Name | Valerie
Occupation | Examiner
Why belly dance? | It's a long story...but the opportunity to learn a new dance-form of expression definitely plays a factor.
How long have you been at Saffron? | Two years this past June.
How did you find Saffron Dance, and what keeps you coming back? | I found Saffron while walking around with a friend on a Saturday afternoon. We saw small rugs through a window and we wondered if they were prayer mats. Then we saw two women tending to the little patio area and decided to ask them about the studio. This was how I met Saphira who told me about Saffron and invited us to a beginner's class with Dona the next day. We showed up for it and I thought, this is fun, I want to see more. So I kept on taking classes casually.
But then came Morocco where I discovered (discovered is the right word) Elena. Something about watching her dance and teach made me want to become more serious about it, to actually grow and become (I hope) a belly dancer. So I decided to do just that by taking more technique classes, and asking Elena to train me. A few months later, Linda asked me to fill in for a dancer in Kebir Student Company approximately two months before the June show... I was freaking out but still said yes, and I am SOOOOO glad I did! Learning Linda's cool veil choreography and being around encouraging Company members was rewarding and again made me want more. And so I keep on learning and growing with my resident instructors and fellow students, hoping to one day perform a solo at my studio and/or a hafla. Thank you Saffron for making me a belly dance addict!
How she inspires us | There aren't many people who would take off work to go on a weeklong retreat, halfway around the world, for a hobby they only discovered less than a year before. But Valerie is one of them. Ever since she found belly dance, she's approached it with remarkable passion and fearlessnes. It has been a joy to introduce her to different elements of the belly dance world and to see her take inititative to continue to explore and study, even outside of our studio. Valerie displays a discipline and a hunger for learning that inspires me a teacher, and reminds me of the invigorating joy of finding an art form that speaks to you. Here's to you Valerie for following your bliss and striving to be the best you can be!