Ottawa Blogletter – 2018/02/11

Winter Session Melt into Spring Session!

The winter session for classes are now past the half way point and the registration for the Spring session will start up soon.  In fact for the classes being offered through the City of Ottawa the e-guide is said to be available online as of February 21, 2018.  Have you enjoyed the class you found and you’d like to continue?  Be sure to jump on the e-guide when it’s out and check out when registration opens.  The city typically will not run a class if there are less than 8 people (7 for my classes because I said I’m okay with a minimum of 7) registered at least 1 week before the start of classes.  Why?  Well, there are a couple of reasons, time and money.  They’d like to be able make the most of the money they can get out of a studio space being used.  If a class doesn’t run then there is the potential of renting it out to the community who may want to run workshop and/or event in their studio space.  Also, they don’t want to waste the time of the teacher who works hard to make sure the students will have a full session of interesting moves to learn.

Is there a next level of the dance class you like?  Some dance forms offer a “next” level to their classes.  Belly dance is such a dance form that builds up the basics and without the basics offered by a beginner or level 1 class, jumping into a level 2 and/or higher can be both frustrating for the student and teacher.  Most Bollywood classes will not have a second level as often the moves are not really building upon each other.  There are basic moves that show up in most choreographies but often there will be new moves and songs to play with and new combinations.

So how do you know if you are ready for the next level?  Well, if you caught on quickly to the moves taught in the level 1 class and it felt extremely easy, then you are most likely ready for more a challenge.

What if there is no next level on the day and/or location you like? 

  • Option 1:  You take the class again and continue to refine your movements.  Practice makes perfect as the saying goes.  As a teacher who teaches a level 1, I like going over the basics because it means I get my basic practice and often I find new ways to teach it.
  • Option 2:  Talk to your current teacher and let them know that you’re going to return for the same level but would like to have some extra things/moves to work on in the new session.  This gives the teacher a chance to work on something extra for not only you but other students that may in the same position.
  • Option 3:  See if there will be a next level offered in the near future.  For instance, I’ve now been teaching my Monday belly dance classes at Shenkman Arts Centre for a few sessions and I have some wonderful students who have been returning.  (Enter the awesome news:  Level 2 belly dance is coming to Shenkman Arts Centre this Spring for belly dance).  Prior to the new level coming, I have tried to always give my returning students something new to challenge them but I know there is a time when finding another teacher and class to try can be good for the growth of a dancer.  There is nothing wrong with trying a different night and teacher.  In fact, it’s a good idea to try new classes.  Every teacher is different and will present the same dance from slightly different angles.  How one teacher interprets a song to teach will most likely be different than another teacher’s interpretation.  Multiple teachers, can allow a dancer to really explore their own dance style too and often your first teacher will always be proud of you for growing and becoming the dancer you want to be.

What about a summer session?  There are some studios, like Oasis Studios and Duniya Studios that will offer summer sessions, but due to the fact most people take vacation or like to be more outdoors in the summer time classes being offered are limited.  Does this have to stop you from dancing?  No.  You can take what you’ve learnt and practice at home, look into taking workshops being offered in or out of town or ask your teacher about some private lessons or a ladies night for you to continue to have.  There are always options available, especially when you need to dance!

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