A lot of people going around on this subreddit discouraging singers from imitating claiming that it is inherently unhealthy and inherently dangerous. Here are some simple guidelines
- Don't sing higher than you are capable.
- If it hurts or strains, don't do it
- If it sounds "fake" then it isn't right.
That's it. Imitation isn't inherently unhealthy. Imitating a healthy sound without straining is called singing well. No one will ever know you learned by "imitating" because at that point you are simply singing the style properly.
Every genre requires imitation. Even classical. If it didn't, then classical singers wouldn't sound similar to one another. To demonize something so essential makes absolutely no sense to me.
The purpose of taking lessons from a teacher who knows how to sing is so they can demonstrate the sound so that, alongside some degree of technical training, you can imitate it. If teachers are expecting you to mindlessly wander and "align" and "resonate" your singing voice into existence from scratch - that's not really teaching. That's psuedoscience.