You can come to belly dancing with no prior dance and learn a fun and enjoyable dance. -Grace

Name | Keely

Occupation | U.S. Government

How long have you been at Saffron? Since October of 2008.

Why Belly Dance? I love bellydance because it brings me joy. It’s helped with my self-esteem, confidence and connected me with new friends and new experiences. I love performing because I can share my joy of dance with the audience. There’s nothing better than seeing the smiles on the face of your audience and know, if even for a few minutes, you’re taking their mind off their troubles or worries and giving them something to be happy about. It’s that mutual exchange of joy between audience and performer that motivates me to get on stage.


Name | Jehan

Occupation | Attorney for the U.S. Government

How long have you been at Saffron? I believe I started about 6 months after Saffron opened, so that must have been Fall of 2007.

Why Belly DanceI remember seeing my grandmother and aunties dancing at family parties, and my family always hired bellydancers at parties and events, too. Because of my body type, I was discouraged from pursuing ballet as a child. But I needed some fun exercise as an adult, and discovering that there were actual non-professional adult dance classes where I could learn the techniques of the dance of my Egyptian ancestry was an absolute revelation for me. My first class was in 1997 at the YMCA in Ann Arbor Michigan. Oddly, there was a lot of veilwork, but not a lot of technique. I liked it enough to want to track down learning opportunities once I moved to the DC area.


#Resolve2 LoveYourself

  • by Saphira
  • Feb 10, 2015
As we get to know each of you one-by-one -- whether you are at the studio for the first time or have been with us since the beginning -- we aspire for our work and our interactions to leave you feeling more connected with yourself.  Our hope and goal is that your time at Saffron translates into an ever deepening relationship with and understanding of yourself.   
 
Among Saffron's faculty and staff, we know firsthand that one's relationship to oneself can be filled with ups and downs. We aren't immune to the inner struggles that our friends, colleagues, and students experience.  We also know that these struggles are an important and valuable part of life's journey, and are things to embrace.  

Name | Meg Kline

Occupation | Petsitter and Student

How long have you been at Saffron? I started dance classes at Saffron in the Fall semester of 2012, then in 2013 started participating in Chiftitelli Company, and Persian Performance classes. Now I am a member of the Beledi company, and have done Persian Performance several times.

Why Belly Dance? My very first time seeing bellydance was when Saffron was performing at Clarendon Day several years ago, and I was totally entranced by everything about it. I loved the music, costumes and movement, and I knew I absolutely had to start bellydancing! Hearing Saphira say that many of the performers were students who participated in performance companies made made me so excited to take classes, and I absolutely had the goal of being in a company some day. To me it is the most exciting, enjoyable dance form I have ever participated in or seen.


Welcome Bagoas!

  • by Saphira
  • Jan 09, 2015

One of my primary motivations for dedicating myself to belly dance is for the opportunity to help women feel better about themselves - both inside and outside the studio.  So it would be rather inauthentic to conceal that I was not sure how bringing on our first male faculty member at Saffron would feel given the unique environment that we are committed to cultivating.   It is true that we have had long & fruitful relationships with other male adjunct faculty who present workshops and perform from time to time - but to have a male faculty with us full time in this sea of femininity... how would he handle it and how would he be received?  That is when we met Bagoas.  


Name | Sara

Occupation | Business Development Officer (writer and reader of many emails, tracker of all things)

How long have you been at Saffron? Since the Dawn of Time (also known as 4 years) 

Why Belly Dance? I think what initially drew me to belly dance was the fact that I wasn't body conscious doing it. I come from a family of athletes, cheerleaders and gymnasts. While my interests ran towards being outdoors, horseback riding and camping, growing up with sisters that could do more pull ups than Marine trainees was intimidating. I always felt a bit like the odd one out, but not while belly dancing.   


Name | Catherine 

Occupation | Attorney

Why bellydance? I work out a lot, but I've found that bellydance gives me a different way of both challenging my body and appreciating my body.

How long have you been at Saffron? A little over 6 years.

How did you find Saffron Dance, and what keeps you coming back?  I had taken ballet casually when I was a child, and I wanted to get back into that.  When I started with BalletNova, they were in the midst of moving their studio and were renting space from Saffron.  I'd come to my ballet classes and see the bellydance classes going on and think, "That looks like fun too!"  I keep coming back because as much as I love bellydance, I love the people at Saffron even more.  I originally moved to the D.C. area for a job and thought it would be a short-term stay and I'd be on my way soon.  For various reasons, I've ended up staying in the area far longer than I'd anticipated.  Still, it never felt like "home".  Then I found Saffron.  Saffron and my wonderful friends there make this place home.<--break-><--break->


Name |  Holly aka Supernova Fabulosity In Extremis 
Occupation |  Canine Behaviorist/Construction Project Manager aka Cat Herder
Time at Saffron | 10 Months

Why bellydance? Because it allows me to be Who I Am Without Reproach and so little in life allows us that. 


The Virtues of Collaboration

  • by Saphira
  • Oct 21, 2014

Growing a studio community is starkly similar to raising a child.  And because my own son's age is that of the studio, I often think of the studio's development stages as parallel to that of my almost eight-year-old son.  As other moms can surely attest, many of the attributes that a child demonstrates at even the youngest ages frequently become more pronounced as that child develops.  As the studio is also beginning its 8th year, I am seeing the growing presence of a particularly touching attribute within the community - that of collaboration.  


Name |  Kara
Occupation |  Accountant
Time at Saffron | Five years

Why bellydance?  It started as a fun way to help strengthen my core and exercise.

How did you find Saffron Dance, and what keeps you coming back?  I found Saffron on the internet.  I love the dance, the exercise and the friendships I’ve made over the years.


Names | Judy & Jackee
Occupations | Legal secretary (Judy) & legal assistant (Jackee)
Time at Saffron | 8 years

Why belly dance? 
Judy: I started belly dancing because I love to dance and wanted to try something new, because I loved the music and the varied rhythms.  Of course a big plus was you don't need a partner (and I have always had a soft spot for glitter and bright colors).


Saffronita Day

  • by Saphira
  • May 20, 2014

There are so many wonderful things I could say about what this weekend's Saffronita Day revealed about our community, but I think it would be better heard directly from some of our own Saffronitas...  


If you read Saffron's Mission & Values, you'll notice that "community" and "collaboration" are two of our five Core Values.  We aim to use these values as guidelines by which we make decisions, design our programming, and conceptualize our role as a studio.  This weekend we hosted "Wanderlust," a very special Salla show that perfectly reflected the values of community and collaboration and reminded me of why we make it a point to recognize the importance of these ideals.


Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of my role at Saffron is having the honor of working with our amazing teachers. And while we continue to attract and grow new talent, we occasionally have to bid farewell to members of our faculty.  Today I would like to take the opprtunity to say goodbye to Adriane and Tesia, two wonderful Saffron teachers who are transitioning to new opportunities and opening new chapters in their lives.  But before they go I thought it only right to honor them as our Saffronitas of the Month and to share with you why and how they inspire us.


The women who comprise this community continue to amaze, delight, humble and humor me.  We created the concept of a "Saffronita" a little over a year ago. You know, a woman who shimmies in unexpected places and leaves trails of glitter in her wake.  You can recognize her because she is generous in spirit, artistically supportive and comfortable in her skin. What we didn’t realize was how many our Saffronitas found extensions of this definition lovingly and humorously in their everyday lives so I wanted to share some of their feedback.


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