Saffron Dance is the best part of my week, my month, my year! -Judy
Dance Name | Eleni
Why belly dance? I began exploring belly dance as a way to get active and dance for fun. The music, the joyful and feminine movements, and its Middle Eastern and Mediterranean heritage appealed to me. Now, I love being able to access the techniques and feeling of belly dance and Egyptian dance to express myself as I continue to grow in the dance. I hope to continue studying this rich art form.
How long have you been at Saffron? I’ve been taking classes at Saffron for about four and a half years. In addition to belly dance and Egyptian dance, I’ve had a lot of fun trying other dance styles through Saffron’s dance fitness offerings, including Samba, Zoca, Zumba, and Bollywood.
What were your thoughts after your first class? My first class was Saphira’s 4-week crash course. I really enjoyed the movements and learning the mini choreography. It felt very natural, and I was impressed with her teaching. I knew I wanted to learn more. After some oriental technique, I tried out one of Faten’s folkloric classes and was immediately drawn to the authentic Egyptian music and joyful dances.
Can you speak a bit about your experience in Student Company and working closely with faculty and fellow dancers?  

At Saffron, I have danced in Faten’s folkloric Student Company and in her oriental-style performance class and Student Company. I’ve also been fortunate to perform Faten’s choreographies as part of Al Massraweya, her original dance group. I feel lucky to be learning from a Master Egyptian Dance Instructor. She is so knowledgeable about the music and cultural origins of Egyptian dance, and her oriental style is energetic and expressive. In companies and performance classes, I really enjoy the opportunity to dance as a group. A full stage of dancers interacting with each other produces a dynamic performance. It’s very satisfying to experience Faten’s choreography process from class to stage. With her intuition for the movements and formations, she creates complex, exciting pieces for both the dancers and the audience. I’m also thankful that I’ve gotten to know so many great women and make strong friendships through my time dancing at Saffron.

How she inspires us | Since she started with me, I knew that Eleni would be a good dancer.  This is the reason I invited her to join my troupe, Al Massraweya, and to perform my repertoire.  Now, in Saffron Student Company, I can always count on Eleni to remember the choreography, grasp the proper technique, and express the musicality of the piece.  Her sensitive musical ear always impresses me and she is a student that others can look to for guidance and timing.  One other important factor makes her one of my best students: her charisma on stage.  When I watch the students - even in their rehearsals - she always captures my attention with her enthusiasm and genuine feeling.  She dances from her heart and soul.  Put simply, she has "the whole package". - Faten