Saffron Dance was first conceptualized in May 2007 when Saphira realized that she had professional and personal goals other than what a career as a lawyer/lobbyist would provide. Originally, she did not know how the studio would manifest - whether it would be a school, a space that hosted other existing programs, or a virtual studio. She had always envisioned a brick and mortar space in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington that would grow into an environment where she would enjoy spending time with dancers, colleagues, friends and family. Since opening its doors in Fall 2007, Saffron Dance has existed from a place of generosity, fairness, respect and kindness, mindful of the collective growth of the community rather than just one individual person's.
What is in a name? Of all of the components of developing the studio, the name Saffron Dance came most naturally. In addtion to teaching dance, Saphira's other other passion is cooking. She came to realize that teaching someone to dance and cooking for someone are quite similar. Both can provide a sense of safety, comfort and joy. Both the cook and the teacher have to extend themselves personally and create something that may or may not be well received or appreciated. When the recipe or the class works, it can be equally satisfying for the teacher/chef and the student/guest. Additionally, belly dance as an art form comes to us from several regions around the world, influencing the culture and texture of its community, and the saffron spice comes from many of those same regions. It is hand cultivated by women - just as the dance is carried forward by generations and geographies of women. Saffron, the most treasured and expensive spice, adds color, texture and flavor to a dish, just as belly dance adds flavor, joy, and beauty to the lives of dancers and audience members alike.
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Saffron Dance Company is a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help us continue to share the beauty of Middle Eastern dance!