Meet the Teachers!
Regular flamenco classes in Portland are primarily taught by Laura Onizuka. Both Julie Pacheco-Toye and Laura teach beginning level classes. Find out more about them below:
Laura Onizuka, recipient of a 2011 Regional Arts and Culture Council Professional Development Grant has become a conduit of flamenco in the Pacific Northwest organizing classes, workshops, and events for the community. She is motivated by teaching and loves learning, laughing, and growing alongside her students. Twice a year she takes groups of students from all over the world to Spain to experience flamenco in its birthplace and to continue her own study of this complex art form. Laura has trained with such esteemed artists as: Mercedes Ruíz, Jesus Carmona, Manuel Liñan, Marco Flores, Jesús Carmona, Olga Pericet, Pastora Galván, La Chiqui de Jerez, La Truco, Miguel Cañas, Matilde Coral, Inmaculada Ortega, Concha Jareño, Angeles Gabaldón, Alicia Márquez, Ricardo López, Emilio Ochando, Ana María López, Felipe Mato, Belén Maya, Javier Latorre, Karen Lugo, and María Bermúdez. She travels regularly to Spain to study, maintain her connection to flamenco’s roots, and to share her experiences with others. Laura is known for her strong technical skills, attention to detail, and passion as a performer and instructor. She is fueled by the challenge and beauty of flamenco and believes anyone who is moved by flamenco has the capability to access it. Find out more about Laura here.
Julie Pacheco-Toye (Julia)
As a child and teenager, Julie danced ballet, jazz, tap, and character/folk dances. In college she branched out to modern dance, salsa and merengue. As an adult, she found flamenco. It took hold of me and did not let go! This dance from the south of Spain is passionate, simultaneously graceful, soft, powerful, strong, soulful, and dramatic. It has a long history, its own culture and deep roots, and is more challenging but more rewarding than any other dance form Julie has experienced. She has studied with Mercedes Ruíz, Tatiana Ruíz and Ana María López in Jerez and Marichú in Granada. She’s been fortunate to take workshops in the US with Jesús Carmona, Inmaculada Ortega, Ricardo López, Emilio Ochando, Sol la Argentinita, María Pilar Blasco, Oscar Nieto, Adriana Maresma Fois, María López, and Fanny Ara. I have performed in and around Portland and at the Oregon Coast at various venues, private events, farmers’ markets, cultural events such as the World Beat Festival in Salem and the Feria de Portland, and dance festivals including the Groovin’ Greenhouse at the Polaris Dance Theatre, the Galaxy Dance Festival, and the Blue Sky Northwest Festival of the Dance Coalition of Oregon. You can learn more about Julie here.