The Washington Diplomat
Saphira, owner of Saffron Dance belly dance school in Arlington, Va., describes belly dancing as an amalgamation of folkloric dances from various parts of the Middle East. The goal of her school is to honor the movements and music in their original forms and contexts. Saphira does that by playing classical Egyptian music in her classes and explaining where a movement was born — for example, how a certain gesture was used in a port city to welcome the men back from sea.
"While no one country owns this concept of belly dance, Arabic cultures in many regions have contributed to it," said Saphira, who opened Saffron in September 2007. "The way that I personally describe it is that it is an art form and a dance form that has been given to us by generations and geographies of women and by being in the 'lineage' of the women, as we learn the dance form, we want to pay tribute to where the movement comes from originally.
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