Forum: Folk / Folk - General

flamenco or belly dance?
By sakura
On Tue Nov 21, 2006 07:10 PM
Moved to Folk - General by glitterfairy (42646) on 2006-11-22 05:51:17 moved to more appropriate forum

I am a ballet dancer and I want to take up either bellydance or flamenco classes as well. However, due to time/money constraints I can only choose one.

Pros of bellydance:
1.low impact
2.cheaper classes/student dancewear
3.I think I may be able to do it to an older age
4.love the sensuality(on the minus side I live in a conservative place and I would probably be a closeted dancer at work.)

My friend's wife is a well-known local semi-pro bellydancer who performs and he is supportive but not all men are like this plus she's an artist. I'm just an ordinary person and I'm still single too :(...yeah, I know I should get over my prudishness...

Pros of flamenco:
1.have done a short course before (but had knee pain)
2. love the duende
3.have classical guitar training and may be able to pick up flamenco guitar easily
4.love the music/singing as well

For people who have done both, what is your opinion? How do they compare to you? What did you choose in the end (and why) or do you still do both? I need to get in a certain no of ballet classes per week so I don't have so much time left for my second dance.

In my heart, I love both so I'm torn...both bellydance and flamenco stuff are expensive(all the more reason I have to pick just one)...ballet is the cheapest(except for pointe shoes).

5 Replies to flamenco or belly dance?

re: flamenco or belly dance?
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Wed Nov 22, 2006 05:55 AM
I still maintain that if you have no existing knee problems, the knee pain in flamenco was due to bad technique. But that's another story.

Personally, I've done both and loved both. Due to time/money constraints I'm only doing flamenco at the moment, but that's because a)the teacher is slightly better (my bellydance teacher was very nice, but the classes were majorly unstructured and the pace was lousy), and b) I had the opportunity to go for a scholarship, exams, and more performing opportunities (flamenco studio has a performance company).

It's all very much up to the invididual what they want out of each dance form. If you love both, then decisions can be made on the studio itself - what's the teacher like? How supportive are the staff/fellow students? What opportunities will it offer? etc etc
re: flamenco or belly dance?
By sakura
On Thu Nov 23, 2006 02:36 AM
Glitterfairy, sorry for cross-posting and thanks for moving the post. I didn't know it was not allowed.

How long did you study bellydance before you decided to stop? I love both but only two studios offer flamenco here so I don't have many choices in terms of teachers while there are many places offering bellydance. What flamenco exams do you take? Is there an international certifying body for flamenco?

Actually, I've found a good/nice bellydance teacher(my friend's wife's teacher actually); only her studio is far from my home and I worry that the drag of commuting will make it tempting to skip classes.Both flamenco and bellydance offer performing chances (if you're good) but only bellydance offers paid gigs I think.
re: flamenco or belly dance?
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Thu Nov 23, 2006 04:36 AM
In my area, there were only a few bellydancing teachers (and when I say "my area", I'm talking about withing 2-hour travelling radius ;)), and only two flamenco studios. That's not a huge amount of variety, but it's still SOME variety :)

On a side note, just because there are lots of teachers doesn't mean that they're all going to be of the same, or even a 'decent' quality. Shop around.

Sakura wrote:

What flamenco exams do you take? Is there an international certifying body for flamenco?

The syllabus I study is called "Alianza Flamenco". I'm pretty sure I've heard of a few others being mentioned on the Flamenco forums. I do thing there are a few international syllabi for Flamenco (I *think* mine is one), but couldn't rattle off the names of them. Hopefully some of the other Flamenco dancers will respond (but the flamenco forum has been dead for a little while, what happened to all our lovely spanish Flamenco-ers? :()



I was taking bellydancing classes for about a year before I gave it up to try flamenco. It happened for two reasons - firstly, I have ALWAYS wanted to take up bellydance and flamenco, and the change happened at a time where I just really felt that if I was ever going to have training in both of them, it had to happen *now* (overeager? *shrug*). Secondly, I was getting frustrated with my teacher.

Re: "only bellydance offers paid gigs" - incorrect. Additionally, it is ridiculously hard to get one of these paid gigs (as many bellydancers on these forums will tell you), so if you're selecting a dance form based on how much money you could earn, I suggest you re-think your priorities. It's like a ballet dancer taking up ballet just for the pointe shoes (ignoring the fact they may never get up there), really.

I travel 4 hours round trip for my flamenco lessons on saturday. I gotta say, it's hard... I was very tempted to quit earlier in the year because it was just so hard for a one hour class!!! lol. Since then I've taken up the more advanced class after it as well, so at least I'm there for two hours, which makes the travelling more worthwhile. I'm becoming very, very good at napping on trains, or I'll take a book with me to read on the way. It's still long and hard and kinda boring, but for every minute I'm in class I'm so glad I bothered to make the trip.

My long-term wish is to move closer to the suburb where my flamenco studio is. Incidentally, one of the most well-known bellydancing studios is literally down the road (Amera's Palace, for any Sydneysiders here) so one day when I live closer, I'd like to train at both. Maybe I'll be lucky and be able to do a bellydancing class, then run down the road into my flamenco class?
re: flamenco or belly dance?
By sakura
On Thu Nov 23, 2006 05:18 AM
In my whole country, there are only 2 studios offering flamenco and at one of the studios, the teacher is not that experienced. The other studio offers a flamenco syllabus based in Australia but I'm not sure if it's really recognized.There are some ad-hoc classes here and there that come and go but I can't really keep track. The community of flamenco dancers is passionate but very small and flamenco is very low profile. There aren't many public performances of flamenco except for student recitals (I don't count international performers).

Also, buying the shoes, fans and stuff is pretty expensive as are the lessons. If I want to study flamenco, I would probably have to travel 1hour plus to get to the studio. My friend also lives far away but she assures me it's worth it though.

For bellydance, I have my pick of teachers from cheap community centre classes near my home to more expensive higher-end studios downtown. There are a number of shops selling bellydance supplies so getting student quality stuff is easy.
re: flamenco or belly dance?
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Fri Nov 24, 2006 05:02 AM
Well, you seem to have already made up your mind, haven't you? ;)

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