_KSA6524 2Daniel Paredez, Male Soloist/Instructor

Daniel Paredez began dancing flamenco in January 2006 training intensively with local flamenco artist Estela Velez and renowned Flamenco masters Alejandro Granados, La Farruca, Carmela Greco, Antonio Santaella, Miguel Vargas, David Coria, Antonio Vargas, and many others.  He joined Furia Flamenca, a DC Metro-area flamenco company in 2006, and shortly thereafter became the company’s lead male dancer and a soloist for the company.  His performances include the Washington National Opera’s production of Don Giovanni (2007) and Carmen (2015) at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, soloist in Furia Flamenca’s Lorca: Flamenco Poetry (Alden Theater, 2009; the Kennedy Center’s Millennium State, 2010; Atlas Performing Arts Center, 2011, 2015) where he was an “Emerging Performer” finalist at the Metro-DC Dance Awards (2011) , Ida y Vuelta: De Donde Vienes Mestizo in Managua, Nicaragua (2011), and a featured dancer in Teatro Lyrico DC’s La Verbena de la Paloma at the Gala Hispanic Theater (2014).  Other performance venues include the Lincoln Theater honoring Judith Jameson and Rita Moreno, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, National Theater, Baltimore’s Lyric Opera House, Harmon Hall, Publick Playhouse, Dance Place and the Jack Guidone Theater.  He has also performed in tablaos locally and abroad in Puerto Rico and Nicaragua.  In 2009, he taught flamenco at the Kirov Academy of Ballet’s summer intensive in D.C.  Daniel has supplemented his Flamenco with training in ballet, modern, and aerial dance.

kariflamenca dc

Karina Valverde, Public Relations and Marketing Director

Karina’s flamenco journey began at Joy of Motion Dance Center in 2004. She has primarily studied under the mentorship of Estela Velez de Paredez. She further trained under visiting master artists including Alejandro Granados, La Farruca, Carmela Greco, Miguel Vargas, and Antonio Vargas to name a few. Always working to learn and improve her technique, Karina also participated in the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque in 2008 and 2011. She compliments her flamenco traditional style with her background in Latin Dance and Raqs Sharqi (bellydance). From 2003-2007, she concurrently trained and performed with a local bellydance troop, U Street Caravan. Karina sees flamenco as a life-long challenge and so she continues her training with Furia Flamenca, going on 10+ years.

 DSC40104Amy Weishampel, Substitute Instructor

Amy studied ballet and modern dance extensively, at the Peabody Preparatory starting at the age of eight, graduating from the Carver Center for Arts and Technology in 2003. She was first introduced to flamenco at the age of 14. She trained extensively with Nancy Sedgwick, Jaime Coronado, and Lourdes Elias, performing with their company, Spanish Dance Society, from 2001 to its dissolution in 2004. Amy began studying with Estela Velez in 2006, and joined Furia Flamenca shortly after. Amy has performed at various theaters and festivals over the Baltimore/Washington area, and has taken workshops with La Farruca, Omyra Amaya, Antonio Vargas, Lola Greco, Carmela Greco, and Alejandro Granados, among others.

DSC31433Morgan Heyer, Substitute Instructor

Morgan began studying dance at the age of four with ballet and modern in Laurel, MD. Upon learning of the form from a friend, she started lessons in flamenco at age nine with Nancy Sedgewick. Since then she has attended workshops given by Dame Marina Keet, Yloy Ybarra, and Jorge Navarro. In 1996, Morgan studied with Ziva Cohen and performed throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

Lorca showtiff-166Tammy Lemley

For Tammy, flamenco was love at first sight! Soon after moving from Texas to Washington, DC, she saw her first flamenco show and was mesmerized by the profiles’ beautiful swirling skirts and fiery footwork. She began studying flamenco with Ziva Cohen at Joy of Motion in 1995 and performed with Ziva’s Spanish Dance Ensemble for over 9 years. She has performed extensively in numerous venues in the Washington, DC metro area including the Kennedy Center, the Corcoran, Dance Place and the Publick Playhouse. Tammy has been dancing since the age of five. Her repertoire also includes ballet, tap, jazz, ballroom and belly dance.

IMG_7786Sylvia Melecio

Sylvia  has been studying and performing Flamenco in the Washington, DC metropolitan area since 2000.  She has been studying with Estela Vélez de Paredez since 2002.  Sylvia is one of the founding members of Furia Flamenca, and has been dancing with the company since its inception under the direction of Ms. Vélez.  She also trained with Flamenco Masters Antonio Santaella, Alejandro Granados, Miguel Vargas, Carmela Greco and others, and attended flamenco workshops at the National Institute of Flamenco in New Mexico.  Her dance background includes ballet, Spanish dance and folk dances which she studied at the Academia de Baile Zaida Varas while in her native Puerto Rico.

Lorca showtiff-126 Lauren Raivel

Lauren started dancing flamenco with Martin Cruz at the ADEC in Puebla, Mexico in 1996. A native of Maryland, she has lived in Pamplona, Spain for a year and Puebla Mexico for three years. After returning to the United States, she took Spanish Dance lessons at the Oxford Academy with Nancy Sedgewick. In 2004, she started taking classes with Estela Velez. She became a company member of Estela Velez’s group Furia Flamenca in 2006. She has performed at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, The Alden Theatre, the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Theater, Sidney Harmon Hall, Dance Place and Publik Playhouse. In 2006, she took classes at the Amor de Dios studio in Madrid, Spain. In 2011, she attended the National Institute of Flamenco in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Among the flamenco Masters she has trained with are Alejandro Granados, Miguel Vargas, Carmela Greco, la Farruca, Antonio Vargas, Antonio Santaella, Raimundo Benitez, and Marisol Encinas. She taught beginning dance at Forever Dancing in Falls Church, Virginia from March 2014 to March 2015. She now is the sponsor for the International Dance Club at Glasgow Middle School.

DSC50725Sarah Martin

Sarah grew up dancing flamenco for fun around family and friends at the Club Hispano in Toronto, Canada. Her flamenco roots started with Toronto based instrucors Paula Moreno, Pamela Briz and Carmen Romero. After moving to DC in 2012 and a long hiatus from Flamenco, Sarah joined Furia Flamenca and has been dancing with them ever since.




Maria JoseMaria Jose Hernandez-Medina Mora

Maria Jose joined Furia Flamenca in 2013. Her love of flamenco started when her aunt Paulina Alcocer introduced her to the art in 2008 at Danzer Pedregal studio in Mexico City. She continued her dance studies with Noelia Vicente and Charly from Gitanos. Prior to attending graduate school in 2010, she spent a summer in Madrid training at Amor de Dios. In 2010-11, she took workshops with Nelida Tirado and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana in New York City and in 2012 began lessons at Joy of Motion with Estela in Washington D.C. She has also studied under Alejandro Granados and in 2015 she participated in the Festival Flamenco International in Albuquerque’s National Institute of Flamenco, where she took classes with Jose Maya, Torombo, Marisol Encinias, Antonio El Farru.


DSC11994Mariana Teresa Osorio

Mariana began her flamenco studies with a summer Sevillanas course taught by the late Tina Ramirez at Ballet Hispánico in New York City. During her senior year in college she learned her first solea and bulerías in a class taught by Clara Mora Chinoy, after which Mariana knew she had found a life-long passion. Upon moving to Washington D.C., she studied extensively under Lourdes Elias, Jaime Coronado and Nancy Sedgwick Monahan at the Oxford Academy and later joined their dance company, the Spanish Dance Society. After the company was disbanded, Mariana continued her studies under Sara Candela, Ana Menendez and Ulrika Frank at the D.C. Dance Collective. After taking a hiatus to pursue a master’s degree, she returned to intensive flamenco studies in 2008 under Estela Velez, and joined Furia Flamenca later that year. Mariana has taken workshops with Antonio Vargas, Carmela Greco, Alejandro Granados, Miguel Vargas, and Pablo Rodarte. Mariana has had the opportunity to perform at numerous events and venues around the D.C. area including the Feria de Sevilla, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, the Alden Theater, the Atlas Theater, the Corcoran Gallery, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Reston Multi-Cultural Festival, the Intersections Festival, Happenings at Harmon Hall, and the EU Embassies Open House.  

Vidhi Bhansali

Vidhi Bhansali has been learning Bollywood, Kathak (Classical Indian) and Folk dances from India since a very young age. As part of Natyam, a professional Indian dance group, she got a chance to choreograph and perform Indian dances at various cultural and social events in the Washington DC metropolitan area.  Her fascination with Flamenco began about 10 years ago when she saw a Flamenco performance at a restaurant. She saw Flamenco as a fiery and sensuous amalgamation of dance styles from Spain, India and the Middle-East reflecting the exotic evolution of this dance from. Vidhi has been training under Estela Velez and Daniel Paredez since then and has recently made her debut with Furia Flamenca.

Klarissa Isabel Garcia Orellana