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

Returning to Your Roots

  • by Saphira
  • Feb 07, 2014

I can’t begin to express how excited I am to return to the Kennedy Center for this evening's Alvin Ailey performance.  The Alvin Ailey Dance Company has been an inspiration to me personally and an influence on me artistically since I first saw them when I began my own modern dance journey at the age of 13. That’s right Saffronitas, I actually had a dance life before belly dance!  So much of why I fell in love the genre of work that Alvin Ailey reflects has also been evident in my journey for belly dance as an art form.


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.


50 Ways to Love Morocco

  • by Saphira
  • Jul 27, 2015

This April, Saffron Dance journeyed to Morocco to explore, dance, discover and unwind.  On behalf of the twenty-five dancers, spouses and faculty who joined us, I can collectively say that we returned with a newly discovered affection and curiosity for this magnificent country and region.  For most of us, this was our first trip to Morocco, a place that had been at the top of our collective bucket lists for quite some time.  From the camels to the cuisine, to the souks and scents of the medina, to the architecture and artisanship, we loved everything about our entire experience. 


Heather's Story: Ayoub Student Company

What inspired you to join a Student Company?
I had taken Performance classes for several sessions at Saffron and loved the way they challenged me to move beyond drills and technique.  Learning (and remembering) choreography made me think in new and different ways, and I really enjoyed working with the women in class as a group. I was also getting a lot of encouragement from friends at Saffron and my son who loves to come to the Saffron shows. The next step was to join a Student Company (also the allure of sparkles helped!).  I was a member of Chiftitelli for two years and am currently a member of Ayoub. <--break->


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. 
 

#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.  

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.  


I was thrilled with the turnout for our first ever Commit to Grow Assessments this weekend.  Faculty & staff had invested hours of thoughtfulness in how to ensure that dancers would receive the most comprehensive and custom feedback, and I was so excited to present this material to the group.  Like anything that one tries for the first time, some things worked out as expected and some things were a surprise. 


There are two questions that we like to periodically ask our students.  For brand new dancers, we ask,  "Why belly dance and why now?" - that itself could yield several blog entries.  But we also ask returning dancers, "What is the most surprising aspect of your dance experience and how has it revealed itself since coming to Saffron?"   

One of the loveliest answers to this question came from a newer dancer now in the studio for a little over 5 months.  She saw me whizzing through one of the studios and as I stopped for a quick hello she revealed something SO powerful to me about her experience at Saffron.   


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