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Forums > Social Discussion > Vent: When People Teach What They Don't Know

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Okay...this has always burned my tail feathers, when people watch a video, read a book, think they are an expert and then teach as if they are.



I don't mind when someone admits that they learned it from "this place" and there is no other teacher around, so they share what they know, so long as it is done safely.



However, when there is a teacher around, they should not be doing this. I know "dance teachers" who have ended up with injured students for this reason.



More so this ticks me off when it involves something with strong cultural integrity and heritage. If you don't know the history, you should not be teaching it, right?



There is an instructor in town, Victoria, who attempts to tout herself as the only "trained" Hula teacher around, which is a bunch of bs that she won't admit to.

She terrorizes anyone else who has ever trained in Hula by making crank calls to their studios, and she even cranked called a two hour workshop enough to end up getting it cancelled. This is a grown woman, mind you.



She stopped into the studio I was teaching at and demanded my "teacher lineage". It was insane.



When she found out that I teach poi, she automatically put it on her roster.

One of my new students was looking into a class and asked her for her credentials, and all she kept saying was "I have trained in Hawaii in hula my whole life." When my student asked if she had ever trained in NZ or with Maori, as she touts it to be traditional, the answer came back "I've trained in Hawaii in hula my whole life." And as I understand it the student got that she is not trained in poi at all, and even calls them Poi Balls, being all authentic, despite that poi means balls. If she were trained traditionally, she should know this, right?



As it ended up I guess my student grew furious with her circle talking around the fact that she has no training what so ever, and hung up on her.



One other new student tried the class with Victoria, ended up hurting herself and came to me.



This is ridiculous and I am beyond pissed that someone would be so tragically disrespectful, not only to other instructors in the area in such immature fashions but also to be so selfish as to think that she could honestly do justice to teaching something she knows nothing about, which most of us on here know is not particularly easy at all.



I wish there was something that could be done, but she has not technically been public in her slander per se, just immature.



I could seriously spit nails when she is brought up in my presence.



Okey-Dokey...vent over.



Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:This sounds more like "Crazy People Suck" than "People who teach what they don't know suck".

You absolutely can and should get calls traced if she's crank calling people.

Hugs anyway. frown


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


ImmortalAngel
Scientist!
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Member Since: 19th Jan 2004
Total posts: 578
Posted:I believe this was brought up with another case local to someone.
I have always been self taught in almost everything I've done, but I always take up on learning from pros, if not just to see the way they do it, but to take any tips and helpfull ideas they might have to share.
I think people like you're describing should stick to what they know. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about it. Maybe expose her as a fraud in public, but other than that you have to hope that students who go to her see her for what she really is (or rather, isn't). Unless you want to stoop to her level and parade around in front of her workshops with a big sign denouncing her and her background.
Either that or take the extremist approach and lop off her head biggrin
Hugs to you anyway Pele, good luck in dealing with her!


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />


snork
member

Member Since: 10th Feb 2005
Total posts: 52
Posted:Did you move to the GLITTERING and GIRLY city of sanfransicso?


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:No, snork, I am in my same hometown.
And at least in that case, she does spin.

Victoria didn't even spin until she found out about me teaching in a studio up the street.

She's mentioned that she's seen me on the news and such when she tried to hire me to perform at her Luau's.

When I started teaching, right after she interrogated me, is when she started "teaching" poi.

We won't even get into to what she puts her students through for a non-poi performance. Obviously they are not equipped to perform poi.

Anyway....


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Gayle......!
Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol !!!!!!
Member Since: 9th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2444
Posted:Pele, i get what you mean. I annoys me that people can teach with no qualifications. I worked long and hard over a year to get my dance teacher qualification - looking at anat and phys and also delved quite deep into Laban. I've come out the end with a better understanding of how the body works and what it can and can't do....I don't like the fact that anybody can set themselves up in a studio and teach - also the fact that if they have got a qualification there is no pressure to keep training. I have to do 15 hours training a year to hold onto my qualification and also have to prove a first aid certifcate to be certified.

If i was you - i'd display any certificates you have where students can see them and any promotion material you produce quote the qualifications on the bottom. You're more likely to get people come to you for the classes instead of to her "copycat" classes. Encourage your students to check qualifications of anyone else they go to - citing that they should be taught by an experienced professional not by a "copycat" scum jumping on the band wagon....

Good luck with it....

Can you get a teaching qualifcation in poi then? Mauybe HOP should devise a teaching qualification...!


Gayle.....!


_Stix_
_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land
Member Since: 15th Feb 2002
Total posts: 2419
Posted:ahh... just [censored] on her door step.. toilet paper her trees and hold your head up high in the knowledge that you got it right and she's just a 'try hard' wink

I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..


Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:If you're looking for real justice, it sounds like you need to address her claim of being 'the only' instructor or her 'traditional' origins. Either take out an ad, to offer genuine traditional instruction and to proclaim your own credentials, thus dashing her claims to singular talent; Or get someone in the features section of your local paper to do an expose' on your studio, or perhaps a featurette of your students. (Maybe even a review of a local performance? Usually if you call them a few weeks ahead of time, they'll be happy to cover such an event. Feature editors ALWAYS need ideas...)

I wouldn't go so far as to attack her or her school personally, but just get the word out that there are other competent, knowlegable (and safe) teachers out there. She seems to think she has a cultural monopoly and will go to greater lengths to maintain it.

Definately bring the calls to the attention of the authorities, at least the phone company, because they will stop menacing calls, or block her number...


And if that all fails, use the double-ply 'Cottonelle,' it really adheres well to branches and siding... wink


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.


Posted:Written by: Gayle......!
Can you get a teaching qualifcation in poi then? Mauybe HOP should devise a teaching qualification...!

rolleyes ubblol ubblol That's all we'd need.

Pele: I've seen this sort of thing happen in Martial Arts, frequently. You'll get someone who might have trained for a year or two award him or herself a tenth degree whatever. Then go and open their own school.

Now I might be able to see that the person is full of [censored]. But someone off the street might not be able to. And since anyone can print out a certificate....

So what to do?

Is there a certification process in belly dancing. One that's widely used? Who qualified you? Maybe you can write up an article for your local paper on who you learned from and so on? Its always good when you tell someone who taught you and it can be verified.

Once met a guy who told me he taught himself out of books and videos before he went on to teach others. That he was self-taught.... Didn't like it when I told him his teacher was an idiot! wink

Cheers!



coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:posting a phone number on an internet discussion group (related to what she is advertising) could increase the attention her business attracts - so you'd be doing her a favour if you gave us her number... devil

i know you won't do it but it is an option smile

and it might make you smile a little when you think about the calls she would surely receive: grillings from experienced poi teachers, international inquiries demanding more credentials than 'i went to hawaii', and nutters like ucof insisting that tim robbins *did* invent the hula hoop - "ya know, for the kids" wink

hug

cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood


UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:HE DID!!!

angry



darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:walk up to her....take off ur glove...slap her upside the face and challenge her to a poi battle....

then when u beat her...you can
nana to her all u want...


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!


BamBam
BamBam

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 1st Dec 2001
Total posts: 1810
Posted:Honey I'm with Sir Cole on this one......gone on you knwo you want to wink

A kiss blown is a kiss wasted, the only kind of kiss is a kiss tasted.

I'm a woman. We don't say what we want, but we reserve the right to be pissed off if we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating and not just a LITTLE bit scary.


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I won't post the number but how about this...

Gallery Kauai near Rochester wink


The certifications offered in Bellydance, and indeed most forms of ethnic dance, are about as bogus as one would be in Poi.
I do, however, hold a teaching degree.

I can offer up an instructional lineage for all of what I teach, which accompanies my teaching degree.

Some things started as being self-taught but then I sought out instructors when I could in my travels to fill in the many gaps.

Thanks Prome. I did not know that about the Features. That gets me thinking in many ways! wink

Thanks all! The image of her place in toilet paper, while I wouldn't do it, has made me chuckle. lol


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:Y'know, my parents went to Hawaii a while back. My mom took a hula lesson, like most of the 50-60-somethings that vacation there. Does that mean they're all qualified to open their own hula school? Would you wanna see your mom in a grass skirt, shaking her hips?

[Thanking the gods she's in the tax business...]


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.


darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:Written by: Pele


She's mentioned that she's seen me on the news and such when she tried to hire me to perform at her Luau's.







ooOOOOooo Psychology time biggrin





you say she tried to hire you????

as in you declined???



from the sounds of it shes just like a brat child who didnt get what they wanted and is now doing the passive aggressive thing because shes too intimidated for direct confrontation



so....imo i would say to confront her about it....(most importantly be civil ppl like that are lawsuit happy) and use sheer force of person to intimidate her further and thus making her disappear into obscurity...

and if she harasses you, you can essentially sue for harassment and maybe even emotional distraught....look up those really obscure laws some of them might help...



just my 2c







oH! another thing....you could challenge her publically(sp?) (martial arts schools will do this sometimes) and that would literally force her towards confrontation...




EDITED_BY: darkpoet (1108573261)


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by:

oH! another thing....you could challenge her publically(sp?) (martial arts schools will do this sometimes) and that would literally force her towards confrontation...





I have never heard of this Darkpoet. Really?

Prometheus...that image made me have chills! You have seen my mom, unfair advantage. As much as I love her...grass skirts and wrap bra...not her thing. Your mom on the other hand....

ubbloco


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


=Flashpoint=
=Flashpoint=

Pasta of Muppets
Location: in the interwebs...
Member Since: 1st Sep 2004
Total posts: 2719
Posted:Pele, I believe that there was an article about you in a UK dance mag. It might have been you (this is third hand information) but the person who saw it is going to give me a copy.

Like Prometheus said, get the newsies in to do an article, frame them all, frame your qualifications, and most of all get publicity. You are right! Beat her at her own game.

OMG imagine her teaching fire safety... *shudders*

She may kill someone, someday, then make sure she has all the publicity she needs. A police safety inspection might go down a treat too...


ohmygodlaserbeamspewpewpew!
ubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmile


Dragon7
Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ)
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 625
Posted:In NZ there are NZQA papers you can achieve for poi... its mostly traditional though.

I just hate people like that, usually i ignore them, or try to. Unless they really push it, then the gloves come off, and i hate that side of myself as much as them.

And grass skirts just rock! Everone should have a piupiu, pity they cost afew hundred.


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Orbit
Orbit

enthusiast

Member Since: 17th Dec 2003
Total posts: 270
Posted:Pele,

I would suggest avoiding any real confrontation with her, as it would likely backfire in some unpredictable way. Instead, let her do her thing and focus on what you do well. Just because she makes a certain claim doesn't mean that it's an effective way for her to get customers. Frankly, people might not CARE if she's had some training... You can make claims that are probably more compelling -- ie best teacher, most patient, friendliest? brainstorm some ideas, test them on some of your students. Increase your advertising efforts and/or offer coupons/deals/specials of some sort.

Here's an idea that's counter-intuitive. Increase your price. If you charge $5-10 more than she does, combined with claims that you're the most experienced teacher, some good testimonials, and maybe more professional-looking marketing materials, you can position yourself as a higher-end class to take. Plus with higher prices you can afford to give more discounts and/or make the same amount of money with fewer students.

One other thing to consider is that maybe people might not know about both your classes -- that people just take the class that they hear about. So if you increase advertising that generates more awareness, this will help.

Definitely steer away from stooping to her level, though... and shut off the ringer on the phone (or disconnect it) when you have a workshop!



Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:Written by: =Flashpoint=

OMG imagine her teaching fire safety... *shudders*

She may kill someone, someday, then make sure she has all the publicity she needs. A police safety inspection might go down a treat too...



Ya know all it takes is one idiot to ruin things for everyone else. In this day and age, I can forsee her causing harm to someone eventually, the press and authorities get involved, there's a spot on the 6 o'clock news called "Poi: Deadly New Trend?," agencies and officials start investigating all the workshops and everyone ends up getting a bad reputation, paying more for insurance, adhering to new regulations, laws and safety codes, etc., etc., etc. frown

Reminds me of the R.I. nightclub fire in 2002, it raised safety awareness, which is positive, but at the cost of making things difficult for people who already know what they're doing. The tradgedy gave a bad name to the band, the rock genre, and pyrotechnics in general.

I can understand just ignoring her, and yet, I can also see confronting her for the sake of everyone elses' safety and continued enjoyment of the art.

As far as pricing goes, I would say keep your prices competetive, or lower. You'll gain more customers by being affordable and from positive word of mouth. If two classes cost the same, people would be inclined to take both, and decide which is better. And as expensive as advertising can be, it's usually worth it. Start out small with flyers or business cards. See if you chamber of commerce has a website or community posting of some kind. There's lots of free advertising if you know where to look. ubbrollsmile


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Thanks all.

Because I work for another studio, I have no control over pricing.

The workshop she blocked was not mine. I am far more assertive than that. It was one of the other teachers from my studio.
I do alot of advertising, and I have a name for myself.

People I don't even know are coming into my other classes and then asking "You do Poi?"
I have no fear for my classes. I know they will thrive, and I know as she screws students up they will come to me.

I just hate the slander. The disrespect. The immaturity. The lack of safety. The absolute disregard for the culture, which she claims to revere. It is absolute bullshyte.

Side note: neither of us teach fire. Traditional poi does not involve fire, and for me it is waaaaay too much of an insurance liability for the studio. I teach a fire safety course outside of the studio at the end of my Intermediate Spinning Class.
I make it a point to tell my beginner students that just because they can spin at their sides and do some cross-overs does not mean they are ready for fire. There needs to be a built upon proficiency first from the students to me.

I am sure she does not take such measures, or even care if they do run out and burn themselves. Her blatant disregard for all of this stupifies me. And Prome, that is exactly the thing I am frightened of. Especially here. You know I have worked really hard to gain the respect of the local fire marshals. The last thing I want is some unsuspecting, unaware student of hers who is illeducated think it will be cool to light up. Ugh! It makes my head hurt!


Woah Flashpoint! That will be interesting to find out. Please keep in informed! I know I agreed to a reprint of an article for use by someone in (I believe) Sweden, but this is news to me.
You have my attention! wink

Thanks all!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


ImmortalAngel
Scientist!
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Member Since: 19th Jan 2004
Total posts: 578
Posted:OK, I was just talking to one of my best friends. She is somewhat into the circus arts, and slowly getting into them more and more. She just found out her boyfriend knows how to fire breath (he doesn't like me very much and she showed him my last video which had some fire breathing in it), so he boasts that he can do it and he knows how to do it better than I can etc...
I don't really care how well he says he can do it, but then he starts asking me about my technique and what I do when I breath. I'm starting to get worried that he has never done it before and is trying to pick up a few tips so when he does do it it seems like he knows what he's doing.
I avoid giving him any real answers and ask him what fuel he uses etc...
He said he learned from a local workshop a few years ago, taught by a few 'professionals'. Apparently, in one afternoon they managed to make the entire class profficient fire breathers -.-
The graduation celebration consisted of everyone breathing fire...with ethanol -.-
All he knows is that you 'swallow a mouthfull of fuel' and then spit out as hard as you can as fast as you can.
I spent most of the conversation cursing aloud at the stupidity of this and trying to tell him to stop what he's doing and learn from someone who actually knows what they're doing.
I'm going to be spending a weekend with him, reviewing safety, fuels, MSDSes, technique and terms. Maybe he might get one breath in with fire, but I doubt I'll be letting anything past water be used -.-
Just thought I'd share my story with stupid teaching instructors.
I'm hoping no one has died as a result of their incompetence.


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />


Sakura_Moon
Sakura_Moon

Hop's Kitten Jester.
Location: Wonderland igloo, Vic, Austral...
Member Since: 12th Jul 2004
Total posts: 1803
Posted:Wow, she sounds really stupid.
I can sort of understand how you feel. I get people saying they know how to do it "better" than i can - in the middle of when i'm trying to help someone with a butterfly.
So i offer them the poi, they go to do a simple butterfly and muck the entire thing up with the lame excuse that "its been a while"
Although, i dont get paid for teaching or anything. People come up to me with an interest in poi and ask me to teach them - but i can openly admit i'm not teaching standard yet, but i can help them out a little.

I cannot stand cocky people who really believe they know what they're doing - but cant do it when you ask them to.
And tryign to steal your job? Thats low!
Dont let it get you down, Pele.
hug
maybe a crank phonecall her way would help? (i have been informed of my immaturity)


.:Pink Exocutioner:.

I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct...

Loving you from the deepest part of my loins.