Saffron is my guilty pleasure, escape from the craziness of life and my sanctuary. -Sarah

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?
In 2009 was looking for a dance class that would be different from anything I had taken before. When I came to Saffron for my first intro class, I accidentally wound up in the wrong studio where a higher level class was going on -- after warm up we launched immediately into material that I had never seen before. Luckily the teacher saw my confusion and got me to the right room! After getting a sneak preview I was even more excited to start!
 
Why have you stuck with belly dance for so long? What keeps you coming back?
I love the expressiveness and variability of the movement. Belly dance also challenges me physically and artistically and pushes me to improve as a dancer.
 
How has teaching changed your relationship to the dance?
I think teaching has definitely made me a more thoughtful dancer and choreographer. Teaching has made me approach movements in many different ways, both physical and analytical.
 
When did you know you wanted to teach belly dance? Was the transition from student to teacher difficult?
I honestly had never thought about teaching until Saphira approached me about teaching the Persian class. It wasn't something that had ever crossed my mind, but once I started, I really fell in love with it.
 
Who are your biggest artistic inspirations? 
I find a lot of inspiration in music -- Yo Yo Ma is a favorite of mine. From the dance world, Misty Copeland really inspires me as a dancer and performer.
 
Aside from belly dance, what do you do to stay active? 
Walkin & hiking.
 

Do you have a significant other?  How does he feel about belly dance?
I do! My husband (Dan) is very supportive of my involvement in belly dance.
 

Embarrasing performances.  We all have 'em.  What's your most memorable performance faux pas?

How to choose? While performing a Turkish line dance at a festival in Albuquerque, my necklace got caught on a costume embellishment at my wrist. I kept choking myself throughout the dance when I had to stand upright and hold hands with the next person in line.
 
What's your day job? Do your coworkers know you teach and perform belly dance?
Engineer by day, dancer by night! Some of my coworkers know that I'm also a dance teacher and performer.

Aside from dance what other hobbies keep you busy?
I started sewing several years ago and have been doing it ever since. I also love to travel! On the tentative schedule for next year are Japan, Iceland, and Denmark.
 
Just for fun: what TV shows are currently top of your list?
Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Jane the Virgin
 
Any pets?  Tell us about them!
Nope! But I do have several plants that are currently not dead. Baby steps.
 
Lastly, tell us one fun fact about you that people may not know :-p
I love the aquarium! My first date with my husband was at the New England Aquarium in Boston and we got engaged at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.