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This page and the links below contain valuable and important information about belly dance code of ethics and code of conduct.
Student Code of Ethics by Salem the Goddess
Belly Dance is hard, if it were easy everyone would be a Belly Dancer. Oatmeal is instant, learning to Belly Dance takes time, commitment, and practice. As a student, you have an obligation to your instructor to prepare yourself for each class. You are attending a scheduled session that builds upon the previous week’s content so prepare to attend each session and class on time, from start to finish. Your instructor put the time and effort into presenting you a comprehensive education in ITS Belly Dance. Practice at home, read your handbook, learn the music, study the movements, and acquire and maintain the costume and accouterments you are expected to facilitate for your class. Do what is asked of you by trying your best, and know that your best will change from day to day. Your instructor and classmates will appreciate you trying to lead, or zill, or turn, etc. rather than not trying. Your effort will be noticed.
Learning to Belly Dance is like learning to drive a manual transition; you will stall out a lot in the beginning! Costumes are fun and an excellent way to develop creativity, personality, and an identity. Putting on a tiara makes a person the Queen of England about as much as putting on Belly Dance costume makes a person a Belly Dancer. Earning your bindi is a rewarding experience. Do the work to wear your costume proudly!
You are now becoming apart of an incredibly diverse and creative community. Please support your Belly Dance community. Costumes from China are cheap and do not pay the rent of your friendly neighborhood Belly Dancer. Your instructor understands how a budget works, and will provide resources, vendors, and websites for ordering Belly Dance costumes and accouterments. Purchase from those sites knowing you are helping your community grow and flourish! Belly Dance swap meets are common and an excellent way to pass on a well-loved item. Pay your debts promptly because this eliminates tensions that cause problems later on.
Courage and encourage are synonymous ideas but sometimes we need an extra push. Your courage is deep within you, you are encouraged to find your Inner Straw and suck it up. You cannot play Double Dutch Jump Rope alone just as you cannot perform SGI Tribal BellyDance alone. Leading and zilling are not easy and require practice and patience. The only way to get better at this is by trying. Your class time is a practice space and place for you to learn from your mistakes. No one will judge you for trying but everyone will notice if you only play half the game!
We are all perpetual students of Belly Dance. Very few people have all the content of Level 1 memorized in two months, and the average person takes Level 1 at least three times before becoming confident in the theory of this format. Takseem is to ITS Belly Dance as plié is to ballet: you will spend a lifetime perfecting these moves. Your instructor takes lessons, classes, and workshops from an array of professionals, just as you are expected to learn as much as you can about this craft from many different professionals.
ITS Belly Dance is founded on communication, trust, and respect, where all dancers bring something unique and creative into the circle. These are key element in a Belly Dance classroom. Every person has ideas about how the world works and your instructor recognizes this unique feature of people. One day, you may decide you want to become a Belly Dance instructor in this format or in another style. Tell your instructor your intension from the very beginning because honesty is the best policy. Your instructor can help you develop the skills for teaching if s/he knows this is your goal. S/he will notice that you have been at every practice, memorizing vocabulary, emulating movements, taking workshops, and becoming a proficient leader and follower in this dance. S/he will also notice when you mysteriously stop attending class and a new Belly Dance class has formed across town at the same time and on the same day. If you are honest, your instructor will support you but s/he will struggle to support you if you are quietly side-teaching, not practicing, coming to class late or without the required accouterments, not treating others with respect etc. Your instructor wants to support you and see you become a successful dancer, give your instructor the ability and opportunity to do so!
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