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Beginner vs. Advanced

posted in: questions, Teaching | 5

I have found that one of the largest differences between a beginner student and an advanced student isn’t necessarily what you are able to achieve, but what you *believe* you are able to achieve. It comes from a combination of willingness to try, confidence in your strengths, and the ability to roll with your struggles, push through with grace, and try again.

Other than raw ability, what do you find are some differences between beginners and advanced dancers?

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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

5 Responses

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    Heather Sara
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    It’s a bit cliche, but I’m originally from a region where that hasn’t been a lot of high quality professional belly dance in the past, so I found there that the biggest difference between beginner and advanced students was that beginners often got to a point where they were sort of left with the impression that they had learned everything. I think they become more advanced students when they realize how much they haven’t seen or thought about yet and realize how much more there is to know.

    If nothing else I can remember that transition myself, and I think it’s when I actually started to advance.

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    This reminds me of the plaque I just received as a gift that says, “It’s not what you see that matters, it’s How you see it.”

    Great site!!

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    I was going to say what Heather said – beginners think they’ve learned it all (or most of it), think they ate getting really good – but advanced dancers see how much more there always is to learn, think they’ll always be students, and can’t wait to learn more.

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    I always love your topics….reminds me have I sent you my link to my livejournal?? ramblings alike etc

    anyway…definitely its the ability to think in a broader senses, the understanding of the technique and quietness in their dance – to be able to recognise what they are doing with this part of their body and that, the thought process as they’ve moved to conscious recognition….

    a calmness. a commitment. definitely in terms of costuming/classes/time. a “good fit” and I’d hope a humbleness – that this dance isnt always about their moment in the sun – whereas beginners can be so eager to impress or star, the other ladies recognise over time that it takes all of us to be important and be part of this circle:)

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    Cerise Deslauriers
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    I’m only a year old in ATS – the difference I see between us beginners (who to a person seem far from confident that they’re very far along in the dance – most of us are anxious to scale the mountain of learning before us) and our “older sisters” is that the beginners show more struggle along with our joy in the movements; meticulously moving through the forms, always straining to get everything higher, farther back. Learning to dance while having to endure the discomfort of asking more of their bodies than they have before. More self-conscious. The advanced students and troupe members are clearly flowing through the moves with pleasure, even as they’re clearly always relentlessly working to improve. They look less like they’re stopping one move and beginning another, like us, and more like it’s all one dance. I never get tired of watching them.

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