You can come to belly dancing with no prior dance and learn a fun and enjoyable dance. -Grace

Name | Sarah Belaustegui aka "Zaina"

Occupation | Operations Director

How long have you been at Saffron? 6 glorious years!

Why Belly Dance?  It gives me a creative outlet to build strength, coordination, and awesome friendships.


Name | Amy Laughter

Occupation | U.S. Government

How long have you been at Saffron? 3 years.

Why belly dance? My Mom and I attended a Bellydance Superstars show a few years ago back home in Georgia. I was immediately intrigued by the dance form and wanted to learn more. I started “teaching” myself by using intructional belly dance DVDs and books. When I moved to DC, I took my first formal class, and I was hooked! It’s amazing to take actual classes from such talented instructors! 


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.


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.


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->


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. 


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.


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