There is something very relaxing about meeting up with friends after a long day to dance your hearts out... -Stacey

Name | Diane Nees

Occupation | Legal Assistant/Paralegal

How long have you been at Saffron? 2 1/2 years.

Why Belly Dance? Bellydance came to me at a time in my life was doing an almost complete makeover - I turned 50, started a new (old) career after 11 years in the public school system, AND my daughter left for college.  The only bellydance I had ever encountered was in movies or on TV, so it was completely unexpected.  Bellydance has changed me in so many positive ways. 


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->


Be Wayward.

  • by Saphira
  • Nov 13, 2014
So most Saffronitas know that we have a slight adoration for camels around the studio and an informal mascot named Wayward.  And like other aspects of the Saffron culture, Wayward's name is most certainly not an accident.  
The first definition in Webster's of "wayward" is "following one's own capricious, wanton, or depraved inclinations."  And though upon first glance, this is not the most complimentary of definitions,  further uses of the term explain that it describes "behaving, doing or acting opposite to what is [sic] . . . expected."  I know, I know, most of you reading this have already concluded that being wayward has some sort of negative connotation, but that is not how I see it.  For me, being wayward means knowing that there may be a herd mentality, but you can walk, dance or in my case "shimmy" in your own direction.  


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. 


Saffron Goes Tribal!

  • by Saphira
  • Oct 24, 2014

Beginning January 2015, we are proud to officially announce that Wild Saffron, a newly-launched Tribal Fusion dance company that debuted at this year's Tribal Fest, will land at Saffron Dance as our resident professional level Tribal Fusion company.  Wild Saffron will be directed by Bellydance Superstars Artistic Director, Moria Chapell, also adjunct faculty at Saffron and lead for the studio's growing Tribal Fusion program.


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).


Name | Jade
Occupation | Environmental Scientist
Time at Saffron | Three years
 
Why bellydance? | If you had told me I'd be on stage bellydancing a few years ago, I probably would have laughed at you.  Before coming to Saffron, I'd never taken a dance class in my life, but I've found I really love this dance and now can't imagine my life without it.  Bellydance has taught me a lot about myself; it's been a physical, emotional, and mental journey and one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.  Learning that the most well-executed and effortless-looking movements necessitate real strength, control, and hours of practice has been a humbling and rewarding experience.  I know there will always be something new to learn or with which to challenge myself.  Most of all, it's gone a long way in teaching me how to practice better self kindness and forgiveness.  


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