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

Katie's Story: Chiftitelli Student Company

What inspired you to join a Student Company?
My previous roommate was in a Student Company for the last couple of years, and she would tell me how nice it is to get to know the girls in your Company on a deeper level. With a Student Company, you are in class with the other girls at least twice a week, and you really strengthen your relationship with each other and get to know one another better. I wanted to have more friendships within Saffron, and  joining a Company was the perfect solution!
Did you have any special goals for yourself this year? How did your Company experience help you achieve them?
One of my goals was to learn how to belly dance in a choreography and being in Chiftitelli has strengthened my dance tremendously.  When learning to dance to a song, you have to work on your facial expressions and learn different moves so it captivates the audience while on stage.  This has been something I continuously work on and hope to develop further in my dancing on stage. 
Describe your role as Rehearsal Captain. How has leading your Company helped you grow?
The Rehearsal Captain's main responsibility is to make sure the group knows the dance routine and make sure we have a good flow in rehearsals. My confidence within my own dancing has grown because I have to make sure I understand the dance to show up prepared for our rehearsals.

In the beginning of the year, Chiftitelli had many girls who had never performed on stage, and it is very gratifying to see that they are more self assured within their dance. Almost everyone decided to perform in multiple choreographies in "Casbah."  It makes me happy to see that the other girls enjoyed their previous show experience and wanted to enhance their dance even more!
What do you love most about being backstage at the Gonda Theater on show day?
The best part about Gonda is that everyone gets ready together. We all put our makeup on and share previous show stories -- it's like a slumber party!  It is also amazing how everyone is supportive and helps each other on performance day.  It doesn't matter what level anyone is, everyone helps each other out with quick changes, make up tips, hair styling, etc. It really shows how much everyone cares for each other and wants the best on performance day!
Do you have any special pre-performance rituals?
I don't really have any pre-performance rituals, but I always like practicing on stage the day of the show. Dancing on stage is quite different than practicing at the studio, and I think knowing the stage really helps us get more prepared for the real show.
What's your favorite Company memory from this year?
My favorite memory was when Chiftitelli all went to a local restaurant a week after the first show ended.  It was so nice to spend time with everyone and talk about how we enjoyed the show together!
What do you love most about being in a Student Company?
I love the relationships you make with the other girls throughout the year. The Chiftitelli girls have become some of my very close friends throughout this past year!

For more about Chiftitelli, click here.  


The Saffron Dance Student Company Program was created to provide dancers who seek to deepen their study with on-going choreography development and performance opportunities.  Currently home to ten resident companies, from beginners to pre-professional level dancers and representing a broad range of belly dance styles, the Student Company program constitutes an integral element of the overall dance experience.  Dancers are placed within a group of students who are in a similar place in their dance journey and development.  Because members enjoy participation for one year, they experience enhanced artistic and personal benefits that come from sharing a joint commitment to a common goal, working with a consistent choreographer, and developing friendships that flourish outside of the studio environment. 

Click here to learn more about the Student Company program, including how to join and member requirements. Ready to take the plunge? Register for a Technique Assessment here