"Laura, I love the vibe in your workshops and the mega talented and generous guest teachers/artists that you're able to bring to Portland. I am extra lucky to be able to take part!" - Shyiang Strong, Vancouver, Canada
"Laura, Just wanted to send a quick note of thanks--for bringing wonderful artists to Portland, your support, knowledge, laughter and grace--thank you!!! The last five days were so much fun, my brain is melted and I am inspired!" - Erica McCurnin, Portland, OR
Wowee! Read what people have to say about our guest instructors and performers...
"That was a FANTASTIC experience! I have done so very little flamenco in my lifetime, such that to be in the room with someone of his caliber was just unforgettable. I especially appreciated that he tried to push us to new levels, taking our ability to do better seriously. It is rare to find someone at his level of expertise who can actually break things down for beginners and teach patiently, encouragingly, and yet with high expectations for improvement." - Kelola McCrary
“I have been attending workshops for a number of years with Experience Flamenco. The workshops are always organized well and communication regarding payment and schedules are always timely. On a more personal note, the guest instructors are fantastic! This last workshop was taught by Emilio Ochando, he is a generous teacher with professional experience. I learned so much!! Within the workshops, Laura creates a sense of community- people from all over the US are able to come and dance together in a positive environment. What a gift we are given to study with so many excellent teachers!” - Kelli Brown
"If someone told me last December I would have fallen in love with flamenco I would have scoffed, but here I am! The past 4 days masterclass with the talented and amazing #jesuscarmona have been nothing short of mind blowing. Testing boundaries and taking leaps of faith, and realizing there is something beautiful in my life that is so new and different. Flamenco has made me a part of a community of warm and happy people. I want this to go on forever! My heart is so full tonight! Thank you to my beloved for making this possible, and thank you Laura Onizuka for this amazing workshop!!!! Olé!!!!" - Giye Choe
“4 days of flamenco with Jesus Carmona pushed me past my physical thresholds to another plane. So much to integrate and internalize into my dance practice!
Jesus also premiered a new show for an intimate audience, an autobiographical dance account of his life until now. What an honor to witness. A big thank you to Laura Onizuka for masterminding this flamenco weekend!” - Sarah Ward
“This past week has been one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. Flamenco dance workshops with the amazing Jesús Carmona pushed me to my personal limit and beyond. The stamina I gained and technique I learned in a mere six hours of instruction will improve my dancing from now going forward. His performance on Saturday night was transcendant...a wonderful, generous gift to all of us. We capped it off with a lovely paella feast in his honor. Thank you so much, Laura Onizuka for organizing this unforgettable flamenco experience. Gracias Maestro Carmona por su instrucción estupenda. And hugs to all my fellow flamencas/os...you are my people. 🌹☺🌹” - Shyla Beth
“My heart and spirit are full (and my body sore!) from the amazing flamenco dance intensive and magical show I attended with the inimitable artist Jesús Carmona this week. It was so fun dancing and learning from this wonderful maestro surrounded by friends and familiar faces. Thank you Laura Onizuka for all your hard work organizing the classes, show, and post-workshop paella party.” - Elena Villa
“OMG I’m on cloud nine for the rest of the week ... Amazing , AMAZING workshop with the Maestro Jesús Carmona last weekend. I don’t want to forget these 4 days of inspiration and motivation he shared with us! He let us taste the heart of flamenco. We were all spellbounded by his out of the world charisma and down to earth charm😄
And the super intimate show! What a treat ❤️ It almost made me cry.
Thank you Laura for inviting him here in P town! Cant wait to have him back next year again.” - Riko Tannenbaum
“Amazing workshop with Jesús Carmona Moreno in Portland! He’s not only a gifted dancer - he has the gift of being able to teach in a very accessible manner - LOVED IT!!” - Dani Serrano
“It was so sad to leave Portland tonight. 4 days / 10.5 hrs of flamenco workshops with with a world-renowned dancer from Spain, Jesus Carmona has come to an end. My body is sore, but my heart is full ❤️ What a spectacular experience right here in PNW! His intimate show last night was very special, the best show of any kind I’ve ever experienced, too. What an amazing artist, and how down to earth he is with such a warm heart. Thank you for everything you’ve given us, Jesus! And thank you so much Laura Onizuka for bringing him here and organizing everything for us!! It was so great to connect with other flamencas, too 🤗 I had an amazing time!” - Fusako Nozaka
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Jesús Carmona and Laura Onizuka for a wonderful weekend. The workshop was everything I hoped for and more. I feel so energized and inspired by this amazing dancer who happens to also be a gifted teacher. The workshop was challenging, exciting and so much fun. I learned and grew more than I thought possible in 4 days. And special thanks to Stefani Miller for hosting a super fun post workshop paella party, with a special paella prepared by Chef Ricardo Segura! I met new friends and got to reconnect with old ones. I LOVE my flamenco community! My heart is full of flamenco love and gratitude! ” - Julie Pacheco-Toye
“Amazing four days of flamenco workshops with Jesús Carmona, learning from the best!! So grateful 🙏 Thank you Laura Onizuka for bringing him!” - Eve Salonen
“Eve and I just said our goodbyes to Jesus Carmona Moreno after an amazing final workshop today and delicious paella after party in Portland! Now we are on the road heading home reflecting on our memorable weekend. Thank you Jesus Carmona Moreno for your generous heart and phenomenal artistry. And Laura Onizuka for making this all happen!” - Jackie Villegas Maclin
“I’m having such an amazing workshop with Jesús Carmona right here in Portland! Each day I’ve improved and pushed myself beyond what I thought I could handle. I haven’t been dancing flamenco in months and this has been exactly the reminder that I need dance, i need this sisterhood, i need Spain...
This whole experience has revitalized me and grounded me. I’ll never forget it! He is so special...
Thank you Laura Onizuka and Jesús Carmona for these special opportunities right here in Portland! ...
Might be the wine, might be the physical fatigue, or it could be that Jesús Carmona is a special artist I’ve really had the pleasure of meeting and learning from, and much like leaving summer camp as a preteen, I cried all the way home after saying goodbye... So not ready to go back to work tomorrow.” - Seana Rizzutto Yee
“Thank YOU so much! I had an amazing time this weekend with you, Ricardo, and everyone at your studio. I am really just blown away-in so many ways. Laura I have not danced in at least 4 years. No exercise, no dancing, nada. I have been going crazy all this time, with this love inside me, trying to channel it through cante occasionally, but most of the time having no outlet. I have been scared I couldn’t make it, of failure, of not feeling adequate, of being judged, and of even falling on my face! I am so thankful and happy, not to mention incredibly inspired by this experience. Ricardo’s unbelievable talent, art and ‘swagga’ were obvious in videos of his dance:) What really sealed the deal for me in persuasion of me attending were two things (after the obvious). 1. The videos of the two of you-seeing Ricardo as a regular guy, being sweet and funny with you and 2. My contacts with Stefani, and with you in the past. It’s Ricardo’s personality and congeniality that shine through his talents the most and I was so thrilled to have found the same wonderful traits in you and all in your studio. I have felt so welcome this weekend, and it feels so very very good to be a part of the community again. And WOWWWWW, the show was spectacular! You did some really cool and unusual things. So wonderful to see, hear and be a part of flamenco of this caliber and with this feeling. I will definitely be in touch next time. Thank you sooooo much for this opportunity Laura! I am so overwhelmed, ecstatic, and full of well-love for life. Thank you and Ricardo for helping me dance again! Ole la gente buena!!!! Much love” -Shelley Gentry
“I love Emilio because he is a dedicated and thorough artist and on top of that humble! I love his choreographies. I had never taken a mantón workshop and with him I learned a lot of technique in little time I even surprised myself! Emilio, you rock! Me encanta Emilio porque es un artista entregado, completo y aparte humilde! Me encantan sus coreografías. Yo nunca había tomado mantón y con él aprendí mucha técnica en poco tiempo, hasta yo me sorprendí, eres un crack.” - Kethrin Johnson, Seattle, WA
“For the first time in my life I felt so frustrated but wanted to push harder rather than give up. I’m so glad Ricardo didn’t let me give up either. He’s really a great teacher, which isn’t easy when he’s such an amazing dancer and has already “arrived” Honestly, it kills me I have to wait till Friday – I’ve got all these rhythms in my head and nowhere to practice. ps – I can’t put it down just right – but you know when there are instructors who just push and push without any empathy? And then there are those who function more like personal trainers – where they push hard, but know when to point out when you’re getting it right – even if it’s not perfect – THAT’S Ricardo.” - Seana Yee, Portland, OR
“Thank you for such a wonderful experience this weekend. I know I am perhaps the most beginning of the beginning, but Ricardo (and you) really made me want to work to get to the point where I can do all the choreography correctly…I am grateful for you and your studio going into this Thanksgiving and wish you a wonderful holiday.” – Enid Axtell, Portland, OR
"Thank you for making the workshops with Ricardo possible. It was an incredible experience! The most important part, for me, was the connections I began to make between my body, the music, and the intention of expression." - Elisa Rocha, Portland, OR
"Ricardo's energy in his teaching is amazing. In every class he is giving more than 100%. I am loving all of his classes and learning so many techniques and dynamics that I can use in my dance in the future. Thank you for bring him here and I can hardly wait to see him perform this weekend!" - Stefani Miller, Portland, OR
"It really is a privilege as a dancer to have the opportunity to study in Portland with someone like Ricardo. His experience dancing and teaching make the class enjoyable and my favorite part is that he teaches technique and choreographies that show the evolution of Flamenco in the last few years. For students who are beginners I would advice to not get discouraged if you feel like you don't get every step at first, because believe me even if you don't realize it, through Ricardo you are getting exposed to all this amazing compas and dance energy, so be assured some of it will stay with you and in your body forever. Thanks Laura and thanks Ricardo for these amazing workshops." - Kethrin Lases, Portland, OR
"Ricardo's workshops are SO fun! He brings an amazing technical level but is so patient even with the beginners! Not being a good dancer myself, I still feel so wonderful while doing it! Dare I say experiencing my first twinges of duende?! I had so much fun even though I had to fend off frustration sometimes. Maybe it's me but I think Ricardo's teaching has improved since last time and while he went at a challenging pace we had enough repetition to get the sonidos in our heads. Thanks Laura! BTW, I love watching you dance his choreography too. You put a pretty, feminine touch to his steps. Can't wait for next weekend!" - Amy Brownell, Portland, OR
"The choreography (and the beautiful choice of music) for the first weekend of Ricardo's intermediate/advanced choreography workshop were truly powerful and inspiring. Even though it was a great challenge for me to keep up, I know that I learned some fun new moves that I can use in the future. More importantly, being a part of a group of dancers participating in this art that we love, together with Ricardo, was REALLY fun and inspirational. I am really looking forward to learning more next weekend, and I wish I could take ALL of the classes offered. Even if you can only do one weekend, I highly recommend it." - Julie Pacheco-Toye, Portland, OR
"I am so enjoying the entire experience with Ricardo. Laura, I just cannot tell you what a spectacular experience the performance last night. I am already looking forward to Friday, Saturday and Sunday and it is only Monday. Ole." - Pat France, Portland, OR
"Ricardo's first workshop is such a great memory for me - he is an excellent teacher and a beautiful dancer!! Reflecting on his first time in Portland, I recall that I remembered his choreography for a long time. Usually I forget quickly, but his footwork stayed with me for weeks. Some workshops have such intricate footwork and the artist wants to complete the choreography in a short period of time. I felt as though Ricardo was more interested in giving us what he thought we could accomplish in a short period of time - with the hope that we might remember it after he left. He is a treasure!" - Leigh Young, Portland, OR
"(Ricardo) inspires you to dance your best. Imagine how good we will all be when he comes back for a longer stay!" -Lillie Last, Portland, OR
"I have a new and much deeper emotional appreciation for all of my Spanish flamenco music after the Jaleos workshop this past week. My continued gratitude to Laura for bringing the skilled artists to Portland and to Danica for the magical emotional experience. OLE." Pat France, Portland, OR
"I am so glad that I attended the workshops and performance. I felt so inspired and invigorated, actually maybe a little too much I don't think I was able to sleep for a few nights. But it really made me realize how much I love to dance, and how much I have to learn too. Also, I think like everyone, I developed a little crush on Ricardo." -Alexis
"Thanks Laura for organizing this workshop/show. It was amazing!!! You did a wonderful job and Ricardo, well he is a sweetheart." -Kethrin Lases, Portland, OR
"Thanks for organizing such a wonderful workshop. It was my first workshop (as you know) and I couldn't have had more fun. I don't think I've ever even gotten to dance to live music. What a treat! And, if you get a chance, will you let Ricardo know how much I enjoyed learning from him. He was a great teacher and I appreciated his patience with my lack of competency. :) Also, great performance on Saturday! Definitely a wonderful night!" -Brittany Stolle, Portland, OR
"Ricardo's workshops are amazing! He's such an attentive teacher - very exacting and will break everything down clearly and slowly, always checking in to make sure everyone is happy and understands everything "in our head". Besides being a phenomenal dancer he's encouraging, professional, respectful and incredibly patient. Laura has... been very kind in translating his Spanish so we understand his most salient points. Everyone at the workshop has soooo friendly and helpful. We love Portland Flamenco and hope we can come back soon!" -Cyrena Huang, Vancouver, B.C.
"Ricardo exceeded my expectations. I've been dancing for over 10 years and still picked up some breakthrough tips in the 3 days of workshops. He takes the time to go through fundamentals and also has challenging but fun choreography. I'm impressed at how patient and encouraging he was. His classes were well structured, had a good pace, and he was a top notch (and nice!) teacher. Since I can't go to Spain, this is Spain coming to me. The Portland Flamenco Events dancers were very welcoming...thanks to Laura for translating and more importantly for making this happen. I only wish I could've stayed longer to see the show and learn more but there's always next time. I'm definitely coming back!" -Shyiang Strong, Vancouver, B.C.
"Each day I can't believe that I am taking a class from someone as amazing as Ricardo. I am like a baby who is learning to walk when compared to him. But it is so fun!!" - Stefani Miller, Portland, OR
"You were right, he does "stand alone" as a teacher. It is apparent that he loves his craft, which spills out in the classroom, whether involved with explaining a step, the cante, the palmas, or just demonstating with his crisp movements, turns, energy and enthusiasm.:) All in all, quite a memorable week. Now if I can just remember the choreography.:( " -Ann, Vancouver, WA
“It was one of the best workshops I have ever done.”
“He's such a good and generous teacher, and I loved the style and choreography.”
“WHAT A FABULOUS TEACHER!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is an inspiration!” Leigh Young, Portland, OR
"I really enjoyed the class because Emilo taught me many things I have never realized before, such as how to make turns, how to train my feet, and especially how he incorporated the "sensationalism" in his teaching. Really feel happy and blessed... Emilio is patient, professional, and pays attention to details." - Debby Chen, CA
"I'm sooooooooo happy I was there today! Seriously, thank you! Emilio is so beautiful and amazing, can't even handle it...So much fun." - Erica McCurnin, Portland, OR
"Thanks so much for this workshop, it was so much fun. I have the total cougar crush on Emilio, he is a great teacher...He broke it down so I could get it......in my living room!!! I started my day at the office holding my phone, watching Emilio and practicing while at the coffee pot! Thanks again for organizing these workshops." - Valerie Allen, Portland, OR
"Way fun! I'm so so glad I did all three days - I really needed the morale boost. The BEST thing about the workshops with Emilio Ochando was his ability to push, but remain supportive and smiling. He never really seemed frustrated with us...Emilio is patient, determined, and passionate. I would recommend this experience because Emilio teaches at just the right intensity. He takes time to perfect movements and body positions rather than trying to cram in a whole choreography. He's an amazing dancer and lives into the music - and I think he really did a great job at teaching us to do the same with the limited time he had. I only wish he could have been her a whole week! I think by far this has been my favorite workshop because I never left feeling frustrated with myself. I actually felt like a better dancer by the end of each class despite being drenched in sweat. I also really enjoyed meeting new faces. It's really a fun community and I think we all had fun together. Emilio's smile and lighthearted attitude really helped to make that happen." - Seana Yee, Portland, OR
"It was the clearest and most well taught palmas class I have ever taken. The patterns were clean and understandable and the repetition was just right. That is a class I would not miss again. Thank you Emilio and thank you Laura for bringing such high quality artists here," - Diana Bright, Portland, OR
"I heart Emilio. His workshops were a crazy-fun sweat-inducing challenge, and he taught us some amazingly simple techniques that I'll be able to use in my everyday practice. And I loved his Tangos choreography!" - Heather Williams, Portland, OR
"Laura gracias por traer a Emilio , me gusto muchisimo es un buen bailao,y buen maestro, espero verlo otra vez." - Rafaela de Cadiz, Portland, OR/ Cadiz. Spain
" Emilio is a phenomenal dancer and a skilled and inspirational teacher. He made us work hard from the first minute to the last, but it was well worth it! I hope he comes back to Portland, and does a performance. I would highly recommend his workshops to others." - Julie Pacheco-Toye, Portland, OR
"I’d heard so much about Emilio. I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to study with him. I would take another workshop from him any time. Emilio has a fantastic teaching personality...I particularly liked his variations on marking. He gave just enough choreography to be super challenging but not completely overwhelming, and he pushed to get us to a good stopping point. Thank you for bringing Emilio to Portland." - Kelley, Portland, OR
"Cristo Cortes was not only great he was amazing. looking forward to more in the future." - Lamia, Portland, OR
" Cristo Cortes is a gifted cantaor and a natural teacher - a maestro in both senses. Not only did we learn two new letras in two days, but we learned aspects of the cante (singing behind the beat, melodic ornamentation, etc.) that will change and improve everything in our repertoires." - Paul Brady, Portland, OR
“The Ricardo Diaz palmas/jaleos/soniquete workshop was so much FUN! He’s such a warm, generous flamenco spirit, with an infectious smile and sense of humor. Can’t wait for the next one! ” - Heather, Portland, OR
"Antonio's workshop was great fun and energizing. I liked the fact that he took the time to do warm-up stretches (very important for this body), his technique section was beneficial (got the brain engaged) and choreography was accessible and interesting. And he 'connected' with each dancer in the workshop. He's very engaging, a great storyteller with a sense of humor." - Becky, Tri-Cities, Washington