To All Students,
Regarding “Loyalty” to Your Teacher
By Amanda Niehaus
with a few edits by me personally
(originally posted at Shira.net which is a fantastic resource for all things bellydance. Check it out!)
Dear students of this beautiful art form,
I am a teacher. I teach because I am passionate about this dance and I want others to share my passion.
I am not teaching because I require a fan club.
I am not teaching because I require devotees or because I need hero worship.
As your teacher, my job is to teach you; to inspire you to be your best. If I am a really good teacher, then I also will not be your only teacher. I will encourage you to study with other teachers who have skills and experience I lack. Because I am not the end-all, be-all of bellydance knowledge.
You as a student owe me nothing. You may thank me after class, you may credit me on your first performance DVD, you may remember me when you are touring with Jillina, but you do not owe me anything. (You paid for your class. I taught you. We are even.)
I am an emotionally-mature adult. I do not require your “loyalty” or allegiance. You do not have to take my classes just because I offer them, or just because I was your first teacher. You will not be “cheating on me” by taking classes with another instructor.
You should be taking my class because you enjoy it and are learning something. If you are no longer enjoying it or learning from it, then I would be the first to encourage you to find another, or a different, teacher. I want you to love this dance as much as I do.
Your job is to learn and practice, not to worry about my ego. I will not be “mad” at you for moving to a new (style or place in your dance). You need to worry about YOU, and making yourself a better dancer. I will never resent you and I will only respect you for moving on…(if that is your desire)
Do what’s right for you. I’ll be fine, whether I’m dancing beside you or watching you from the audience. I promise.
Your dance teacher