Here's the truth of it: When it comes to training intensives, I sometimes wish there were no certificate tied to the coursework.
At the root, I would rather we focus on the meat of a dancer's/teachers' skills--proven through time and experience and demonstrated skill--than pieces of paper.I found my certification training with Gypsy Caravan, FatChance, and now Jamila (still to test, but took the course) to have been incredibly valuable to not only my technique, knowledge, and teaching ability, but also gave me a tremendous sense of history and perspective. Like the proverbial elephant and the blind men, we're all touching different parts of the dance, and are limited by the part we have in our immediate reach. By being exposed to other teachers' and dancer's experience/part of the elephant, I feel I have a better idea of the bigger picture and where I fit into it. If slapping a certificate on it encourages more people to pony up the cash and time to commit to these programs and grow as a result, I suppose in the end it's a Good Thing. But I didn't care one tiny bit if I held a piece of paper at the end of them, because what I got out of these experiences couldn't be measured in that way.
What do you think of certifications in the bellydance world today? Any you particularly endorse or eschew? What are your experiences?