Unfortunately in this day and age it is advisable for everyone running a business to provide some clarity of the services they provide and the quality the customer can expect.  I have been teaching now for nearly  11 years and have never had a problem, but understand that it may be wise to publish these conditions.  I have not taken legal advice in setting up this page, but believe that reasonable people can do business in plain English and with sympathy for both sides.  I am also a student of Bellydance and will always be, therefore I am often the customer instead of the teacher.  These are what I feel both a teacher and customer can expect :

 

At some of my classes I am an employee and any agreements about money, timings or quality of class provided remain between the provider (the centre) and the student.  These include (there may be others) ; Basingstoke Sports Centre, Reading Adult College.  Any agreement between a centre and a student does not have baring on the agreement between any other centre and the student or me and any student.

 

I can not and will not contribute in anyway to any dispute you may have with any centre where I am employed, unless asked to do so by my employer.  Example : please don't ask me to ring them and ask about your lost property.

 

All class times are approx, although students should aim to arrive in good time to prepare for class.  Previous classes may overrun and I often ask later classes to join in with a cool down/warm up so that everyone gets their time.  Classes may overrun by a few minutes.  On a Thursday morning students pay for 45 minutes of class during a one hour window, so that we can all enjoy each others company as well as dancing and learning together.

 

Class time can include 5 minutes of welcoming and setting up at the beginning and 5 minutes of handing out flyers, performing and/or chat at the end.  I also believe in a good warm up and will extend the warm up depending on the weather and participants needs.  After the session we will also cool down and I use deep breathing as a way to centre ourselves and relax.  This means that the actual teaching time for each class may vary.  Example : a 45 minute session  may contain 5 minutes set up, 15 minutes of warm up, 5 minutes of cool down and 5 minutes of a performance I have prepared for a local show--thus leaving only 15 minutes of direct teaching and learning.  I believe that it is more important to have quality than quantity.

 

As a student it is not often clear which teaching method I am using and what the aim of each section may be.  I am qualified both as an adult education teacher and as a teacher of middle eastern dance.  Over the years I have learnt and developed many different ways of explaining moves and concepts and helping you to learn.  If a particular part of the class seems pointless to you then you may need to come back to it later or look at it differently.  I am always happy to explain "the point" to you although I would rather do it over email.

 

I often ask people to try things that are difficult.  Please do not respond by telling me you can't.  Can't is a very unhelpful word--I love to hear "I'll try" or "I'll have to work that out", or even "can you tell me how to adapt?"  But if you can't then I can't and neither of us will move forward.

 

Sometimes when we learn something new we expect or want it to be easy.  Middle Eastern dance often looks easy, and I can help you make a move easier, but like all dance styles it takes time and practice to get good at it.

 

In all classes there will be students of a mix of abilities and aims.  It is my job as a teacher to provide interesting activities to help everyone learn.  Sometimes an activity may work for only half the class, in which case I will plan in some way of helping the other half learn the same activity either in the same lesson or at a later date.  Most people learn with a mix of verbal, physical and visual help and I aim to provide all three in each lesson.  If you would like a lesson to be aimed solely at your learning styles or your ability level then please book me for a private lesson.

 

 

 

I believe in equal opportunities, which means that everyone has an equal chance of reaching the class outcomes.  Sometimes this means that someone will need more of my time than the others in the class.  During that time I will set an activity for the rest of the group and I expect them to continue working without my attention.

 

Every student gets out of a lesson as much as they put in.  This site and the classes in general should help you adapt to your needs, be they fitness, emotional or artistic.  Please use the time to help develop the areas that you enjoy or need/wish to develop.  I choose to teach adults as they are more able to set their own aims and progress at their own speed.

 

Any statement made on this web site is my opinion and should not be considered fact.  The history and content of the dance "bellydance" is much debated by much greater wise women and men of this dance style.  It grows from a folk dance that is not set down with rules even in the middle east.  It has developed out of a love of dancing with influences from many countries along the silk routes and beyond and now has a very strong American accent, where it flourishes today.  If you are interested in knowing more then I can send you to some very interesting web sites and will happily debate it with you outside class time.  The style of dance I teach is my interpretation of "bellydance".  I have studied with many of the greatest teachers of our time and am constantly learning and evolving my style.  I reserve the right to teach any move I deem suitable and safe.  Example : we add Indian style hand moves into some of our tribal.

 

Bellydance is a term that probably developed out of a misunderstanding or a miss-translation.  This dance is not about using your belly, nor is it focused on the dance of a single region.  My dance moves may or may not be similar to other dancers or teachers you may have learnt with, seen on DVDs or while on holiday.

 

My dance style and the style I encourage in all of my student is very family friendly.  This means that my costumes are no more shocking than anything I might wear on the beach, my movements are not intended to offend and my language in class is the same as I would use in front of my children.  I understand that others have different ideas of what is meant by family friendly but it is never my intention to offend or cause upset.  If you believe you may be offended by this dance I would ask that you either contact me or find a more suitable dance class.

 

I encourage all students to work towards their personal aims and have had many students go on to perform and teach.  Please remember that there are many dancers, myself included who earn a living through this dance and don’t undercut them or take business away from them.  Showing some friends your new moves is great fun and fine, but teaching them week after week without insurance, qualifications, or PPL is not only unsafe but also may mean a teacher is loosing students.  The same is true of dancing for free at restaurants or shows.  I’m happy to  give you advice and help to get you to the standard of dance where you are not only a good representation of this dance style, but also safe and confident in what you choose to do.  If you go on to teach others then I hope you use what you have learnt from me as well as others to find your own “best practice”, however you may not teach on my combinations, choreographies or key concepts without permission and credit, be that for paid or unpaid work.

 

I welcome everyone to my classes, the only exception being children (please see FAQ).  I do not offer women only classes.  If you would prefer not to dance in the company of men, you may email me to find out which classes do not have male students at the moment although I can not guarantee an all female environment. (we often have male admin staff at the centre while we dance).

 

I expect all students to dress and behave appropriately although I am not responsible for either in other people.  You may dress in a way that shows your tummy and your legs, although you must dress in a way that would be suitable for a beach café or the swimming pool.  For example ladies may wear a bra top and shorts, men may wear shorts, but no shorter than football shorts.  Please make sure you are not under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during a class or any event I have organised.  You should also not dance when on strong medication.  Talking and having fun is all part of the class unless it becomes disruptive to the group, in which case it should be kept for after class time.  Many of the classes visit local pubs or coffee shops after class and this can be a wonderful way of making new friends and bonding with your classmates.

 

I can ask you to modify your behaviour during the class and while in the class venue or representing the class or myself.  Example if you are dressed for class and disrupting others in the car park of one of the venues.

 

Your belongings remain your responsibly at all times.  I am not liable for any damage or losses.  This is not limited to class or performance venues.

 

Payment for a class assumes agreement with the terms and conditions.

 

I can not and do not offer reduced rates for my classes.  Some of the people I work for have a policy on reduced rates for classes, group booking discounts and other special offers.  I do not intend to try to match these at any of my other classes.  If you are having a problem with paying for your classes please get in touch and I will try to suggest a local class that may be cheaper.

 

I may use experienced dancers in class to help with teaching.  During my holidays other teachers/dancers may cover my classes and I will try to inform you if that is going to happen.  Wherever possible I will try to cover my illnesses with another teacher/dancer rather than cancel the class.  It is not always possible to inform you in that situation.  I may ask another dancer to lead the warm up or cool down if I think they will benefit from leading the group.  I may ask another dancer to stand at the front to lead a group exercise while I travel the room giving corrections or help someone who is having difficulty or attend to a first aid problem or a disruption inside or outside the class.  I may split the group into smaller groups for class work and allocate "leaders".  I will not ask beginners to lead or stand in front of the class .

 

I have a policy of no refunds under any circumstances.  Please do not sign up to a course unless you are sure you can make all the sessions or you are happy to pay for sessions you know you can not attend.  Drop in classes are paid on the day and the money can not be refunded during or after a session.  If you are unhappy with the content or learning you received during a class you may not have a refund.  I believe that, by offering payment per class, everyone has the opportunity to discover if they like the classes and me as a teacher for a very small amount of money.  I also provide occasional free classes at the Sports Centre.  I am not available to meet prospective students outside these times and coming to meet me before or during a lesson is disruptive to the class and unhelpful.  If you would like to find out more about the classes the best idea is to come to one of the drop in sessions and try it out.  If you have a particular issue you would like to raise with me before taking a class you may do so over email.

 

Should a class be cancelled at short notice I will do my best to contact all those students who have given me their email addresses.  I will not try to telephone anyone as this is very time consuming, nor can I text you.  Often its hard to type in the correct email address with _ and - and 5’s for s and so on.  If you want to be sure that I will contact you if a class is cancelled please email me and let me know which email address you would like me to use and which class/es you attend.

 

As a general rule I don't do telephones.

 

Any email address you give me is given as a friend and remains the way I will contact you unless you request that I delete it via an email request.  I will not pass on your email address or any other details about you to anyone else without your prior permission.  In case of emergency your details may be used by my representative (example : I may ask my husband to send everyone an email if I was in hospital)

 

Any requests for any information, class content or help in any form will only be responded to once sent to me via email and I reserve the right to ignore your requests, to accidentally delete your emails, or to forget to bring information to your next class.  I try to be very helpful and love discussing this subject but it is not always the way I can afford to spend my spare time (and I can be rather forgetful !).

 

I hand out my email address to you at your first class (its also on this web site) and it is the best way to contact me at any time.  You may pass on my email address and web site to anyone who you think may be interested in my teaching or performing ( please do--most of my new students come from your recommendations!).  You may list my web site or email address on other peoples site or discussion groups ( I would prefer it if you replaced the @ with [at] to help reduce the spider spam).  You may post my email and web address on notice boards as long as you feel they will be welcomed (don't use it as graffiti).  You may mail me with anything dance related you think I may be interested in or anything that will help you grow as a dancer or student or anything pertaining to the classes or performances.  Please do not send me spam, this would include, but is not limited to, pictures of cute dogs or teddies, quizzes, anything that promise me luck if I send it to 12 of my friends (I don't have 12 friends), poems or sayings.  I may be interested in seeing one or two photos of you new born baby, but please check with me first in case I am away and come back to a full inbox.

 

When away from my desk I do normally have my Blackberry with me, and so you may receive a short, quick reply at these times.  You are welcome to ask for a longer or more detailed reply although I may not be able to provide that for a couple of weeks.

 

All lessons must be paid for before the lesson begins.  If you do not have the money you may not take a lesson--please do not ask as refusal may offend.  Dancers attending troupe practice may be allowed to pay in blocks by prior agreement.  Those booking courses have to pay for the full course before the first lesson.  Students attending pay as you go lessons must pay before the session begins.  If you are late arriving for a lesson please ask if you may pay at the end of the session and remember to pay before leaving.

 

Copyright law is very complex, and can often seem illogical and outdated.  This is not my fault.  In order to keep within the copyright laws and the conditions of the licences I have to obtain each year I ask my students to be respectful of the copyright holders at all times.  For further details can be found here (http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/ukcs/docs/edupack.pdf)

The following paragraphs outline my understanding of the law as it seems to effect us as dancers, but should not be considered legal advice.  If in doubt please contact a specialist solicitor.

 

Please do not copy Cds or buy illegal copies of music.  Years ago it was very difficult to buy Arabic music, but today you can find almost anything you can imagine on sites such as iTunes and Amazon.  Almost all of the music I use in class can be bought on these sites, and before planning a choreography I will double check its availability, although if 20 people go to Amazon for the same track it will most likely go out of stock, so try to buy early.

 

The rules are much the same for DVDs, please do not copy, distribute or buy copied work.  Also please do not upload copyrighten work to the internet.

 

Please do not video or duplicate performance without obtaining the copyright of all the work included (music writer, music artist, dancer, choreography....), You will also need permission, probably written, of the venue, host and/or the performers or hosts employers.  In addition for physical DVDs you need a duplication licence, which can be obtained in small numbers in the form of a crystal which is then attached to each DVD.  Uploading video clips to YouTube, Facebook, MySpace or any similar web site is also considered duplicating, and the same licences and permissions must be sought.  If in doubt, don’t do it.

 

On some occasions I may chose to employ a professional videographer, who will deal with all these complications, if I feel that there is the demand.  

 

Public vs Private events.  In general I do not want dancers to face an audience full of video cameras, and because of this I run all my events as private events.  While many people feel they have the right to take photos and video whenever and wherever they wish, this is not so.  When appearing in public dancers should expect their image to be taken (photo), although the recording of sound that is covered by copyright (such as the music the dancer is using) is still not allowed.  When an event is held in private (such as our events), the event organiser has the right to object to any images taken.  It is also considered safe practice and polite not to take photos or video of under 18s, and as its not always clear which of our performers are still a minor its best not to.  Because of this I would ask that you leave your camera and video camera at home.  I will very rarely give permission for anyone to video at one of our events, and if so it must be discussed before hand.

 

Some teachers and students wish to use the clause about “educational purposes” from the document above in order to record a performance or class.  In order to do so it must be shown that the video has been used to improve the students development.  I would suggest that it is useful to record your practice sessions, to review your learning and improve technique.  If you wish to share that recording it can only be with a teacher or mentor, who you can prove is helping with your development.  If the easiest way for you to provide that footage to a teacher or mentor is via a web site such as YouTube pls make sure that it is set on private so that it is only viewable by that person.  I am happy to provide a  one on one assessment - see book Sara for details.  I do not believe that it is as useful to video a performance, as the video fails to capture the true feel of the evening and the performance.  If you would like me to review a performance of yours I would prefer to be in the room at the time.

 

Please do not photograph or video me, or any of my classes / events that I organise without my permission.  Please do not share / upload any photographs or video of me or any of my classes / events without my prior viewing and agreement.  Again if in doubt don’t do it.

 

This web site gives a good representation of my style of humour, my body shape, my lessons, my experience and my expectations.  I hope that, by being honest with all my customers, everyone gets what they expect and never has any need to sue !  If you do ever have a problem, please come to me with it and I will do my best for you.

 

 

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