Covid-19 : Oriental dance distance classes by videoconferencing
In the context of the health crisis linked to Covid-19, you offer different formulas to learn Oriental dance as well as thematic workshops linked to Bellydance. Can you tell us more?
Yes absolutely, you must know how to bounce back, despite the situation. Thanks to internet, I was able to keep my business going. As soon as the confinement was announced, I set up small tutorials and online bellydance courses via Youtube and Facebook. Some videos are public, others private, dedicated to my registered students.
I also offer online workshops, and "lives" on social networks with weekly guests, to discuss different subjects around Oriental dance. Last week, for example, I did a tutorial with a professional makeup artist and gave tips and advice on how to put on stage makeup.
What do you do to adapt your teaching of Oriental dance to remotely teaching via videoconferencing?
The constraint using video is that the conditions are not the same as in a dance studio: less space, no large mirrors, not the same interactions with the students... So I try my best to guarantee the best service to my students. I suggest that they send me their performances by video, so I can correct them. I try to always be very positive in my videos, smiling, so they have a good time.
As an Bellydance teacher, where do you think it is necessary to be extremely attentive to offer an Oriental dance training by video of quality?
To ensure quality online lessons, you must have a good connection, offer a correction service to the students, so they can progress under the gaze of their teacher, and adapt the space to the best: placing mirrors, decluttering the room as much as possible. Obviously, this would be the perfect solution, but we’re all doing the best we can.
What is the feedback from students and trainees who followed this type of course from home?
The students seem satisfied. I receive thank you messages every day.
They tell me: "We feel like we are with you in the dance studio", so that is motivating!
They are very happy to be able to continue dancing at home.
The only downside: connection problems sometimes, due to saturated networks. But overall, it's okay, I try to teach my live lessons on quiet slots, like in the afternoon.
Do you have a message to send to the Oriental dancers’ community, whether they are professional oriental dancers whose contracts are canceled or students who have their gala postponed?
Stay strong, this too shall pass, and we are all concerned, not only Bellydance... So let's stay connected and united.
What is your background as an Oriental dancer and teacher?
I started Bellydance at 15, with Myriam Douïou, in Paris.
Then I kept training by attending lessons and workshops with many Oriental dance masters, in France, in Egypt, and worldwide. I joined different dance companies and created my own companies and shows. I’ve never stopped training.
As a Bellydancer, i was lucky to tread very beautiful stages, like “la Cigale” and “l'Institut du monde arabe” in Paris. All my experiences have enriched my dance. I’ve also jad significant events in my career, such as my participation in the shooting of the movie "L'immortel", by Claude Berry.
But what I always wanted to develop is the teaching of Oriental dance. So I focused my energy on this. At 30, I fulfilled my dream: open my own dance school. Teaching is a passion; I don’t see myself teaching without being able to share it.
What is your favorite style of Bellydance and why?
I’m very fond of the « Egyptian » style of Oriental dance.
And I like Oriental classical music, great music. So what I prefer dancing on are the classics of Oum Kalthoum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Mohamed Abdel Wahab or also Warda... music with lits of emotions.
I also really like the baladi awadi, an instrumental baladi with lots of feelings where the dancers and instruments are one.
So you understood; I love dancing on music which carries and touches me.
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