These are the most common form of classes that most people start with. They are great for entering the world of belly dance. To be honest, I really miss being in weekly classes and hope to be able to go back to them soon.
They are great for steady and consistent practice
Your teacher will usually have a development plan
You can learn skills you wouldn’t think of to explore or ask for in a private. (This has happened to me often)
Unconsciously learn about group performance dynamics
Have socialization and bonding with new people. ( I LOVE dancing with other people and I wish I got to do it more)
Less personalized instruction/development
Classes can be inconsistent
No control over what you learn
Sometimes other people’s behavior
Usually the next step in the learning process is private lessons. For various reasons I was unable to continue to take weekly classes and private lessons have been and continue to be a huge part of my personal development. These are extra helpful for serious hobbyists, aspiring pros, pros, people with scheduling issues or if you are stuck on a specific area
Great for individualized instruction
You can reach specific goals at an accelerated rate
More flexible scheduling
Can focus on topics that you want to focus on (can also be a downside when you don’t know where to place your focus)
Always the center of attention (to me it is sometimes nice to just be part of a class and absorb general atmosphere and corrections instead of always being in focus)
Private Group Classes:
These are a spinoff of private lessons. I will be doing a whole blog just on these in the future so I won’t go too much into them now but here is the basic run down:
All of the benefit of privates with some of the ones of weekly classes (because it is a group of people)
Fun way to share an activity and bond with your friends
Can get tricky with all the friends’ schedules
Don’t meet new people
These are great! I love going to workshops when I can and you should defiantly try to take some every so often. I find them to be a great revitalizer of fresh energy and steam when I get into a dance slump.
Networking/you get to make new friends
Diving deeply into a specific topic
Getting a fresh perspective on said topic
Studying with a teach who may not be local or not teach regular classes
Can be pricey
They vary in quality, type and style
Sometimes can be crowded or have a teacher who doesn’t care
There are also a few other tools for learning belly dance
Online/Long Distance Classes:
These are being very popular and I have seen them offered as privates, groups and pre-recorded. I use them frequently.
Access to a teacher you don’t normally get to study with
Can learn in your own home
To me the biggest and one most of note is that it is just not the same as being in the same room with someone and have the hands on experience but it is still very useful.
I have a love hate relationship with these. I love to own them but I end up not using them as much as I should. I am still trying to figure out the best way for me to learn from this medium. (So if you have any tips or tricks please let me know!)
Can choose the topic and instructor you want
Can go at your own pace and pause and repeat.
Limited to dvd content and production quality
Can’t ask questions
I do believe that the best learning involves a mix of all of the above. If you have questions or are unsure which might be right for your right now please feel free to reach out to me or comment with them (even if you aren’t local). If you are interested in classes with Kirah please make sure to check out her page HERE which is all about what she offers for belly dancing classes Long Island!
Tips, Tricks and Life of a Long Island Entertainer