Ida Saki Talks Training, Challenges, and Her Keys to Success

Former Dance Spirit Cover Model Search winner and all-around goddess, Ida Saki, is one of those rare dancers that captivates on every level. Not only are we obsessed with her silky smooth contemporary moves and impossibly gorgeous lines (those feet!! 😍 ), but we're just as obsessed with what she has to say.


And in this recent Huffington Post article, she says a lot. The site profiled Saki for their series dedicated to highlighting prominent Iranian-Americans. She discussed her dance background and training, her favorite charitable causes, and what it's like to be an Iranian-American.

Here are our favorite dance gems from the interview:

What has been your personal key to success? What were the biggest inspirations for your career?

Constant hard work and dedication. I was constantly researching what I could do better at every stage. My family was very supportive of me which made me push even harder, because I wanted to make them proud. I will never forget the time when I was practicing a dance step in my living room and broke down because I couldn't get it right. My dad had walked in just then, and promised me if I practiced every day at least ten times, I would get it. Sure enough, he was right.

I was always inspired by the people around me. I would watch videos of dancers online and be inspired, but the people that pushed me to the next level were the people right next to me.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?

This career is never-ending work. There have been many times that I have come so close to an opportunity that I thought was perfect, but I didn't get it for various reasons. It always hurts to hear no, but you learn to keep going and become stronger.

How did you develop your unique style as a dancer?

I was really encouraged by my teachers to find my own voice as a dancer and as a person. I spent a lot of time improvising in order to find the way my body wanted to move.

What advice would you offer someone considering a career as a professional dancer?

The dance world is full of so many different opportunities with their own separate communities. You can work to be a versatile dancer, or you can choose to hone in on one world and do as much as you can in that scope. Neither is right nor wrong, but do what you want to do and not what you feel like you have to. You may have to work a little harder, but don't sell yourself short by doing something you don't feel is you.

Head over to the Huffington Post to read the full piece.

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search