Thank you to all the instructors for changing my life in so many amazing ways. -Jade

Teacher Feature: Dona

  • by Saphira
  • Oct 18, 2016
A graduate of Saffron's Teacher Training program, Dona is a powerhouse of infectious energy and good vibrations.  You'll find her here at the studio teaching O1 and O2 classes, as well as her heart-pumping Shimmy Shakedown classes.  When not teaching, she continues honing her skills as a member of Maqsoum Student Company and Saffron Dance Company.  Recently we had a chance to chat with Dona to learn a bit more about her life, both in and out of the studio.
 

Name | Valerie
 
Occupation | Examiner
 
Why belly dance? | It's a long story...but the opportunity to learn a new dance-form of expression definitely plays a factor.
 
How long have you been at Saffron? | Two years this past June.
 

Dance Name | Sa'diyah

Occupation | Business Intelligence Developer

Why bellydance? | I've always loved dance but couldn't take lessons as a child.  I dabbled with some classes as an adult but nothing really clicked.  I stumbled onto the show Shimmy and my interest was peaked and when I took a bellydance class through my local parks and rec I was hooked.

How long have you been at Saffron? | 6 1/2 years 


What inspired you to join a Student Company? I had been taking technique classes and really enjoying them, and had promised myself I would never have to actually go on stage and perform. Except that one of the reasons I had tried belly dance in the first place was to do something that would take me completely out of my comfort zone. Yet here I was again, defining the limits of what I was comfortable doing. It was time for me to go beyond that comfort zone again.

What inspired you to join a Student Company? I felt compelled to join a Student Company, specifically a Tribal company, after taking my first performance class in late 2014.


Name | Livia LeRynn

Occupation | Mild mannered paper pushing government bureaucrat by day, modern Amazon by night.

How long have you been at Saffron? Just over five years.

Why Belly Dance? I was looking to try something new and completely different after earning my taekwondo blackbelt.   Belly dance fit the bill. I liked the idea of having a bellydancer's level of hip and torso control to go with my martial artist's hand and foot control. I also liked the idea that unlike other styles of dance, I could start as a fully formed adult without having my age limit my performance and career potential.  Now I enjoy the range of creative and expressive options bellydance (esp. Tribal) offers. I can adapt it to any type of character. 


Name | Laurie (Laila)

Occupation | Department of Justice Account Leader for Ernst & Young

How long have you been at Saffron? One and a half years.

Why Belly Dance? I went to high school in the Middle East and have such fond memories. While there, I fell in love with the music and dance, and it has always stuck with me ever since.   


Name | Bernadette (Dance Name: Zabrina)

Occupation | Attorney

How long have you been at Saffron? 3 1/2 years

Why Belly Dance? I've been drawn to Belly Dance as long as I can remember.  My mom took me to some classes when I was a kid, and we would listen to her records. I remember listening to George Abdo and Enrico Macias all the time. I loved the music, and I still do. There's something about it that really speaks to the soul.   


Name | Alyssa

Occupation | Construction Estimator

Why belly danceI adore this art form because it's a beautiful, expressive, joyful celebration of women.  I love it because it is so welcoming of all people, regardless of age, shape, or background.  One of my best memories in the studio is being told "great reverb!" - I don't think I've had a bigger smile on my face.  Sometimes in life people discover something that fits who they are, or makes them a better person, and I'm very fortunate to have found that at Saffron.  


Name | Grace and going with Graciella as a dance name for now.

Occupation | I’m a consultant with Deloitte and founder of my own company called Six Arrows Group.

How long have you been at Saffron? I’ve been at Saffron 4 ½ years. Wow, that went by fast!

Why belly dance? Belly dance is a fun, soul-fulfilling, and beautiful art form that anyone and ANY BODY can do! And even better, ANY age can learn it - I started when I was 38! As if these weren’t good enough reasons, there are options with different styles and stylizations that give belly dance such a deep richness. You can’t get bored and the creative options are endless. Most important of all, you will learn to love yourself and your body, reduce those insecurities and negative thoughts, do things you never thought possible, and embrace yourself! 


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