I am a lucky guy! My wife is a professional belly dancer. So, technically, it should be her writing this article, and not me. However, because writing is not one of her passions (although she’s really a very intelligent woman), I am going to share with you her impressions on which belly dance class is the best: online or offline?
“Online, hands down!” was her straightforward answer to my question. “Why is that?”, I asked once again. She responded, enthusiastically: “Well, from my experience, and from that of many other belly dancers I know, taking an online class offers many benefits that a live class don’t”. “For instance”, she continued, “you get to replay a dance move as many times as needed, which allows you to really get a grasp of the technique involved. To me, the ultimate goal is perfection, in the shortest amount of time possible”.
“Which leads to yet another great advantage of taking a belly dance class online: the teacher is available 24/7. You don’t have to wait until next week’s session to keep perfecting your “danse du ventre” skills”. “Excuse me?”, I interrupted, not knowing what she meant by “danse du ventre”. “That’s French for “belly dance”, which means “solo, improvised dances based on torso articulation”, she responded. “Although belly dancers also do choreographed shows not only as solo acts, but as groups or “troupes” as well”. “That’s nice”, I replied.
“Another thing I learned from experience”, my wife kept going, “is that belly dance teachers are usually not very fond of teaching others everything they know, because deep down inside they know that today’s students might become tomorrow’s competition. So they -as teachers- always strive to keep some knowledge to themselves, to keep their competitive edge going strong”.
“And that’s something that doesn’t happen when you take online classes”, I concluded. “Yep”, she answered. “Online teachers know that their students come from many different parts of the world, and thus these students from afar represent no local threat to them. To put it in other words, these students will not go to the same restaurants in which the teachers dance to steal a gig away from them”. I kept listening, interested in what she had to say.
“In fact, when I take a belly dance class online, I always learn many belly dance techniques that my live teacher never ever taught me, even though I know she knows how to perform those dance steps very well. I have seen her do those steps in live performances with my own two eyes”. “Wow” was my only answer to that.
“I don’t mean to tell you that live classes are not a good option at all, but to me, it is not the best option. In fact, one of my goals is to become a belly dance teacher myself someday. However, I intent to make the difference: I am going to teach my students everything I know, including all those special techniques I owe to my online teachers”.
I couldn’t help but feel proud of my belly-dancer wife. She’s living proof that following one’s dream is what life is really all about.