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Videos or Workshops?
Workshops are fun, but to be honest, you get more for your money with a teaching video. You can easily spend over $100 at a moderately priced workshop after the workshop fee, hotel room, gas, and food…that is if you don’t do any shopping at the vendors. If you don’t make notes at the workshop and practice within a day or two afterward you can be guaranteed you won’t retain much, if any of what you paid for.
Videos, on the other hand, are much more economical. You can find videos online for just about every style of dance. They can cost between $35-$50 depending on content and quality of teacher. The best thing about them is that you can watch them over and over and learn at your own speed. Online reviews can help you pick a video that is right for you. Can’t find a review? Post questions on one of the many Bellydance message boards or ask the vendor for his or her recommendation. You can also test drive one by borrowing from a friend.
Bellydance workout videos are not good teaching tools. They only work you out. Do not relying on these to improve your technique.
Naima Recommended Teaching Videos: Videos by the following dancers- Jillina, Zahra Zuhair, and Jasmin Jahal.
Online Video Reviews: www.shira.net
Online Bellydance Message Board: www.bhuz.com
Ok, So you are going to a Workshop – How to get the most out of you trip.
Car pool…enough said. Most all day workshops come with a lunch included in the price. But what about all the rest of the time…the car ride, breakfast, dinner, snacks, etc. Depending on your budget, packing a small cooler with fruit, lunchmeat, water, humus, etc. can be a life and wallet saver. It especially saves money if you are driving to keep you from paying for overpriced doughnuts and junk food at gas stations on the way.
You know, it really doesn’t matter what you take with you but pack a notebook, pen, dance sandals or socks, medications, and a jacket or cover-up. From my own experience, these are very important items to have along. Notebook and pen are for taking notes during the class (es). Sometimes, there are no handouts to take home and other times jotting down a movement in your own terms will help you interpret the lesson later. Dance sandals or socks…you will thank me if you ever find your self at a workshop with rough multipurpose carpeting. After 4 plus hours of pivots, spins, and travelling your bare feet will thank you, (also keeps the “foot funk” at bay). Medications are VERY important. If you have any prescriptions that are necessary for you daily functions PLEASE don’t forget them. Or, if you tend to have muscle or joint problems some ibuprofen or aspirin is handy. And don’t forget about sudden headaches. Nothing rains on your well-spent money than having to go lay down during a workshop because of head pain. Lastly, a jacket or cover-up. This not only keeps you warm in cold hotel lobbies but cover-ups are nice over your bellydance workout gear. Not only do you appear a little more lady-like during your lunch time but also makes you less susceptible to harassment from strangers if walking the hotel lobby or parking lot.
Wait until intermission or immediately after the show to purchase a show video. If you have not enjoyed the show up to this point do not waste another $20-25 on a show video. These are almost always home video quality and very overpriced.
Continued in part 3