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Meet Neggin Rostamnezhad and Kimia Kordestani of Aftab Dance Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neggin Rostamnezhad and Kimia Kordestani.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Aftab Dance Group is an Iranian dance group run by students and young professionals in the Boston area. The group has been performing at various cultural events in the Greater Boston and New England area for over 15 years. Aftab hopes audiences can experience the beauty of Iran’s diverse and rich culture through a medley of traditional and modern Iranian dance.

The name “Aftab” is a Farsi term that means Sun. Our name was spontaneously created before the group’s first performance when we were asked about the name of the group. One of the original members looked up at the sun which was emerging through the rain and clouds, felt it was very applicable to us, and subsequently named the group on the spot.

Over the years, the group has grown in size and so has the amount of show requests we receive. We have been able to travel the US and perform for different cultural audiences and have been leveraging the power of social media to promote our dances. Each year we try to elevate our dances to the next level by thinking of different styles to integrate and using a mix of classic traditional songs along with fan favorites. Being part of a strong network of Iranians in the community has been wonderful to get involved in different events and meet others around the world.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
From our perspective, if it’s easy, then there’s more we could be doing. We are always looking for ways to take the group one step further.

Over the past 10 years in the group, there has been a growing interest in the group both from an audience perspective and interest in membership of the group. As leaders of the group, we have been there through different changes in leadership and changes in styles or structure. I think each member can bring something to the table and it is important to find what that is and collaborate as a group to reach our goals. By trial and error you learn what methods and practices might not work for the group but then there are some traditions and routines you keep in place that have been working for years.

There are definitely challenges faced when we are responsible for so many facets of the business’s success behind the scenes, such as choreography, costume selection, contract management, performance scheduling, and team morale, but it is a passion project for us so it is worth the hard work.

Aftab Dance Group – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
At its core, The Aftab Dance Group is a vehicle by which we can share our passion for the Iranian culture with the greater community and bring an audience together by way of dance. Persian dance has so many different styles and over the years we have challenged ourselves to take on as many as we can and keep the performances entertaining.

Every dancer has a different background, some technically trained, and some with an innate love for dance, and each of us has a different strength. Together we form a group of strong women who work hard to put on an unforgettable performance. We are most proud of our brand and how it has grown each year with each performance. What sets us apart is our ability to raise the bar every year and keep thinking of ways to elevate our shows to provide a quality dance every time.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It is hard to choose from all of our successes as a group over the past decade, but we feel proudest when faces of the community tell us that they want their daughters to learn from us or that there is no one like us in New England. That is always a pleasure to hear and helps us strive to continue improving and making an impact on the community.

Contact Info:

 
Image Credit:

Nazir Abbas, Ashlight Photography

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