Should I study with other teachers?

What To Consider Before Taking Multiple Classes

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What about studying with other teachers?

I received an email from a student asking me this question:
    "Anthea, my friend's sister started taking class about 4 months after I started and she has been doing solos from early on. Do a lot of teachers do that? Every time I talk to my friend all she says is 'my sister is making money dancing now and is doing all these solos and blah, blah, blah!!' It seems kinda weird..."

My response to her:
"Dear (student),
Who knows - teachers are all different.
Thank you for bringing this up! I want to take this opportunity to say that I totally support finding the teacher who is right for you.
"First-teacher loyalty" can make people unsure about whether they should switch or stick it out, but don't worry about it! I will always be here (inshallah) for those who really want to take class with me.
If you want to look around and try a different teacher, please do! I won't be offended. I would much rather have you get what you need with someone else than to stay with me and be unhappy thinking about what you may be missing.
I drove over an hour to get to my teacher - I took private lessons 2 or 3 times a month so it was worth the drive. Don't just go to a teacher because she's convenient - go get what you need wherever it is.
If you do decide to go to other classes, be confident that I'll support your decision and give you my blessings, and you'll be welcome back
too! No worries, be happy."

But I do have concerns when students who study me also start to take class with other teachers at the same time:

  1. will they have enough time to practice and master my class material?
  2. and can they handle what is likely to be two different movement techniques without getting confused?
I don't mind students taking multiple classes, I just want them to do well with my material.

What about performing with other  groups?

Currently - even in our local area - there are many belly dance teachers, and many more opportunities to perform than there used to be.
Students who show an interest in performing are often recruited into other performing groups or troupes, and end up with a heavier schedule than they anticipated. And sometimes, even though they haven't received formal training, they decide to become professional performers.
I caution my students to consider the realities of expanding their dance commitments before joining an outside troupe or performance group.

  • How much time do you have to devote to dance
  • Can you handle twice as much practice?
  • You may also need to purchase - or make - more costuming.
  • And you'll probably have to juggle more rehearsals for different groups or shows

These are the reasons I require my student performers (the PRISM Dancers) to sign a Performer's Agreement before they dance with me; one of the conditions being that they allow a minimum of 2 weeks "free time" before and after being in a show, so they have time to rehearse.

My favorite quote from Ozel Turkbas: "Not everyone in the world has to be your fan."
And they won't be; just do what you believe is right.

Anthea's Class Schedule

Other local belly dance teachers

Adara Janaani: AdaraJanaani@cox.net - Fredericksburg
Iesha: zebadancer@comcast.net - Orange
Kiyaana: Kiyaana@kiyaana.com - Fredericksburg

Contact Anthea if you'd like to be listed in Fredericksburg belly dance teachers