2017. december 8., péntek

Learning versus teaching dance

These two identities have different positions in the dancing field. Being a teacher requires both the learner and dancer experiences.

The first stage is being a student which requires commitment if somebody wants to be a dancer or moreover to become a teacher.

‘In dance motor learning is the process that allows dancers to learn and execute basic sophisticated skills that are not acquired through normal human motor development.’ (Weiss, 2009)

I think that this process helps a student to become a dancer. 
A Dancers’ mission is not just learning dance, but to also learn about quality of the learnt movement and to get the motor skill to recall the additional knowledge at the physical execution (Weiss, 2009). This process including attention and observation of the certain movements which contains also the additional emotions which the dancers can transfer to the performing art.

When I was a student and I attended classes I put focus on myself. I tried all of the movements, knowledge and feelings on myself both physically and mentally. It was like trying a dress on. I observed the material, the capability and possibilities of it and I also noticed my feelings, how I felt with the dress on myself. 

This observation is the foundation of the performing skills which can improve by a lot of practice and experiences. 

I remember when I was a learner, it was the most inspiring period in my dancing journey. I wanted to know everything about belly dancing. I improved my dance skills and I started to understand myself better. I could be lost in movements and I explored the power of moving with music. Dance gave me the feeling of freedom but this process was very personal and it took place within myself therefore I felt that this is a lonely journey.   

When I became a teacher I realised that I have to pay attention to students, which requires a completely different focus. As a belly dance teacher I am responsible for training students in dance technique and expression skill.
I must make the most critical aspects of the movement which helps my students to improve.  As a teacher I must know the movements clearly and share all the additional knowledge with my students, for example, if I teach turns I have to explain the posture, the posture of the legs and arms, the spot with head and the focus etc. I have to teach them perfectly. I have to pay attention to them instead of myself and guide them in their journey. 

This requires being reflective because what they are going through is what I experienced in the past. As a dance teacher I have to put more focus on the outside instead of myself. Especially when I teach beginners who are not familiar with the dance classes.

Dancing and teaching can be interconnected if you are teaching the high level class where you can let yourself go and dance but it also depends on the students as well as the type of lesson. I have realised that when I teach improvisation I am a bit more freed. This gives me inspiration and allows me to dance freely for a short time while demonstrating the improvisation skill or when I teach choreography.

Sometimes I allow myself to dance freely at lessons but I have to be careful because the lessons are not about me but about the students. Being a teacher is not a lonely journey it is a cooperation with students which helps me to improve divergent thinking and to be open minded.

Weiss, D. S. (2009, 11 15). www.DanceEducation.org. Retrieved 12 05, 2017, from Motor Learning and Teaching Dance: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iadms.org/resource/resmgr/imported/info/motor_learning.pdf

2017. november 6., hétfő

Sharing ideas

I have realised that we hesitate to speak during conference calls. We are teachers and we are used to speaking and dancing in front of our students but when we become students, suddenly we turn to silence.


I decided to take a look behind 'the silence'. I observed my experiences and feelings in order to understand why I become so shy. 

When I read Adesola’s blog, I became very excited about the topic: ’The role of women in acting’. I could prepare myself and I combined that with the topic which I was supposed to speak on before, choreography contra technique in teaching.

At the beginning of the conversation I felt myself prepared but a bit frustrated because of my speech. I am not good at public speaking even in my native language but speaking in English can make expressing myself more difficult.


I felt so embarrassed during the silence. It was so frustrating, for example, like being in front of the judge during an examination. I felt that every second made me feel worse and worse….


I felt that I had to do something even if I could not react to the topic, that was before me. I started to speak about my topic and after a while I felt myself feeling better and better. It freed me and made me feel safe and confident which I did not feel before. Every sentence that I said was like a sequence of movements in a dance. I could not stop, because it was so good. I opened up and the reactions from the others made this feeling stronger. I have realised that everybody became more confortable in the conversation and this was the break-through in the chat, for all of us. 

I think that the hindering factor is that when we are unsure about what is going to happen, we position ourselves like a student who is entering a new class and takes a place in the last row. According to Magda Kay the writer of the article: 12 ways to build confidence, "the reason for it is that we don’t want attention on us". (Kay, 2014) This hidden position can give the feeling that ’I am in safety’ but this is just an illusion, an insecure reaction, it is obvious we can not hide ourself. We should look for positive feelings and be confident instead of creating the illusion of being safe.

A challanging situation can positively affect us, if we give ourselves small goals. Magda Kay also explained that small goals give the feeling of success and this provides self-confidence for us. I have to mention that this also can create an enjoyable athmosphere for everybody, even if we do not know each other. 

I think that it is a good experience to discover ourselves and to get to know each other. We are in the same learning process and sharing ideas can help us to improve, and listening to other people may provide us with the ability to understand our students better.

Kay, M. (2014). Psyhology for Marketers. Retrieved november 6, 2017, from 12 ways to build self-confidence: http://psychologyformarketers.com/12-ways-to-build-self-confidence/

2017. október 28., szombat

Theory of motivation in belly dance

As a Belly dance teacher, I am searching for an answer to what motivates women in Western societies to Belly dance.
Firstly, I have to know the meaning of the word ’motivation’.
A motive is an impulse that causes a person to act. Motivation is an internal process that makes a person move toward a goal. (Spark Notes LLC, 2017)

The definition of motivation can give me a starting point to think about the goal(s) of women who are belly dancing and this in turn may lead me to explore what motivates western women to belly dance. I think that in the process of learning dance, the goal can be a thousand variations, and consequently the motivation can also be varied.
According to Sigmund Freud ‘we are motivated by our instincts’. (Roundy, 2017) There are two types of instinct, Life instinct and Death instinct. Life instinct (EROS) uses the term libido or sexual energy and also encourages growth, development and creativity. Death instinct (THANATOS) relates to the managing of the aggressive tenders which is challenging the human behavior. (Roundy, 2017; Cobarrubias, 2017)
As a dance teacher, I think that students are coming to classes in terms of learning which includes encouraging growth, development and creativity. EROS can be the foundation to what is behind other motivations and I also have to mention the sexual energy which is strongly connected with belly dancing. I believe that this dance may have been preserved by the women over the centuries due to the various circumstances experienced by women throughout their lives, including for example giving birth.

Cobarrubias, S. (2017). study.com. Retrieved 10 27, 2017, from Eros, Life Instinct: Definition & Explanation: http://study.com/academy/lesson/eros-life-instinct-definition-lesson-quiz.html

Roundy, L. (2017). Study.com. Retrieved 10 2017, 27, from Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory on Instincts, Motivation, Personality & Development: http://study.com/academy/lesson/freuds-psychoanalytic-theory-on-instincts-motivation-personality-development.html

Spark Notes LLC. (2017). Retrieved 10 27, 2017, from Motivation: http://www.sparknotes.com/psychology/psych101/motivation/section1.rhtml

2017. október 9., hétfő

Behind the Questions

'Sometimes being able to ask a good question is more important than finding a good answer'

David Stork

Children can't stop asking questions, this is natural human behaviour. 

What happens with the brain after? Why does asking questions become such a difficult task?

Nobody has found the exact answer, there can be a lot of different explanations and answers.

According to Barbara Jacoby, the award winning blogger, it can be to do with modern technology because when we want to know something we will browse on the internet instead of asking people.

Maybe our parents or teachers were not supportive in giving answers.

Our boss may be too bossy and we have learnt that it is better to keep our mouths closed, this is what Warren Berger believes, the author of the book A more beautiful question

I have tried to figure out why it is problematic for me. I grew up in a socialist country in east Europe in the eighties and as I remember, my parents and teachers preferred the silent attention than the questions or the interactive conversation, so it was not a commendable thing to ask, and today, having to speak in English, which is my non-native language also can make communication harder for me. So the expectation of the society which we live in can be embedded in the brain and those experiences can influence habits and confidence just as it did for me somewhat badly, growing up in the society, I lived in for most of my life.

I think that communication skills can improve and I have to make efforts to learn, I may ask questions firstly from myself. If I prepare questions before a certain conversation it can help me to speak fluently and I may avoid the big silence. What do I want to talk about? What do I want to know? What is my aim? If I find out what is my question, I have to make it clear and detailed. I have to know not just a certain topic of the conversation but I should focus on what the target of the discussion is. 

On the flip side, the question is the answer, but sometimes it is a reaction instead of an exact answer. Sometimes to get a certain answer is not the aim, but just to get some ideas and exchange opinions and experiences. Not even every question has an answer. It is similar to teaching dance as not everybody will learn the certain movement at the same class and not all learning will be knowledge. As a belly dance teacher I have noticed at my belly dance classes, where the women are not professionals and it is sometimes hard for them to catch the movement. I always tell them patience, but I should tell myself this too, when I try to figure out a good question. 

A good question in a conversation is like a perfect movement in a perfect part of the music in a choreography. 

Reacting to a question is an improvisation. Being able to think on your feet is a skill. The improvisation is the hardest thing in dance teaching too, it can depend on your experiences and ideas and also your mood, how you woke up and spent your day and even the weather, so many things can influence your improvisation and reactions. 

If you have knowledge of the field that the conversation is about, it can help you and lead you in answering. It can give you confidence to speak and continue asking. Being involved in a conversation can be very positive because you can learn from others experiences and you can expand your scope and you also can learn about yourself too from the questions and others opinions. To get a targeted question can open up your mind and enable you to see what you haven’t recognised yet and put the focus on what you should see. Listening to others opinions can also help you to learn and be open minded. 

Please post and ask questions.