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!
When did you first start belly dancing? What were your initial thoughts?
Back in 2003 I went my friend's brother engagement party and they had bellydancers. My first thought was this looks like fun, I want to try this!
Why have you stuck with belly dance for so long? What keeps you coming back?
I have stuck with belly dance because it brings me so much joy. I keep coming back because I am a work in progress and I want to learn and grow as a dancer. I just can't help myself, I just love it!
How has teaching changed your relationship to the dance?
Teaching has made me love dance even more if possible. Breaking down the movement for my students and I see their wheels turning and they finally get it. Gives me a greater appreciation for the dance.
When did you know you wanted to teach belly dance? Was the transition from student to teacher difficult?
I never knew I wanted to be a teacher, but when it was suggested to me, I thought "hey I can do this! I have something to give to our community." My transition had a slight learning curve, and I think the hardest thing was being out in front, instead of being in the background.
Who are your biggest artistic inspirations?
My biggest inspirations are Bozenka, Leila, and Fifi.
Aside from belly dance, what do you do to stay active?
To stay active I occasionally take Zumba, Asa, and Jazz.
What's your day job? Do your coworkers know you teach and perform belly dance?
Yes, I do. I am a Budget Analyst. My co-workers know I teach and perform. I have been caught on many occasions dancing down the hall or in the bathroom, taking advantage of mirror space.
Aside from dance what other hobbies keep you busy?
I am learning to knit!
Just for fun: what TV shows are currently top of your list?
Empire, Game of Thrones, Code Black
Lastly, tell us one fun fact about you that people may not know :-p
Not sure if it's a fun fact but something you may not know about me is that I am very sarcastic :-p