Belly dance rejuvenates my soul... I have such an inner peace and joy in my heart. -Kim

Teacher Feature: Malek

  • by Elena Faye
  • Mar 21, 2017
Malek is one of the few faculty members who has been dancing at Saffron since we opened our doors back in 2007.  A staple of our community, she has a love of teaching beginners and introducing new students to the world of belly dance.  Let's learn a bit about her!
 

Name or Dance Name | Lauren/Lilah

Occupation | Climate Change Project Manager

Why bellydance? So many reasons! To stay active, learn to move more gracefully, tap into your artistic side, learn about stage makeup and hair, bolster your sewing skills (and get more comfortable with sequins and sparkles!), become less inhibited by learning to perform, build amazing friendships based on teamwork and shared goals and experiences, and take all this self-confidence and positivity out into the other parts of your life. 


Name | Erica
 
Occupation |  Scientist working in Immuno-assay development
 
Why belly dance? I was drawn to bellydance at an early age. My first encounter was at around 13 years old. I was at an event and in the shopping area I saw this procession of absolutely beautiful women and I thought their ensembles were fantastic and they moved so gracefully through the space, just radiating confidence. They looked so cool! I instantly wanted to be one of them, to be a part of their group. Later that evening there was a Hafla with bonfires and live musicians and these same women were bellydancing. I caught the eye of one of them, and she invited me to come dance. I went; I mirrored her movements and at that moment I knew this was where I belonged. I knew this dance form was meant for me because of how it makes me feel, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I feel like I can be completely myself when I dance, I am free.

Name | Heather
 
Occupation | Museum Planning Consultant
 
Why belly dance? I've always loved dance. Like many, I took ballet classes when I was young only to find out it was not for me. Many years later I took some Greek folk dance classes in Greece during my junior year abroad which I enjoyed. Finally, years later, I found bellydance! I love the way bellydance makes me feel, forces me out of my comfort zone, uses my brain in different ways, and provides a creative outlet. And, let's face it - the sparkles are a big draw!
 
How long have you been at Saffron? 5 1/2 years, I started in September/October 2011
 
How did you find Saffron Dance, and what keeps you coming back? My friend Jehan was performing with her Saffron Dance Student Company at Clarendon Day and we went to see her perform. After the show, Saphira did a mini shimmy tutorial with the audience. I thought "that was fun" and that I should try the intro class. I loved the it and have been shimmying ever since! What brings me back every semester is not just the dance and music, but is also the wonderful community and family of Saffronitas I have met over the years. As a parent of a teenager and a toddler, finding the time and making the commitment to doing something purely for me is challenging - belly dance is my commitment to myself, and it makes me a better person.

Name | Luisa
 
Occupation | Recreation Program Manager
 

Teacher Feature: Annie

  • by Saphira
  • Nov 17, 2016
One of our newer faculty members, Annie first joined the Saffron team as our resident Persian teacher in 2014, and recently joined the belly dance faculty in the fall of 2016.  Although she had never considered teaching, the transition from student to teacher was a natural one and Annie has proven to be a dedicated and generous instructor.  Let's learn a little more about her!  
 
 
When did you first start belly dancing? What were your initial thoughts?

Teacher Feature: Blythe

  • by Saphira
  • Nov 15, 2016
Blythe epitomizes where heart, generosity and talent intersect.  Her relationship with this dance is so genuine and unwavering that I find myself getting emotional just thinking about how crucial she is to the richness of our community.  Since the day I met her I've witnessed first-hand the joy that she exudes when she dances.  She has constant humility and commitment to learning, both as a faculty member and a life long student.  It's my pleasure to share a bit more about this wonderful woman, who is truly a staple of our Saffron community.
 

Name | Mojgan (aka Mo)
 
Occupation | Clinical Psychologist
 
Why belly dance? | Everything about the dance is beautiful; the music, the movement, the energy! I grew up listening to and dancing to middle eastern music with my family, so for me there's always been a related personal connection and sense of nostalgia.
 
How long have you been at Saffron? | It'll be three years in January! Can't believe it.

Teacher Feature: Dona

  • by Saphira
  • Oct 18, 2016
A graduate of Saffron's Teacher Training program, Dona is a powerhouse of infectious energy and good vibrations.  You'll find her here at the studio teaching O1 and O2 classes, as well as her heart-pumping Shimmy Shakedown classes.  When not teaching, she continues honing her skills as a member of Maqsoum Student Company and Saffron Dance Company.  Recently we had a chance to chat with Dona to learn a bit more about her life, both in and out of the studio.
 

Name | Valerie
 
Occupation | Examiner
 
Why belly dance? | It's a long story...but the opportunity to learn a new dance-form of expression definitely plays a factor.
 
How long have you been at Saffron? | Two years this past June.
 

Dance Name | Sa'diyah

Occupation | Business Intelligence Developer

Why bellydance? | I've always loved dance but couldn't take lessons as a child.  I dabbled with some classes as an adult but nothing really clicked.  I stumbled onto the show Shimmy and my interest was peaked and when I took a bellydance class through my local parks and rec I was hooked.

How long have you been at Saffron? | 6 1/2 years 


Name or Dance Name | Rachael aka Razilee
 
Occupation | Agricultural Economist with the USDA
 
Why bellydance? I've enjoyed dancing and music from a young age. My mom put me in ballet classes at 2 and from there I went on to learn several instruments (and you can usually find me being a spaz on the dance floor).
 

What inspired you to join a Student Company? I had been taking technique classes and really enjoying them, and had promised myself I would never have to actually go on stage and perform. Except that one of the reasons I had tried belly dance in the first place was to do something that would take me completely out of my comfort zone. Yet here I was again, defining the limits of what I was comfortable doing. It was time for me to go beyond that comfort zone again.

What inspired you to join a Student Company? I felt compelled to join a Student Company, specifically a Tribal company, after taking my first performance class in late 2014.


Name | Livia LeRynn

Occupation | Mild mannered paper pushing government bureaucrat by day, modern Amazon by night.

How long have you been at Saffron? Just over five years.

Why Belly Dance? I was looking to try something new and completely different after earning my taekwondo blackbelt.   Belly dance fit the bill. I liked the idea of having a bellydancer's level of hip and torso control to go with my martial artist's hand and foot control. I also liked the idea that unlike other styles of dance, I could start as a fully formed adult without having my age limit my performance and career potential.  Now I enjoy the range of creative and expressive options bellydance (esp. Tribal) offers. I can adapt it to any type of character. 


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