Saffron is my guilty pleasure, escape from the craziness of life and my sanctuary. -Sarah

What inspired you to join a Student Company? I felt compelled to join a Student Company, specifically a Tribal company, after taking my first performance class in late 2014. Bellydancing was new to me, but I enjoyed performing Tribal choreography and being part of a strong and constructive female group.  I was a gymnast for a long time, so it was a breath of fresh air to dance with people I wasn’t competing against and for people who weren’t taking deductions.  After that class, I was more familiar with Saffron studio and the Student Company idea.  I saw it as a deeper commitment to learning and personal growth, and I could hardly wait to audition for Tribal.

Did you have any special goals for yourself this year? How did your Company experience help you achieve them? This year was my first in a Student Company, and my goal was to just enjoy it!  I tend to become fairly intense about musciality, proper form, isolating the right muscles, and on and on.  The way Tribal emphasizes these aspects of dance, but also weaves them into the overall group dynamic, really helped me keep from getting lost in my own corrections.  All of us individually fed into a larger experience, and, every time we met for rehearsals or classes, I found joy in the doing – not just in the end production.

 
What do you love most about being backstage at the Gonda Theater on show day? Backstage at Gonda, I love hearing everyone else’s music and watching their choreography.  The moment when our company starts lining up in the wings is probably my favorite part, though.  Everyone is going through their own last-minute thoughts, and I always wonder if someone is thinking something completely unrelated to what we’re about to do…..like, how many of these ropes could I climb without my arms giving out?  Honestly, I do.  I guess it’s my way of keeping adrenaline from taking over.
 
Do you have any special pre-performance rituals? I don’t have any special pre-performance rituals, but I do have to remind myself to stay hydrated constantly throughout the day.
 
What's your favorite Company memory from this year? My favorite Company memory from this year was learning to zil.  It was tough to zil on top of the choreography, but we all stayed devoted to the process and tried our best.  As we kept practicing and encouraging each other, we improved the zil patterns and had a more cohesive sound.  To me, this was a perfect example of how the Tribal company’s group dynamic is as much a part of the performance as the technical movements. 
 
What do you love most about being in a Student Company? The part I most appreciate about Student Companies is that I’m constantly learning – choreography, individual backgrounds, group dynamics, communication, Tribal bellydance history, etc.  Saffron teachers and dancers are generous and confident people, and I am lucky to be able to learn from their curiosity and life experience.
 

For more about Masmoudi, click here.  

 

The Saffron Dance Student Company Program was created to provide dancers who seek to deepen their study with on-going choreography development and performance opportunities.  Currently home to ten resident companies, from beginners to pre-professional level dancers and representing a broad range of belly dance styles, the Student Company program constitutes an integral element of the overall dance experience.  Dancers are placed within a group of students who are in a similar place in their dance journey and development.  Because members enjoy participation for one year, they experience enhanced artistic and personal benefits that come from sharing a joint commitment to a common goal, working with a consistent choreographer, and developing friendships that flourish outside of the studio environment. 

Click here to learn more about the Student Company program, including how to join and member requirements. Ready to take the plunge? Register for a Technique Assessment here