This year I am celebrating my 25th year of running my school and my company. I have learned much from this time. One thing that I realized is that notevery body comes to flamenco class to learn flamenco.
One time a student came to me after class and spoke privately to me. She shared with me something that was quite difficult. She went on to thank me for the classes. She enjoyed the way I used humour to break down the stress and also the way I encourage people to reach their goals. She said my classes offered her a temporary escape from her reality. I was more thankful to her for sharing this information with me than I think she knew. Not that I taught my classes haphazardly. Quite the opposite. I go in with and objective every time. I walk in I sence the energy in the room and I start to work. No one gets left behind everyone is considered and we all work together.
As a flamenco dancer training as far back as 1970s to the 1990s you would've been exposed to some pretty harsh teaching tactics that included brutal physical drill work sometimes on ill suited floors and poorly ventilated studios but mostly you would've been exposed to the psychological Fineline of abuse. Highly competitive environments. Being told that you're too slow too fat, too short too tall to stiff too loose never good enough. And yet you would return the next day for more. Very few survive this and those that did either continued to teach their own students in the future like that or others learned that there's a better way.
Alongside my flamenco career I also have a BA in psychology. I worked as a therapist for 25 years with people with disabilities. I also worked in probation and parole with Canadian correctional services for one year. I've learned a thing or two about working with people and how to get the best out of them in the most difficult circumstances.
I spend more time with my students than I do with my family and friends. While I respect the professional line of friendship I do care for my students and I'd like to know that my students are doing well and if not I'd like to know how I can help. I have an open door policy. I believe that no one teacher can teach everything and so when students train elsewhere and then come back I'm happy to see them again. I'm also happy to further contribute to their training.
I feel honoured and blessed to be able to do what I do for a living which is teach and perform flamenco for a living. I am my own boss and so I can control my working environment. I prefer to live in harmony and I run my classes in a way that is fun, encouraging,goal oriented and inclusive.
My own studio is set up in the way that invites people in and offers them a place where they can learn and enjoy themselves.
There is a strong relaxed vibe in my studio. A place where you can be at peace and create. Explore your emotions investigate your ideas.
Think about all the places that you go to on a regular basis and how they make you feel. I believe that when we frequent places of comfort more often we will be happier and productive. I look forward every time a new person walks into my studio. It is very much as if I am inviting them into my home.
Check out my schedule. If you are new to flamenco look for me on groupon.