Name or Dance Name | Lauren/Lilah
Occupation | Climate Change Project Manager
Why bellydance? So many reasons! To stay active, learn to move more gracefully, tap into your artistic side, learn about stage makeup and hair, bolster your sewing skills (and get more comfortable with sequins and sparkles!), become less inhibited by learning to perform, build amazing friendships based on teamwork and shared goals and experiences, and take all this self-confidence and positivity out into the other parts of your life.
How long have you been at Saffron? Over two years now
How did you find Saffron Dance, and what keeps you coming back? After finishing grad school, I needed a new active hobby and a place to meet new friends outside of school. One of my Facebook friends was a belly dancer, and I loved her performance photos and posts about the dance community. I took the plunge and googled belly dance classes, and to my surprise Saffron was just a few blocks from my apartment! What brought me back at first was the desire to have an outlet for artistic expression as well as a place for setting goals and accomplishments outside of work. What brings me to Saffron four or five days a week now is the really special community of women who both challenge me to be better and support me through both dance and life.
What were your thoughts after your first class? "Hey, I can actually DO this!" I love that the Crash Courses culminate in a choreography to give you a taste of how you can put all these new movements together into a real art. I remember coming home to show my husband and him being surprised that I already knew a whole song!
Tell us about your experience in Student Company and working closely with faculty and fellow dancers? Student Company was truly my first experience in a "team sport", and I loved having a constant group of people with whom I could tackle the choreography and learn how to perform.The immersive, year-long experience lets you build trust with both the other students and instructor so that you can really focus on growing your dance in a consistent and safe space. The faculty is always there for you, constantly challenging you with new moves, props, and dance styles until one day you walk into class and realize "oh that impossible movement is easy now" and "I CAN do a five minute choreography!" I also love that Companies give you a chance to meet new people of different backgrounds and ages - rehearsals are always a hoot and many of my fellow dancers are now dear friends!
Any future goals? My 2017 goal is to choreograph and perform a solo or duo at a PDC!*
*Update: Lauren choreographed and performed her first duet at the February PDC!
How she inspires us | Come across Lauren in a technique class, and she may seem quiet and unassuming. But don't let that calm exterior fool you - rest assured she is 100% invested and all the wheels are turning. Having Lauren in Student Company this year has allowed me to appreciate the subtle ways she reveals her passion for dance and love for her fellow dancers. Once you work with her, you start to notice the thoughtful questions, the appetite for learning, the kind spirit, and the team player. Lauren is always willing to lend a helping hand and gives back 3 fold what she takes - be that a last minute Studio Assistant sub, or volunteering her husband for a cameo role in a belly dance show! So here's to our March Saffronita of the Month!