Tamara Sol Flys took her first flamenco classes in Spain at age 10. After her family returned to the United States she continued her studies with Lydia Torea and later with Dini Román. Other influential teachers have been Carmela Greco (daughter of the late Jose Greco), Domingo Ortega, Manuel Reyes, Mercedes Ruiz, La Tati, and La Truco at the famous Amor de Dios School in Madrid, Spain. Tamara has travelled many times to Spain to deepen her knowledge of flamenco, both for her own and her students’ enrichment.
A professional performer since 1993, Tamara’s first experience was as a member of Artes Bellas, the esteemed company of her teacher Lydia Torea. Since that time she has appeared in live and televised performances such as “Flamenco Fireworks” at the Phoenix Symphony Hall and the Tucson Convention Center, and “Sabor y Ritmo” at the Century Club in Los Angeles. From 1997-99, Tamara had the opportunity to share the stage with such acclaimed artists as Elena Andujar and Maria Bermudez under the direction of accomplished choreographer Fred Darsow at Arizona State University. She was also honored to perform alongside Edwin Aparicio in multiple productions from 2005-2008 in Maryland and Washington, DC. She taught multiple classes in Baltimore for over 8 years, including at the Peabody Preparatory, Experimental Movement Concepts, and Baltimore School of Dance.
An experienced and popular teacher, Tamara’s classes are grounded in a thorough knowledge of and enduring passion for the flamenco art form. Class exercises are created with a specific purpose in mind, leading to self-assurance and confidence with the material. Equal attention is given to all students regardless of experience, and the steps are learned slowly and thoroughly. Blessed with humor, Tamara has in addition the rare ability to clearly explain and teach many of the layered secret subtleties of flamenco dance.
Tamara Sol Flys received a B.S. in Microbiology (magna cum laude) from Arizona State University, a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a MPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Sonya Vitalia Silva-Baca's love for dance started at Bette Winslow Dance Studio at the age of 9 where she studied ballet. An intrinsic trait within her character has been one of curiosity and joy for movement related to various forms of dance. Her life experiences have included being a majorette/fire twirler, certified fitness/aerobic instructor, class studies of African dance, hip hop, regional folk dance, belly dance, 5Rhythms Mindful Movement and Flamenco. The latter, becoming a passion for Ms. Sonya as an "Aficionada de Flamenco." Her first two years studying flamenco with Maestro Teo Morca at Taos Academy of Dance Arts, where she learned the fundamentals of flamenco technique. Ms. Sonya was fortunate to study for two semesters with legendary Maria Benitez at the Institute for Spanish Arts. During this unique and treasured experience, Ms. Sonya began to become aware of her innermost emotions and feelings related to this powerful art form. Ms. Sonya has been able to study with other respected flamenco teachers known in the Northern New Mexico region. Her passion for flamenco takes her to numerous venues to enjoy performances from world-class flamenco artists within the State of New Mexico, as well as artists on residency from Spain.
Being a Licensed PreK-12 School Social Worker, Ms. Silva-Baca has taken on a growing interest "to incorporate mindfulness & movement within the social work realm of interacting & helping youth." She co-taught a children's flamenco class with Cassandra Romero at Taos Youth Ballet/Flamenco for three years. Ms. Silva-Baca values cultural arts and believes that flamenco is an ideal art form for youth as it draws one in with it's strength and presence. Her intention is to be a part of enriching young lives by her loving nature and belief in the gifted ability that each child has within.
Janira Cordova begin dancing at the age of five. She took classes for both Spanish folklorico and Flamenco. Studying under Maria Benitez at the Institute for Spanish Arts she continued to cultivate her passion for flamenco. Janira was a member of Flamenco’s Next Generation, Maria Benitez’s youth company, for many years. Through the Institute of Spanish Arts she had the privilege to study with various flamenco artists including: Adela Clara, Juan Siddi, Mina Fajardo, Jose Junco, Antonio Granjero, Ileana Gomez and many others. After graduating from St. Michael’s High School and while attending UNM, she continued to dance and study flamenco with Mina Fajardo and Chuscales. Currently, she continues to perform throughout the year with Mina Fajardo and Chuscales, while continuing her studies of flamenco.