How to Find A Good Belly Dance Teacher
Here are five tips to keep in mind!
1) Look at the teacher’s performance videos or live shows. If you like how she dances, you’ll probably find many interesting things to learn from this dancer. With that said, always remember that a good dancer is not necessarily a good teacher, plus not all good teachers are or were active performers.
2) Look at their students. Students are the best reflections of the teacher's skills and efforts!
3) Attend the class. This is the best way to discover if you actually love the person’s teaching style, and if the energy of the group works for you. Also, pay attention to what’s happening in the class and what behaviour is acceptable there:
- Is there discipline and some reasonable boundaries about everyone’s behaviour? Of course, this is not military training, but if everything is loose and chill, you may have a great social time there, but won’t progress much with your dance training.
- What is the teacher’s feedback to students? If you have only compliments throughout the entire class, it may be a warning signal. Some teachers use encouragement to create a great atmosphere and make people come back again for this dose of compliments, hence teachers will have their salaries paid. In contrast, if you hear only about mistakes, maybe such teacher tries to overcompensate in such way for her own low self-esteem. This will harm you in the long run. There should be a balance between celebrating students successes, as well as enough constructive criticism to push them improve on mistakes.
- Does this teacher badmouth other schools, or claims that only her way is the correct way of dancing? Don’t even bother to come back to such class. She is either afraid about her real level of expertise, or she unconsciously tries to build a tribe of fans and inferior copies instead of actual students in her class.
4) Attend other workshops and classes. The more experience you have, the better you can evaluate what teacher is good for you.
5) Just start. Don’t get obsessed with finding a “perfect” teacher. Such thing doesn’t exist. Moreover, with time you may feel like switching to another teacher because your dance level and needs change with time. That’s totally fine, and you should definitely go ahead with it. Just don’t forget to always be grateful and respectful to your former teachers, and remember that they helped make who you are today!
Author: Iana Komarnytska
Photographer: Pedro Bonatto
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