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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Sample Course Proposal

by Tedi Thomas





Course Proposal for

Introduction to Middle Eastern Dance

(Beginning Beledi / Belly Dance)

This is a prospectus that Tedi Thomas submitted in 1991, when proposing to teach a class in Oriental dance. This was obviously a long time ago. Many of the details regarding her classes, troupe activities, and employment have changed significantly since then. Nonetheless, she has made this prospectus available as an example for others who need to create one for a Middle Eastern dance class they have proposed. In the "Justification" section, the advertising fee was designated by the recreation center, and they requested that the prospectus address how this fee would be covered.

1) Introduction

Beledi is dance. It is an ancient form of Middle Eastern dance that had its beginnings in village and tribal life. Its origin stems from the veneration of the woman's procreative powers. It is not just a night club entertainment, as is thought by many in western cultures, but is a "people's" dance. All participate in this expression / celebration of life: young and old, male and female.

Beledi is an effective recreational activity. One does not have to be proficient in the dance to derive enjoyment from the physical release it provides. It can be practiced by individuals at all levels of physical ability. The individual that is a beginner to physical activity will find that they can work at their own pace, and so not strain themselves beyond their abilities, as happens in some other forms of physical exertion. In addition, the individual who feels that they are in top condition will find themselves challenged with physical movements not used in western style exercise that might just put them back in the beginner category.

The course is broken down into ten sessions, one per week. Each class will meet for an hour and a half. The first session is a general introduction to Middle Eastern Dancing: the music, the exercises and their purpose, and the dance movements themselves. The remaining nine sessions will follow a set routine of warming up/stretching, work on movements, and cool down. Most of the "exercise" portion of instruction is dedicated to stretching and loosening the muscles and joints that are not generally used in western style dance and exercise and getting the class used to working with Middle Eastern music. There are some strengthening exercises included in this portion of the instruction. Except for a short set of cooling down stretches at the end, the rest of the class period is devoted to actual dance instruction, usually work on a choreographed dance.

2) Justification

Advertising Cost = $75.00
(1.5 hours/week X 10 weeks = 15 hrs @ $10/hr) Instructor's Fee* = $150.00
Total Cost = $225.00

A fee of $25.00 per person for this type of course would require a minimum of nine students to cover the cost (three for the advertising cost and six for the instructor's fee). The course could be taught with as few as three students, or up to fifteen. *(Instructor's fee could be payment in kind of a year's family pass to the Rec Center in lieu of monetary compensation.)

The Rec Center's Dance Room is ideal for teaching (i.e., high ceilings, plenty of mirrors and good lighting). This is a boost for the proper learning experience for the students.

Times and dates for teaching course (in order of preference):

  1. Thursdays, 2:30-4:00 p.m., February 7 through April 18, 1991
  2. Thursdays, 2:00-3:30 p.m., February 7 through April 18, 1991
  3. Tuesdays, 2:30-4:00 p.m., February 5 through April 16, 1991
  4. Tuesdays, 2:00-3:30 p.m., February 5 through April 16, 1991

3. Qualifications

As a founding member of the Little Egypt Dancers, I have trained for eleven years: four years formally with the Arabian Nights Dance Studio, and the remaining seven years through seminars and continued self instruction. My nine year involvement in professional dance includes troupe performances and performances of a solo nature.

Some of my solo performances are as follows:

  • Participating in the SIUC Women's Club
    "Around the World Champagne Flight" fashion show/luncheon on September 14, 1982;
  • Instructing two courses for the Great Shapes Fitness Center during 1987;
  • Opening the Performing Arts Stage for Arts in Celebration on October 6, 1990.

Some of the performances of the Little Egypt Dancers are:

  • SIU Springfest 1986; "A Night of Beledi" (Dances of the Middle East) at Columbia, MO on May 3, 1986;
  • Simone's Seventh Veil Dance Company's Dance Concert at St. Louis on October 4, 1986;
  • Several for the annual Southern Illinois Dance Extravaganza in Marion;
  • The "Carbondale-Make It Your Home!" Festival on May 7, 1988.

I am driven to pass on my knowledge of this dance form to others, to continue the chain of this ageless expression. I do not expect others to embrace the dance with the love I have for it, but I do intend for the student to come away with some understanding of this dance form, and with some lessening of the misconceptions that have surrounded bellydancing. I also expect the student to come away with a greater sense of their self, their personal being, and a confidence arising from understanding more fully their sensual self.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Blaine Schanter.

I am currently employed as a Secretary IV Trans in the Department of Anthropology on campus. I have worked out the logistics with my supervisor, Dr. Jon Muller, for being able to teach this course at the time(s) I've requested. I am also interested in submitting copy and artwork for use in the advertisement. If there are any questions, please feel free to call me at 453-xxxx (8-12 and 1-4:30).




About the Author

Tedi Thomas lives in Carbondale, Illinois. She did indeed get the teaching job that this prospectus was written for.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Mary Hanson.




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