Any form of teaching is a great responsibility, and teaching belly dancing is no different. Protegee dancers may be coming to you for a career or to change their lifestyle completely, and you have no idea of their personal situation. You may be a proficient dancer and want to earn some extra pin money, but if this is the case it is probably not a good idea for you to take up teaching. Here are some of the questions and thoughts that you should ponder before taking up the vocation.
Why do you Want to Teach?
What is your motivation behind wanting to teach? Think about the good teachers that you know and that you have learned from, would you be as good or even better? Students deserve the very best tuition, if you can’t afford them this then you should question your motives.
Never Stop to Learn
Achieving a Black Belt in martial arts is just the start, many senior sensei’s say that it is then you really start to learn the art. The same is with belly dancing, you can never stop learning.
Take a step back and look at other senior belly dancers, what are you missing?
Not being from the Middle East may hamper you about the cultural side of things, the customs and the history. You may know the moves but without the insight of the culture you will never get the interpretation of the dance fully correct.
Act as a Role Model
Be an inspiration to your students, show by example. If you do not know an answer be honest and say so, your students will then have trust in you that everything else they can depend on. Excelling in your field is your duty as a teacher, and remember you may be an excellent dancer but this does not mean that you are an excellent teacher. Teaching belly dancing is a great deal more complicated that just demonstrating the moves, you have to impart knowledge and inspire your students to have passion in what they are learning.
The Prerequisites of Teaching Belly Dancing
Before you venture into becoming a belly dancing teacher, do you have knowledge and full understanding of the following:
- Stage presence
- Middle Eastern rhythms and music
- Body anatomy and awareness
- How to prevent injuries
- How to give proper warm ups and stretches
- How to dance to different rhythms and music
- Understanding the culture of belly dancing and its history
- Understanding of being a professional and the ethics of belly dancing
- Knowing the appropriate style of dress for different dances
- Understanding choreography and how to improvise
- Knowledge of Middle Eastern instruments
- Knowing belly dancing techniques, how to move, the isolation’s and variations.
- Knowing how to create a program and a syllabus for a class
- Finally, the knowledge how to teachers
Look at the list above, then only start to teach if you honestly can answer to the affirmative for the complete list. Do not start to teach until you are happy that you have reached the top of your profession and you can honestly impart all this knowledge to your students