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


Viktorina Kapitonova in "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" (photo by Ryan Capstick, courtesy Corey Baker Dance)

Please Enjoy the Quarantine Genius of “Swan Lake Bath Ballet”

That old saying about limitations breeding creativity—hat tip to Orson Welles—has never felt more relevant than in these lockdown days. Here's the latest brilliant dance project born (hatched?) of quarantine restrictions: "Swan Lake Bath Ballet," a contemporary take on the classic featuring 27 A-list ballet dancers performing from their own bathtubs.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search