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Thread: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!




  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    I have no control over who signs up for my intermediate class - the studio does the registrations, I just show up and teach.

    First part of rant:
    Today I show up and the owner says "There are three women in there who are new. I told them this was a level 2 class but they said they didn't care." Um, ok. How about you tell them that they can't take the class si nce they are beginners because you OWN the studio and can do such things? The thing is, they do this all the time, let anyone sign up for whatever class they want, and it really irritates me. I don't let it affect what I am going to teach at all, though. In fact, I when there are people in my intermediate class who don't belong there, I usually make it harder than usual so they REALLY can't keep up, and get the picture that they belong in the BEGINNER class.

    Second part of rant:
    Then I go into the class, and one of the new students comes up to me and says "Hi, we are new. We know this is a level 2 class, but we've never ever taken a bellydance class before. We'll just follow." Ok, if you KNOW the class is level 2, and you KNOW you've never stepped foot in a level 1, or even a level 0.5 class before, WHY ON EARTH would you decide that for your first bellydance class EVER, you are going to start with intermediate????
    I just don't get some people!!!!

    Ok, rant over. Thanks for listening.


  2. #2
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    But damn..it's so easy. What could possibly be hard about shaking your ta tas???? Good! Make it double hard.


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    Established BHUZzer amirahdancer's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    But belly dance isn't hard. All you do is shake your butt and wiggle around- right??????,m::


  4. #4
    Viv
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    HUGS!!! I know your frustration. I also don't have any say over who registers or does a drop in for the intermediate class and get brand new never took a class before gals all the time. I use the same tactic, teach my class without slowing down for their lack o' knowledge. I do try my best to catch them on posture at every turn since I don't want to hurt them, just make the point they need to take the beginners for a while. I do usually tell them it is an intermediate class and that we don't slow down and they really need to know thier basics and the terminology I use in order to keep up before class starts then ask if they would like to switch over to a beginning class at the end. More often than not they seem very happy to take my suggestion.
    My other favorites are the "I took a session of beginners and came to half the classes so now I should move up" students or the "I know it's class 5/6/7/8 of the 8 week session in beginners but I can catch up" new students. I know we make it look easy but really its not. It takes time and effort to learn this dance.
    What really makes me sad and frustrated is quite often these are the students that give up because they can't do it instantly. If they would just start at the right level, at the beginning of the session and stick with the classes they could do it.


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    Established BHUZzer jilyan's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    I think you're doing the right thing not to slow down the whole class for them. That would be unfair on your true intermediate students. And they probably enjoy the extra challenge when the beginners show up

    Sometimes people book into the int class because they can't get to the beginner class so it's not always about how great they think they are, they're just choosing the class marked "bellydance" that they can get to. Of course that's still pretty crazy reasoning but remember ... people Have No Idea. And once they're in your class they are going to get more of an idea.

    Like you've noticed, if you don't dumb it down, they realise pretty quickly that if they really want to learn they'll have to make the effort to learn the basics. Try not to make them feel bad, it's the Studio that's allowed them to book in after all.

    The ones that drop out because it's "too hard" weren't likely to have stuck around even for beginner classes IMO.


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer lizajuk's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Tell 'em to stay at the back and try to follow the true "intermediates".
    If they really want to do the dance, the penny will drop and they'll get to the beginners class...if not they'll get bldy confused and frustrated and hopefully pi&& off.


  7. #7
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    At least they weren't arrogant about it?

    Perhaps ask them why they can't do the beginner?


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    Master BHUZzer Lilaravena's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Is there a drop-out period? I teach at a community center that has a dropout period. I would just teach as your normally do and say, "if you are having issues keeping up, this is only review and it is going to get a lot harder. I would be happy to talk with you about moving down a level". Say it as a blanket statement to the class. That way, they may move on there own. I would not lower the level of the class for these 3. They knew what they were getting into - this is a good lesson for them.


  9. #9
    Master BHUZzer Adishakti's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Totally understand your frustration, but maybe they didn't sign up for beginner because it didn't jive with their schedule and aren't expecting special treatment?

    My husband and I stepped into a ballroom class before partway through the session a while back. It was a beginner class, but progressive and the fellow's next session was something like 6 mos later, so we joined in. I asked him to please not give us preferential treatment and we stayed to the back of the classroom. A lot of it was too hard because we'd joined late, but that was our problem... not his. We were just too excited to wait - but not for one second did we assume it was easy and would catch up after they've already had 5 or 6 classes. We were just happy to stick to the back of the class and handle what we could without interfering.

    Anyhow, why not have the studio owner try your intermediate class to see if he/she thinks it's still reasonable to start fresh in intermediate? Seriously... I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this is, but I agree with the others who say most new students join expecting it to be all too easy. Surprise, surprise!
    Last edited by Adishakti; 06-11-2008 at 09:53 AM.


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    Official BHUZzer Bellissima's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Just ask them why, it's no use speculating.


  11. #11
    Master BHUZzer Adishakti's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellissima View Post
    Just ask them why, it's no use speculating.
    ..l;,

    Ha! The best advice on this thread!

    We all think too much...
    Just ask!


  12. #12
    Halima-Dances
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    I guess I'm just very lucky that the places I teach give me respect by following guidelines for signing up students. Intermediate students must have taken my beginner class or be able to demonstrate the basics. If beginner students show up on week 6, I regretfully tell them they'll have to wait until the next beginner class session starts, but they are welcome to stay and observe quietly. Same with intermediate students. Mine don't move up until they are ready and I have the final say, and outside students must be vetted by me for inclusion. Perhaps if you had a meeting with the owner/manager to explain what you need, and then codified your meeting in a letter they could keep at the office where registrations occur to use as guidelines?


  13. #13
    Master BHUZzer beafarhana's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by danielabellydance View Post
    WHY ON EARTH would you decide that for your first bellydance class EVER, you are going to start with intermediate????
    - Because I am from the Middle East and I've been bellydancing all my life...
    - Because I've done Salsa/Flamenco/Jazz/Hip Hop and I'll just pick it up really easily...
    - Because I do Wine Appreciation classes on a Tuesday night so I can only come on a Wednesday...


  14. #14
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Um, not to justify their presence in an intermediate class, but there probably is a non-know-it-all reason why they came to an intermediate class and not the beginner. Usually when this happens it's because of a schedule conflict that makes it impossible for them to come to the beginner class and the intermediate class fits their schedule better. These students probably haven't taken dance classes before and don't know any better. Again, I'm not saying it's ok for them to be in the intermediate class. I just think we're being too quick to judge them for it.

    Instead, I would have them suggest another beginner time slot to the studio. If enough students are interested in a second beginner class, the studio might add it.

    Just my two cents...


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    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Thanks for all the advice and commiserating, ladies.

    I really do think that these three just saw "bellydance" and came, not paying attention to the level - they seemed interested in coming to my beginner class when I mentioned it.

    I get a lot of those "I have a scheduling conflict for your beginner classes (Bullsh!t - I teach 5 beginner classes a week at all different times!) so I'm just going to take your intermediate class, because it's the only one that will work for me". Thankfully, those folks never seem to last long anyway, or they magically find the time to come to the right class.....


  16. #16
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by danielabellydance View Post
    Thanks for all the advice and commiserating, ladies.

    I really do think that these three just saw "bellydance" and came, not paying attention to the level - they seemed interested in coming to my beginner class when I mentioned it.

    I get a lot of those "I have a scheduling conflict for your beginner classes (Bullsh!t - I teach 5 beginner classes a week at all different times!) so I'm just going to take your intermediate class, because it's the only one that will work for me". Thankfully, those folks never seem to last long anyway, or they magically find the time to come to the right class.....
    I had no idea you taught so many beginner classes. Ok, no excuses then! Kick 'em back to beginners where they belong!


  17. #17
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Daniela--could you give the people ready for intermediates some kind of certificate that they could show the studio owner before they can register for the intermediate class? Or could you provide the owner with a list of names of people who are approved for the class so he/she knows who to register?


  18. #18
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by mish_mish View Post
    Daniela--could you give the people ready for intermediates some kind of certificate that they could show the studio owner before they can register for the intermediate class? Or could you provide the owner with a list of names of people who are approved for the class so he/she knows who to register?
    Hmm...that's a thought. Don't know if she'd listen, though, because she obviously knows when people are first timers in my level 2 class and doesn't do anything about it!!


  19. #19
    Established BHUZzer suzyq52's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    As a student of bellydance, I must say that I find it very frustrating when a brand new student is in the intermediate/advance class. I have paid for my lessons and when the instructor has to explain moves that were learned in beginner classes, which I took four or five sessions of, I get very annoyed. It slows down the whole class when moves that were learned in beginner class have to be fully explained to a newcomer to bellydance. Plus, the intermediate/advance dancers don't get the attention they should be getting. Somehow, you are going to have to inform these students that they are required to take the beginner session before coming into an intermediate class. Your students are probably just as annoyed as you are.


  20. #20
    Official BHUZzer songofincense's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by suzyq52 View Post
    As a student of bellydance, I must say that I find it very frustrating when a brand new student is in the intermediate/advance class. I have paid for my lessons and when the instructor has to explain moves that were learned in beginner classes, which I took four or five sessions of, I get very annoyed. It slows down the whole class when moves that were learned in beginner class have to be fully explained to a newcomer to bellydance. Plus, the intermediate/advance dancers don't get the attention they should be getting. Somehow, you are going to have to inform these students that they are required to take the beginner session before coming into an intermediate class. Your students are probably just as annoyed as you are.
    Agreed! I get annoyed in my instructors advanced class if we slow down for other advanced students who missed a class or two ..c:: -- if I miss I either get the material in a private or I keep drilling 'til I nail it. Why should I pay 2 or 3 times for the material just because someone else missed it?


  21. #21
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    I totally agree, which is why I don't slow down for those people one iota! I have students in my level two class who have been with me for 3+ years, and would be in a level 3 class if I had one. I'm certainly not going to waste their money by explaining the basics of a hip drop to someone who has no business being in their class!


  22. #22
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by danielabellydance View Post
    Hmm...that's a thought. Don't know if she'd listen, though, because she obviously knows when people are first timers in my level 2 class and doesn't do anything about it!!
    I'm thinking you'd have to be really strong with her---and say, "I'm worried about people taking classes they aren't ready for so I've got a list of approved intermediates who can register...

    I dunno if it'll work, but you could try it.


  23. #23
    Master BHUZzer kharis_UK's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by anala View Post
    But damn..it's so easy. What could possibly be hard about shaking your ta tas???? Good! Make it double hard.
    yes, this is what I do. It separates the men from the boys (so to speak). If you are not in charge of who joins the class, then there's not a lot you can do. Also, I would refuse point blank to explain basic moves.


  24. #24
    Master BHUZzer SamiraShuruk's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    If they have a website or flyer- ask that something be put on the website or flyer such as "registration in belly dance 2 and above is by instructor permission only". Put that on YOUR website, too. The idiots at the desk will likely still put people through- and when they come in, and you don't explain the basics and they obviously don't know them, you have an "official policy" to refer to and let them know "I'd love to see you in level 1. I'm sure it will be more fun for you".


  25. #25
    Advanced BHUZzer CalgaryBibi's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Ugh. That stinks. I wouldn't like it if brand new, never taken a class before, beginners were put into my intermediate class before. We get the quick-learning beginners who have taken one class and aren't at the intermediate level yet, but they aren't absolute beginners, either, and, as I said, I can put up with that in order to have a class at all.

    Can't you tell the registration people, no, you simply won't accept people with no bellydance experience in your intermediate class--that it could be a safety issue, among other things, and that you will ask any such students to leave? Or would that ruin your relationship with the studio?


  26. #26
    Official BHUZzer songofincense's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by danielabellydance View Post
    I have no control over who signs up for my intermediate class - the studio does the registrations, I just show up and teach.

    First part of rant:
    Today I show up and the owner says "There are three women in there who are new. I told them this was a level 2 class but they said they didn't care." Um, ok. How about you tell them that they can't take the class si nce they are beginners because you OWN the studio and can do such things? The thing is, they do this all the time, let anyone sign up for whatever class they want, and it really irritates me. I don't let it affect what I am going to teach at all, though. In fact, I when there are people in my intermediate class who don't belong there, I usually make it harder than usual so they REALLY can't keep up, and get the picture that they belong in the BEGINNER class.
    Stupid question, but does the owner do this with the other disciplines offered by the studio? Could you invite her to your class to see if she could do it without the basic foundation? It just occured to me that the real problem here is that the owner doesn't value MED as a true dance form which requires skill. Sucks, but I think that's the bottom line. I don't think she's going to stop promoting new comers to your Intermediate class 'til she gets some perspective on MED as a dance discipline in it's own rite.
    Good luck!
    Rach


  27. #27
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Interesting take on it - and I'm SURE she does NOT do this with other dance forms. You are right that she probably just sees MED as a "fun" class and not one that requires skill and serious training.

    Interesting....


  28. #28
    bdaddiction
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Great thread.

    I myself am looking to take bellydance classes where I live in a few months. I am long overdue. Guess I am lucky that I can switch my work schedule monthly and can chose which day I need off.

    When I was taking Oriental in my home town, I took a beginning bellydance class with beginners, then gradually moved on to the Intermediate classes. As time went on, beginners would start, bec, and it was a little frustrating.

    While I already knew the basic moves, and wanted to learn more, my teacher and her assistants were busy teaching others what to do, and I found myself standing around with the other students. That is when I decided to take semi-private and private lessons. And take ballet, for a challenge.

    That is why I was wondering where I should start. There are so many different types of this dance that I feel I should start in the beginning. It would be quite frustrating for other dancers that a person can't keep up at there pace. I know I felt that way. But, when I inquire about classes, the teacher wants to put me in the Intermediate classes. Well, we will see what happens, I hope it isn't a disaster. :p


  29. #29
    Halima-Dances
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by bdaddiction View Post
    Great thread.

    I myself am looking to take bellydance classes where I live in a few months. I am long overdue. Guess I am lucky that I can switch my work schedule monthly and can chose which day I need off.

    When I was taking Oriental in my home town, I took a beginning bellydance class with beginners, then gradually moved on to the Intermediate classes. As time went on, beginners would start, bec, and it was a little frustrating.

    While I already knew the basic moves, and wanted to learn more, my teacher and her assistants were busy teaching others what to do, and I found myself standing around with the other students. That is when I decided to take semi-private and private lessons. And take ballet, for a challenge.

    That is why I was wondering where I should start. There are so many different types of this dance that I feel I should start in the beginning. It would be quite frustrating for other dancers that a person can't keep up at there pace. I know I felt that way. But, when I inquire about classes, the teacher wants to put me in the Intermediate classes. Well, we will see what happens, I hope it isn't a disaster. :p
    I'd contact the teacher and ask her to evaluate you privately before classes commence. That way there will be no surprises for either of you. That's what I do when I am contacted by students who have had some dance experience. I prefer it that way instead of waiting for class to start and having both of us be frustrated.


  30. #30
    Official BHUZzer Bellissima's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners in Intermediate Class - RANT!

    Another question:

    What are the downsides to having someone more advanced in a beginner class?
    Do you think the real beginners may feel intimidated or rushed?


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