“I've been taking flamenco classes with Laura for two years, and her classes are the highlight of my week. I started out taking classes in Spain with a teacher from Andalusia. When I moved back to the US, I didn't think I'd find any decent flamenco classes, but much to my surprise, I've grown much more studying with Laura than I did in Spain. Laura knows flamenco in and out and has the ability to explain the complex art form in a way few others do. She has a gentle yet effective way of translating its mysteries for those who didn't grow up surrounded by it. I would encourage anyone who has even a spark of interest in learning flamenco to be courageous and give it a try. You might just surprise yourself. :)” - Emily Safrin/student

“From weekly classes to local destination retreats to even international escapes - Laura's expertise and focus on technique combined with her ability to teach it in a way that makes sense is priceless! She brings some of the best sought after performers from Spain to Portland, and curates opportunities bridging connection with local and international flamenco enthusiasts. There's no competition. Flamenco is not a style that requires a partner. You can be any age, any body shape, any level of expertise and still find friendship and community through dance and culture.” - Seana Yee/student

“This just has to be said about classes here: Laura is a stunning dancer and a perceptive, encouraging, patient and generous teacher. I recommend her underline, boldface, italics and an exclamation point.” - Nevill Eschen/student

"Thank you Laura for your wonderful teaching !!! I feel so fortunate to have you as my teacher. You are a super inspiring charismatic teacher. Your movement and dance is just exquisite. One day I hope to dance like you." - Riko Tannenbaum/student

“Laura is an outstanding teacher. If you have an interest in the flamenco arts Laura is the best in Portland.” Charlotte Bloebaum / flamenco enthusiast and former flamenco dancer & teacher

“I have learned so much…especially from Laura, but also from the many other flamencos I have had the pleasure to meet through Laura's tireless work to "grow" the flamenco community in Portland. My flamenco life has been unquantifiably enriched by the time I have spent studying with Laura and in the company of other flamencos surrounding her. And...I can't finish this "testimonial" without adding with true appreciation: Laura is a natural born teacher, warm, nurturing, challenging, observant, and dedicated!” - Julie Pacheco-Toye/both a student & teacher at Portland Flamenco Events

"Studying flamenco with Laura is always an enjoyable and inspiring experience! Not only is Laura an extremely talented artist, she is a dedicated and generous teacher. Classes with Laura are challenging and accessible to all because she knows how to break things down and explain the details as well as create layers to add more complexity. Laura also continues to help build the Portland flamenco community by bringing amazing guest artists from all over the world to teach workshops. I have learned so many things during my years studying with Laura that go way beyond the walls of the studio; it truly is an experience for the body, soul and brain!" - Erica McCurnin/student

"Your class might be the only place I drop all the stresses of my life and enjoy myself. I love flamenco and the challenge I get in every new move I learn. It's just a great pleasure for me." - Intesar Amirkani/student

"Wonderful all inclusive family feeling lessons. Considerate of all levels and learning abilities. A safe place to explore and awaken your talents." - Rebecca Morse, Ms Senior Portland & Ms. Senior Oregon 2016/student

"Laura makes the passion and grace of Flamenco available to all - whatever your level of experience. Thank you!" - Barbara McQuillen/student

"I'm thrilled to have found Laura to study with. In the super intimidating world of flamenco, Laura's down-to-earth teaching style is refreshing and puts me at ease. I've had serious anxiety showing up to flamenco classes around the country, enough to make a girl want to run and give up completely. Laura is warm, nonjudgmental and humble, making her corrections easy on a dancer. And she has beautiful flamenco lines  to watch and absorb, so important. Laura has a super rare and highly marketable niche in the flamenco world. She's breaking down the structure and language of flamenco for those of us who weren't raised in the culture. It could take me years to crack this code on my own. It's exactly what I need, and exactly what I've been looking for. She's bringing the culture to us, serving it up in bite sized portions, even spoon feeding it when necessary. So grateful!" - Heather Cogburn/student

“Any workshop taught by Laura Onizuka! She is an amazing giving teacher and her personality makes learning a fun experience!” Carol Carrillo / student

"I absolutely loved my experience with Portland Flamenco Events!  Laura has the special gift to elevate her students' Flamenco knowledge in an easily digestible way - probably because she fully embodies Flamenco and understands it backwards and forwards!  I was visiting from North Carolina for a month and decided to purchase the month unlimited classes deal.  I will say from my 5 years of studying Flamenco (off and on), I have learned more in this one month and feel better prepared to actually DANCE than I have in all the other years. I truly appreciate all of the teachers (Julie, Stefani – sorry if I missed anyone else!) and the dedication and camaraderie of the students involved with Portland Flamenco Events. It was really hard to leave my new Flamenco family behind, but I hope to keep in touch via Skype sessions and come back next year for more!!"  - Teresa Ferlotti/student

"To Laura, my special Flamenco Instructor & Mentor ...YOU have guided me with your expertise that is equal to any expert in the world including Spain, YOU have taught me with gentle patience and constant repetition and steered and supported me to levels of rebuilding my life with a passion for flamenco words can't describe....Olé with love" - Pat France/student

"I love intensive learning with Laura! A lot of fun and I walk (or dance) away feeling like I have assimilated so much technique and flamenco knowledge. I keep coming back for more." - Stefani Miller/student

"I've had 3 flamenco teachers in the past. Laura is the best of the best . She taught me so much about Flamenco that I never knew. It opened my eyes flamenco dance is all about. She is not only an incredibly gorgeous dancer (and lady)but also an incredibly warm person. I enjoy her class so much that I don't mind driving a long distance in rush hour traffic. I wish I could take her class everyday so I could be an expert.” - Minako/student

“You are such a good teacher and so patient; you make the class so much fun.” - Bella Riley/student

"I really enjoyed the Introduction to Bulerias workshop. Even as a beginner I got a lot out of it and liked the pacing over the 2 days so that it wasn't all crammed into one longer class. It gives me a bit of time to absorb it. The choreography was really fun to dance too! I thought the workbook was fantastic, it's great to have something to review and to have as a reference. Thank you and see you soon," - Harriet/student

"I love how you're always thinking of different ways to cram it in our brains." - Amy Brownell/student

"I have learned so much about the bulerías in your intensive 6 hour workshop!! It was challenging for sure but when I feel challenged, that's when I learn the most. You always give me an opportunity to push myself to the level that I am still timid but then I practice hard to meet your expectation and that push me to be a better dancer little by little. When I practice flamenco, it is like moving meditation. I am entirely in the moment. I'm so happy to come back to flamenco. Thank you Laura!" - Riko Tannenbaum/student

"Laura, thank you SO much for having me today even though i contacted you such a last minute!!!  The class was VERY challenging to me, but I enjoyed your class so much.  You are so knowledgeable about bulerias and oh it was fun to just be there!  All of your students are really impressive too!  And what a welcoming atmosphere!  I wish I was taking ALL of your bulerias series, but if there are chances in the future, I would love to come back!  Gracias otra vez!  Besos   - Harue Hirai/student

"Laura is a great dancer, and you can learn a lot just by watching her. But she is truly a teacher as well, and she has been willing to share her experiences of learning this complicated art form. As she absorbs and distills the vast ocean of flamenco stuff that we Americanos aren't born into and don't grow up with, she is dedicated to passing what she has learned on to us. Ok, that sounds like an obvious thing that a teacher would do, but actually, it might be a rare combo. There are inspiring teachers who can show you great moves, but they've grown up doing those moves, so it's just hard for them to explain how they do it. Laura has gotten there the hard way, which is how most of us are going to have to get there, and she is determined to give us the benefit of all her hard-earned knowledge as a gift. This is what great teachers do: they open the door for us, and tip us off to shortcuts when they find them, and encourage us by their presence ahead of us on the road. Laura is a very generous teacher." - Mia/student

"You have a lot to offer those trying to make something out of life when it doesn't fit the cookie cutter we're told it should look like.  I think that's why I love coming to your class, not just for flamenco, but for community and reminding me that I too have a story and I can be destined for great things." - Seana Yee/student

"Thanks again for everything - I had a great time and feel very welcomed by the flamenco community you have created. You're a very special person." - Becky Poynter/student

"I am so happy and excited that I articulated in the cante workshop which I knew was a stretch in my comfort level.  I am grateful that you have shown and guided me how to face those fears and leave with such fun.  I will always sign up for more challenges." - Pat France/student

"I love how you are teaching the Bulerias de Jerez on Saturdays-I have never learned so much from a bulerias class!!  We learn little bits, identify where they go in the cante, and then mix them up.  It is really beginning to sink in!!  I have learned so much material in this class and I am able to mix pieces from one choreography with another.  Thanks!!"  - Stefani Miller/student

"You are a brilliant teacher, and very detail oriented. That is the kind expertise I have been looking for.  I like how patient, positive and encouraging you are. It feels good to be on the receiving end. You are very calming. Thank you again. You are a gem at what you do." - Val/student

"This has been a super enjoyable and challenging class for me and I love working in tientos. The palmas class has been incredibly informative and fun too!  Thank you Laura for being so supportive and communicative- you are wonderful!!" -Erica/student

"...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...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/student

“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

I can’t decide if Saturday’s “Castanets” class or Sunday’s Flamenco Para Todos is my FAVORITE Class..hmmm, it is a tie!  I have always been fascinated with Castanets, but to be able to add rhythms to movements is a dance in itself…my kind of dance..I have so much fun in this class. Have you noticed how everyone is like a kid with a musical instrument just clicking away, making noise, smiling and having fun, then we start making real Flamenco beats and techniques with simple dance sequences. It has really improved my arm movements in other classes because I imagine how my arms would move with the castanets on, and how to keep them quiet for some movements."  - Catherine / student

"I am having so much fun in Flamenco class... and I am learning soooo much! It seems as though each time I learn something... it enables me to learn yet another layer of understanding! And I think your new addition of the white board to palmas is great... that way all types of learners are addressed: visual (board), audio (counting), tactile (clapping)...Your classes are Fabulous!...I LOVED class today! I had soooooo much fun :) The choreography is so much fun - and it was so fun to wave a pretty fan around. And the classroom was so enjoyable this morning. At one point when the music was playing and we were dancing the opening section I felt a cool breeze come across the room thru the window. And it made me so happy that this was how I was spending my Saturday morning :) It was heavenly! At first I was thinking of just taking 1 day... but after class I changed my mind and would like to take the rest of the days." - Alexandra Ness/student

"Laura Onizuka is one of the most dedicated proponents of Flamenco/Spanish dance, music and culture in the Pacific Northwest that I have ever known. She is a kind and generous teacher who not only inspires her students with her love and artistry, but who also humbly keeps up the inspiration by hosting a plethora of incredible artists direct from Spain. These artists are essential to the growth of any student engrossed in this particular art form as well as serve through performances (that she has self-produced) as an invaluable cultural experience for the entire Portland community. She is a consummate collaborator and is truly interested in sharing and expanding her community. Eres un tesoro en la comunidad flamenca :)” - Danica Sena, Founder/Artistic Director Andanza Spanish Arts, Master Flamenco/Spanish Teacher ODC School San Francisco

"Linda clase Laura, cada vez me gusta mas...la clase es genial, la disfruto, me encanta !! La repeticion es perfecta, la comodidad del estudio estupenda !! MI REGALO EN EL FLAMENCO ES TENER UNA MAESTRA COMO TU, QUE ENSENA CON EL CORAZON !!! Esa es la generosidad y regalo mas grande !... Te dediques a la ensenanza que lo haces de maravilla, has captado todas las complejidades y partes dificiles del flamenco. Veo que ensenas con el alma, lo das todo." - Connie Bierbach/student

“That was the coolest student show in the history of the world. Everyone was so happy and proud of their dances and it was alot of fun. Food-a great place-you were so sweet-everything was so perfect. Thank you for all you have done to build a truly flamenco community in this town. See you tomorrow in class.” - Stefani Miller/student

"Six months ago I started taking one beginners class a week with Laura, and I enjoyed her class so much that I now take three weekly classes, plus private lessons with her. She has supported and encouraged my new-found obsession with gentle nudges, and shares her knowledge and skill freely. Laura has a knack for communicating technique that is easy to understand, and her warmth and humor creates a non-intimidating atmosphere that makes the challenge of learning flamenco quite fun. Laura es una maestra phenomenal!" - Heather/student

“Laura is an amazingly talented and generous teacher and performer and brings so many great opportunities for flamenco students and fans in the Pacific Northwest.” - Julie Pacheco-Toye / student and flamenco instructor

"You are a great teacher! You find 1 or 2 things to focus on so we do not think too much then with practice and patience I found that my thoughts and movement changed, the timing clicked. Thanks for the wonderful upper body and workout dance class, they all connect to the form and the rhythm that we use for Flamenco. It is wonderful to have your calm teaching style. I'm excited to be learning to move in a new way. I really enjoy the class and appreciate your patience. You are an excellent teacher...you add a breath of grace and professionalism." - Gail Bruner/student

"Laura is an exceptional teacher, as well as a beautiful ad talented flamenco dancer. When she dances, you cannot take your eyes off her, she is so compelling. But Laura also has the rare gift of being able to effectively teach and explain the art of flamenco dancing. Teaching a non-verbal art for can be extremely challenging, but Laura excels at this. Not only can she perfectly demonstrate what a flamenco movement should look like, she is able to explain how the body needs to move to accomplish it." - Jackie K./student & flamenco aficionado

"Your performance last night was amazing. You have such a wonderful gift!" "I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE taking your class! Thanks for encouraging me and making me feel good about my "beginner" status. :) You're such a wonderful and patient teacher!" - Brittany/student

“Thank you for being such a kind and fun teacher. You inspire me!” - Kelley Fox/student

"For the decade I've been dancing flamenco, Laura Onizuka is the best teacher I have had. She cares for every one of her students and respects our own needs and goals. Student improvement and satisfaction in her class is her own joy. Her classes are very well considered and structured for us not only to achieve the next stage in this profound art of flamenco but also to enjoy the fascinating world of flamenco with what we know and can do now. With “every time, a tiny bit better than last time” approach, I found myself doing some movements easily which I had difficulties before. It was very nice to know that my body can do a lot more than I think I can. I believe that all of her students agree she has great teaching skills. No wonder that she is a school teacher before becoming flamenco performer and teacher. Her class is hard (very good exercise! I love this part too as I can burn calories in fun way.) and very enjoyable. I always look forward to going to her class, and do not even remember when I missed her class last time. It’s just too much fun to miss!" Ritsuko/student

"I have enjoyed the class so much. You are beautiful to watch. I am never watching myself in the mirror, I am always watching you!" - Celeste/student

"You are the best flamenco teacher I have ever had, and I think everyone in class feels that way." - Ann/student

"When Friday afternoon rolls around, all I want to do is take a nap after a long week of school. I usually lay down for about a minute before I start thinking about flamenco class and not wanting to miss it. By the time I finish my 45 minute drive (commute) to class I am full of energy and excitement for another great Friday night class. (It) is fun, educational, and a good work out. Laura has always made me feel comfortable. During my first classes I knew I was behind the other students but that was okay. Laura encouraged me but also taught me how to improve my flamenco dancing. Laura Onizuka is a skilled teacher and possesses a professionalism that is complimented by her good nature and quick smile. While at a local flamenco event, I was amazed that after only one month I was able to use the routine Laura had taught us in class to dance at the event. Thanks Laura for dancing it with me! My friends can't believe how affordable the classes are! Thanks Laura for a good year of classes...I sure appreciate the joy they have brought me. Thank you for bringing a little bit of Spain to Portland for me and the others. As a study-abroad student to Spain, I'd recommend your classes to students before they go (especially the sevillanas) or when they get back so they can continue to experience a little bit of the Spain they now love." - A male student

“Just thinking about how great you danced the other night. With a lot of duende and confidence (as well as great technique). You are "dancing" a lot more (vs. "doing a dance"), if you know what I mean. It is inspirational to watch you perform and continue to get better and better :=) You did the great job pulling it all together and cheering your students on! Your positive, loving and inclusive energy is what makes it all work :=) And everyone did look like they were having a great time – lots of smiles and people having fun – ole!” - Jackie K/student

“Laura is one of the most languid, gracious, and curvy flamenco dancers I have ever seen since Inma Ortega.” - Diana B./flamenco cantaora

" I like how you break down each component to the bulerias and don't just teach a choreography. My brain is so full - but I know things are starting to click together simply by how much I think and dream about it.  Naturally - Tangos is clicking faster.  But it's like learning a language - I've been learning all these words - or mimicking sentences through memorization and repetition - but finally, my brain is starting to realize these words and sentences have meanings and can make other sentences - they communicate with others too - and eventually, you can maintain an entire conversation..."  Seana Yee/student

"The best thing about the workshop was the encouragement that there was something to learn regardless of dance ability level. I enjoyed being in a room of women who were at various abilities in their dancing. I appreciated that you acknowledged this and made avenues for each dancer to gain something, and the reality that it is impossible to retain everything that happens in a workshop. Laura's teaching style is groovy (you fall into the flamenco groove with such ease, it's fabulous to watch), comprehensive, and supportive." - Erin Naegle

"Laura's lessons were easy to follow and exactly as challenging as expected for the level advertised. She cultivates an encouraging and fun culture within her student group and I really enjoyed the experience." - Matt Steven

"You are an amazing teacher. I'm a beginner and you made me comfortable amongst such seasoned flamenco dancers. Thank you…besitos" - Ali Fragola

" Laura I had so much fun and enjoyed the retreat location, classes and spending time with flamenca friends. Loved it and can't wait for the next time. Sign me up!!!" - Debbie Bent

"Loved the weekend, you're such a patient teacher. Can hardly wait 'til next time! Loved seeing you again; you're so fun to be with. And of course the dancing is fab. Thank you! " - Gay Abdon

“Thanks for the wonderful weekend arrangement and teaching. The BEST thing about the Flamenco Retreat at the Oregon Coast was meeting nice open people of same interest and learning a whole dance. Laura is graceful, genuine, and patient.” - Eun Kwak

"What a great week-end of flamenco and fabulous women! Couldn't have been better. You did a great job teaching, and I love that choreography. Thank you Stefani and Laura for putting it together. Great sharing of stories. I look forward to the next retreat!" - Becky Poynter

"THANK YOU LAURA! I love my Portland flamenco family, and I always know that we are going to have a great time together. Once again you organized a unique event which included friends, family, food and of course fabulous flamenco... in a fun and festive location! Bravo mi amiga!"  - Jackie Villegas-Maclin

"The class itself was the best part, of course. I loved how you organized it and how you adjusted it to all the levels of the dancers. You simplified the steps for those of us that needed it and challenged the more advanced dancers with more complicated steps. One thing I really appreciated is the upper-body work you did. Your technique is beautiful! I enjoyed working with the arms and trying to coordinate them to the steps…I liked how you also had palmas, singing, and jaleos rolled into the workshop – a little bit of everything! I also liked how you explained how the letra and the cante and parts of the dance that you taught can be used in an improvised setting – how the remate and the llamada and the marcajes – how all that works with the cante, and how we, as dancers, can use bits of what we learn in different settings – like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. I appreciated that lesson a lot! ... You are a very good teacher and you have very positive energy which I liked and appreciated a lot. And I liked the community that you created in Portland…I like what you do. And I’m grateful I got to be a part of it! Thanks so much for everything, and I look forward to seeing you again in the near future." - Alina Coman 

"Laura is such an awesome teacher. She is nice, very giving, and she really wants you to get it." - Linda McCoy

"Your patience and organization created an ease to learning, with no pressure. I sure hope to participate in more of your events. Palmas, cante, and baile.....I'm in deep and just want to keep on delving to hopefully build confidence…" - Liz Roman

"It was at Laura's first workshop that I actually felt myself relax and go along for the ride.  Yes, I was still nervous, because dammit, I want to learn this and I want to learn it right! But Laura has an ease about her and she truly made the classes fun. Who cares if I was the new kid, or I was stumbling over the footwork like nobody's business? Laura oddly got me to scoot those fears aside and sing and clap and move and smile and have a wonderful time... I am grateful for getting a chance to learn from her, and also for getting to meet so many other great ladies who are there for the same reason that I am. Laura herself is a beautiful dancer with beautiful technique, and she has an amazing ability of teaching others not only to dance, but also to love the beautiful art of flamenco. I learned a lot in the workshops and I have noticed myself become a better dancer from the experience. I also appreciated learning two whole dances, both bulerias and tangos, rather than bits here and there. It helped in understanding the form. Thank you so much!!" - Tonya Edgren