Will students have to learn your terminology?
No, although it is easier to communicate if we use the same terminology, this is not required.
Will students have to learn your movement vocabulary?
No. The method does not teach movement vocabulary, culture or history. It is assumed that if you are ready to teach, you already have this knowledge. You will have to make the determination for yourself if your movement vocabulary and knowledge is strong enough to begin a teaching program. If it is not, you will not be able to pass the course and should focus on developing that first.
If you are not teaching movement, what are you teaching?
The method teaches you how to teach and gives you information that any basic level teacher should have. The syllabus is available online. The method will work with all levels of students and with any style of dance, so it is very flexible. You can keep all your creativity and become better at what you do. It doesn’t matter if your class is geared to fun, spiritual healing, exercise, or developing hard core dancers. This will help you to achieve whatever your goals are. The course is designed to give you what you lack and enhance what you already have.
How will knowledge be assessed?
At the end of each chapter, students are required to complete written, audio and/or video material that shows that they understand the objectives of the chapter. This is sent to me, Taaj the Belly Dance Trainer (SM) for assessment. I am not looking for perfection, but the student’s understanding of the concepts. The unit is scored on a pass/fail basis. Detailed feedback will be given on what was done well and what could be improved. Since the chapters build upon each other, the student will have lots of practice building confidence with the material. It is important that the student not submit assessment material before understanding is achieved as she will not pass, she will have to create new material for re-assessment, it will cost an additional fee to re-assess. In addition, it will make it more difficult to learn the new material if she is still struggling with the old.
What’s in the program?
Please see the syllabus here.
What should I do first?
Each lesson builds on the previous one so doing them in order will help you to succeed.
Where is the assessment?
Instructions for the assessment is on the last page of each chapter. You create your assessment material based on the information in each chapter and submit it for grading. The assessment fee is paid for separately (because not everyone is on the certification track).
What if I have questions?
Please email me at Taaj@rocketmail.com with your questions. I am happy to do anything I can to enhance your understanding of the material and help you succeed.
What is the travel commitment?
The course is designed to be completed at home at your own pace, so you do not have to travel anywhere.
What materials are required to complete the course?
You must be able to read and write in English.
You must have access to a video camera so that you can record yourself.
You must be able to transfer this information to some sort of video format.
You must have access to students to demonstrate your teaching skills. (They can be people pretending to be your students).
You are required to purchase the course materials.
You must have computer access.
What style are you teaching?
None. The coursework is on teaching Middle Eastern dance, but can be used with any style.
Are there levels of certification?
No. Completion of the entire course is required for certification. Once you are certified you can teach any style and any level for which you have the knowledge base.
Are there any pre-requisites?
You cannot pass without clean basics and body alignment. It is up to you to determine whether you have this or not. If you are struggling with basics and body alignment, that should be your focus, not learning how to teach. Your dance skills will be assessed in your teaching video assessments. If at any time it becomes apparent that your own technique needs work, you will be advised of that and will not be able to continue until that is no longer an issue.
What if I fail? Can I re-take the test?
Yes, for an additional assessment fee. You can take as long as you need to complete the certification process.
What do I have to do for recertification?
Since certification is an assessment of your current level of skill, recertification must be completed every 2 years. Complete the recertification assessment, fill out a sheet showing your 20 hours of continuing education in the last two years, a video tape of you teaching and using the skills you have acquired in the BDT certification program, and send in the recertification fee. The 20 clock hours of continuing education can be acquired in many ways: reading books or articles, watching videos and shows, and taking classes and workshops. If you feel that another activity would fall under the category of “continuing education” that is not listed here, email me for approval for those hours.
The re-certification requirements state that the submitted material must “show growth.” What if it doesn’t show growth?
Since the material is conceptual, your skills should get better with use. You are also required to complete continuing education. These two things combined should result in growth. If there is no growth, it likely means that the material wasn’t used and/or you didn’t actually complete the continuing education. To get re-certified, you must submit material that reflects learning. This is a quality control issue.
What if I get certified then choose not to re-certify. Can I use the title “certified BELLY DANCE TRAINER (SM) or some variation of it?”
No. It is the industry standard for mediators, hypnotists, and many other professionals to certify current levels of ability. Although you may state that you have completed the requirements to obtain certification from years X to Y, you may not use the title “certified Belly Dance Trainer (SM)” without current certification.
Once I am certified, can I call myself “Aziza the Belly Dance Trainer”?
No, your title is “certified BELLY DANCE TRAINER (SM)”. Taaj is the only one who can use “the Belly Dance Trainer.”
How long will it take to complete?
It really depends on you. The “quick” students seem to take about two to three months to complete each chapter. I would not advise moving faster than that because each chapter builds on the one before. If you go any faster, you may not have time to adequately absorb the material before you are challenged with something new. It is not to your advantage to rush through without fully working with and understanding the material in each chapter as you will be required to show those skills again and again.
This looks really time intensive. Why should I do this?
Because once you are finished, you will have something that no one can ever take away from you. You will have knowledge that will make you a better teacher and better dancer. That tends to translate into steady business, more highly skilled students, more opportunities and more money for you. Yes, it will take a commitment from you, but one that is worth it. You will also benefit from my referral service. All certified belly dance trainers who wish to be listed on my website may do so free of charge. I have a LOT of traffic, so this is very good advertising for you. My online and print advertising for the program helps you to stand above the crowd as well.
Is it possible to skip some of the classes and still be certified? I am pretty experienced.
In most cases, every certification candidate will have to buy each chapter and turn in an assessment demonstrating proficiency in that area of knowledge. “Experience” does not equal knowledge, so that has to be demonstrated. However, there are rare instances where this would be waived. If you want to have your situation reviewed, email Taaj.
Who’s taking the certification program?
The people taking the course are from the USA, Canada, Poland, Japan, the Caribbean, and South Africa. Some are long time teachers. Some are new teachers. Some have not yet begun teaching. Some ask no questions. Some have a lot of questions. All seem to be interested in increasing their knowledge and skill.
I designed this program because I had a demand for my teaching skills that I could not keep up with. I wanted to be able to refer those students to someone, but who? Who could teach what I teach? Now there is a way to do that through The BELLY DANCE TRAINER (sm) CERTIFICATION PROGRAM. So it’s not only knowledge that you will be getting, but credibility. I have a track record of 36 awards in 4 years and many professional students to back up my method. Why wouldn’t you want to put that power to work for you?