like Aaliyah's songs and music videos? The dancing is totally different, as is the musical genre.

But, back to topic...

I am watching the free classes now. I am on the first lesson. So far, I like that she is fairly thorough in her explanation of posture and in breaking down the move, in comparison to what most other free, online videos out there have to offer. She also seems more capable than most dancers I have seen on these types of videos. I also think her accent is cute.

What I don't like is that the first thing she teaches once she explains posture is the shimmy. Although there are some people who get the shimmy fairly quickly, from my experience these people are exceptions rather than the rule. The shimmy seems to be one of the hardest of the elementary movements to actually get, and many of its versions (like the one she teaches in this video) take some ability to isolate the hips before any person can effectively do them. They also take a lot more body awareness (and belly dance awareness) than anyone could possibly have in their first lesson.

Forums like this one are loaded with people's questions about shimmies, loaded with people asking for help with them... people who have been dancing from anywhere between a few days and a few years. I have even seen professional dancers who can not do the shimmy taught in this video, or who can do it only for a couple of seconds before the shimmy gets stuck and suddenly stops or becomes more of a vibration shimmy. In fact, that seems to be happening even with the dancer in this tutorial.

Another thing I disliked about the video is the way she keeps changing her weight around and stepping back and forth as she is speaking. I learned in public speaking class that some people have a tendency to do that when they are nervous. Once in a while is OK, but when the person is constantly doing it, it gives off a feeling that they lack confidence and worse, it makes the spectator/s dizzy. It even gets hard for me to focus on what she's saying because of all that moving around, but maybe that's just me.

On a related note, I wish she would demonstrate everything for longer, and keep demonstrating as she speaks. When she demonstrates proper posture--lifting the chest, for example--she seems to lift her chest to show us how it should look, but then go right back into her regular, default chest position and moving around as she moves on to explain something else. I think that to a beginner, explaining it this way might not be clear enough.

Now I have watched her second video.

In her second video, she teaches mayas (vertical hip 8's going down). I think she gave a pretty good breakdown of the move by first explaining and demonstrating hip slides and hip drops and then connecting them into a full movement. Also, since in this video she was able to dedicate the full 10 minutes to just one move (whereas in the shimmy video almost half of it was dedicated to posture, so the actual shimmy got way less than 10 minutes of explanation), she was able to give it the amount of time it deserves.

Her range of motion isn't spectacular, especially on the vertical plane, but I think her explanations would be quite satisfactory for a beginner and are definitely better than those in any other tutorial on mayas I have seen for free on the internet.

The shifting of weights thing that was bothering me in the first video seems much less apparent now.
 
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shiradotnet

New member
What I don't like is that the first thing she teaches once she explains posture is the shimmy. Although there are some people who get the shimmy fairly quickly, from my experience these people are exceptions rather than the rule. The shimmy seems to be one of the hardest of the elementary movements to actually get, and many of its versions (like the one she teaches in this video) take some ability to isolate the hips before any person can effectively do them. They also take a lot more body awareness (and belly dance awareness) than anyone could possibly have in their first lesson.
One of the things I enjoy about online forums is seeing points of view that are very different from my own!

I haven't watched this video, so I don't know what the teacher on the video is offering, so, this is a general comment about teaching shimmies to beginners....

I teach shimmies to my brand-new beginners on the very first night of class. I find that students love learning them - they feel as though they're learning a "real" belly dance move. Also, I've noticed from the dialogue I've seen in Egyptian movies that belly dancers are often referred to as "shaking their hips". It really is an very typical move, so why not teach it right from the beginning?

And honestly, I don't think a basic shimmy is all *that* hard to learn. I do, however, think that some teachers find it difficult to teach.
 
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