Born in Vancouver, Melanie lived in Spain for part of her life where she developed a strong interest in Flamenco. Melanie built her foundation in dance with ballet, jazz and spanish dance at a young age. She began to focus more and more on Flamenco in 1989 when she started formal training with her most influential teachers, Rosario Ancer and Victor Kolstee of Centro Flamenco, and began teaching there in 1998. Since 1995 Melanie has appeared regularly in Flamenco Rosario productions including Raices, the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, Cuadro Flamenco and Flamenco Ayer y Hoy as well as in Vancouver Opera productions of Carmen and Romeo and Juliet.
In 2000, Melanie moved abroad where she continued to perform and to teach in Montreal from 2000-2004 and to study flamenco further while living in London (UK) and New York. Melanie has trained in Madrid, Seville and Jerez, as well outside of Spain with world renowned flamenco artists such as Rafaela Carrasco, La Tati, La Chiqui, Soledad Barrio, Manuel Reyes and and Isabel Bayon. She returned to Vancouver in 2008 and is delighted to be teaching at Centro Flamenco once again.
MICHELLE ZAHARIK was born in Regina and moved to Vancouver to pursue her academic studies, where she saw the Centro Flamenco advertisements on the buses every day as she traveled to UBC. When she finally made her way to the studio in 2008 and experienced the power and spirit of Flamenco she was hooked! Her music and dance experiences include classical choral singing, vocal jazz, musical theater, jazz and ballet. Michelle has enjoyed studying with Rosario and Victor and the wonderful teachers and guest artists at Centro Flamenco including Sabas Santos, Andres Pena, Mariano Cruceta, La Lupi and La Moneta. Michelle graduated from the Professional Training Program in 2013 and made her professional debut at “La Regeneración” at the Norman Rothstein Theatre the same year. She performs regularly for Centro Flamenco/Flamenco Rosario at community events and at Chai Lounge, and is excited to share her love for Flamenco with new students.
Yurie Kaneko was born and raised in Sapporo, Japan, before moving
to Vancouver in 2003. Her first encounter with flamenco was a live
performance at a local flamenco bar, instantly captivating Yurie by its
rhythm and energy.
Being inspired, she began her training in 2007 at Centro Flamenco.
Under the guidance and mentorship of Rosario Ancer and Victor
Kolstee, and of notable instructors at Centro including Bonnie Stewart,
Afifa Lahbabi, Melanie Meyers, and Nanako Aramaki, she
strengthened the skills and techniques required as a flamenco dancer,
and also developed a deeper understanding of flamenco as a living art
form. Additionally, she studied with a number of great artists, such as
Marién Luevano, Leonor Leal, La Lupi, La Moneta, Andres Peña,
Fernando Galan and Joaquin Grilo, to name a few.
In 2013, Yurie completed Flamenco Rosario’s 3-year intensive
Professional Training Program. Her most recent shows include “In
Studio Performance: REGENERACION” (16) and “Flamenqueando”
(16) as part of the Victoria Flamenco Festival 2016. She performs
regularly at various local venues and events while continuing her
training at Centro Flamenco.
The first time Katia experienced flamenco was years ago when she watched a live performance by local artists in her hometown in Lima, Peru. Katia was completely captivated by the energy of the music and dance and at that moment she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
Once in Canada, she joined Centro Flamenco in September 2007, soon after she was accepted in the Flamenco Rosario’s Professional Training Program. After graduating from the program she travel to Spain in 2011, 2012 and 2014 for a period of 6 weeks each time, where she took classes with renowned dancers/choreographers Alicia Marquez, Andres Peña, Adela Campallo, Leonor Leal, among others. She has also take workshops from the Flamenco Rosario’s Artist In Residence” program such as La Moneta, Olga Pericet, “La Lupi” and Joaquín Grilo. Katia keeps horning her skills at Centro Flamenco Katia made her professional debut at Chai in Dec 2012, and has joined Flamenco Rosario for a number of exiting performances, “Fast forward
Rewind 2015, “Regeneración” 2016, and “Flamenqueando” at the Victoria Flamenco Festival 2106.