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Bliss Urban Arts Center has been a dream of founder Fatena “Fae” Salfiti for a long time. Salfiti grew up San Francisco, where she was a self-taught young & ambitious dancer. Growing up in a middle eastern family (1st generation Palestinian-American), dancing was the last thing her family expected her to pursue. So once she turned 16 and got a job, she put herself in dance classes and became independent and self-sufficient financially. She knew if she was going to prove that she can reach her goals and get family support, she’d have to go hard at it to make something happen. She moved to Vacaville with her family after finishing her AA in Psychology and receiving her certificate in African American Heritage Dance Forms from City College of San Francisco in 2001. Salfiti spent 2 years building her name by teaching classes literally all over Solano County, she knew not a single person here and networked from scratch. She created Bliss Rec Program in 2002 and started Bliss Dance Company in 2004. At the same time, Salfiti was attending Solano College’s Actor Training Program (2005 graduate) as well as attending Sacramento State University (2008 graduate BA in Theatre Arts) and working opening shifts for Starbucks for 3 years during that time. She rented space at several local locations until 2011, when she was able to “quit her day job” and open her business in her own space. BDC finally had a home to call their own and the stability was a relief. Salfiti is a true example of having “a dollar and a dream” as she pursued all these goals with no financial help or business guidance from family or many friends as well as putting herself through 9 years of college all on a dance check. Now, with several teams in BDC, a full schedule of classes at BUAC and a successful recreational program, Salfiti is ready to hustle harder. With goals of getting into a larger building and expanding/adding more art programs, Salfiti has high ambitions to create even more opportunities for her students and all the people she comes across. Throughout all these years, she’s produced hundreds of shows and events, gave hundreds of people their “start” in the music and dance world, managed artists, created networks for artists, and has opened doors for many since she moved to Vacaville. Salfiti always knew she wanted to “be the person to young people that she wish she had growing up” but never knew she’d be living in her passion and purpose through something she was told and thought was “just a hobby”. Salfiti takes pride in her students and treats them no less than family, community means more to her than clout. However, BDC is highly competitive and a consistent award-winning company who’s trained in more than just hip hop and is taught not only dance and theatre technique, but life lessons on the daily. “Once you’re apart of Bliss, you’re apart of me” - Fatena “Fae” Salfiti

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