Mt has been dancing Flamenco for over 10 years and teaching Flamenco dance in Northern Ireland for over five years.
She first started taking Flamenco dance lessons in California where she lived for many years. There she studied with such greats as Jesus Montoya www.jesusmontoya.net, La Tania www.latania-flamenco.com, and Yaelisa www.caminosflamencos.com.
After returning to Northern Ireland Mt discovered that she could no longer continue her studies here so she travelled on a monthly basis to Glasgow to study with Felipe de Algeciras who became her principal teacher. Now she visits Spain at least once a year to continue her own studies and to keep current with any new developments in the Flamenco scene there.
In 2004 Mt started to teach so that she could continue to be involved with Flamenco. Her love and passion for this beautiful dance is obvious in her classes where she continuously introduces new students to the dance and also in her dedication to bring new audiences in Northern Ireland to Flamenco.
Felipe de Algeciras
Born in Algeciras Felipe started dancing at the age of 13. In his late teens he founded and became chief choreographer for “El Grupo Soleá”.
He first came to London in 1991 where he performed at the Shaw Theatre. Following his debut in England Felipe has gone on to dance at Sadlers Wells, the House of Commons and has appeared with the English National Opera at London’s Coliseum.
Felipe’s powerful footwork can be heard throughout the sound track for the film “The Mask of the Zorro” staring Antonio Banderas and most recently has launched his own company “Alma”.
Magdalena Navarrete was born in 1980 in Warsaw/Poland. Her family – half polish, half Uruguayan gave her the” latin” background. She studied vocals in Komeda’s Jazz Music Academy in Warsaw. She is also a graduate of Cultural Anthropology from Madrid Autonoma University and CESLA in Latin-American Studies from Warsaw University.
She is the heart and soul of the latin-fusion music project called Noche de Boleros, which she created seven years ago. She has been learning since she was nine years old and the process has never stopped. For the last twelve years she has focusing mainly on Latin American and Flamenco music. Living in Madrid and Seville, she had an opportunity to learn flamenco dance from Merche Esmeralda, Jose Maya, Farruquito, Alondo Pavon, La Truco, and El Torombo and Flamenco singing from Angel Carmona, Rafael Rodriguez, Nino del Elche, Montse Cortes.
She performed in musicals such as ‘Miss Sajgon’ in ‘Roma’ theatre in Warsaw. She has also performed in many other theatre, television and radio productions, e.g. ‘Indialucia’, ‘Arteflamenco’, Klejpeda Jazz Festival (Lithuania), II International Bolero’s Festival in Venezuela, X International Festival in Columbia, Bolero Festival in Berlin, International Festival in Uruguay, Tango Festival in Spain, Hindi – Flamenco project in USA with tabla palyer – Samir Chaterjee, National Radio Romania live concert, Don Chento Jazz Festival in Russia, etc. She has just signed a contract with Warner Music Poland, and her first longplay album “Chilli” came out last year.
Santiago Peña was born in Arcos de la Frontera, a town with strong flamenco roots and traditions, 20 minutes from Jerez, the cradle of flamenco. Santiago started dancing at the age of 5, when he won his first trophy for sevillanas. He went on winning prizes (90 or so) and began dancing flamenco seriously at 12 years of age, performing in a cuadro flamenco with his sister. He studied first with Chari Zapata and Maria Barba in Arcos, and then with la Chiqui de Jerez and Andres Peña, his cousin – one of the foremost dancers of flamenco puro today- with whom he has also performed. Santiago has danced throughout the province of Cadiz and in Malaga, Sevilla, Cordoba, Valencia and Barcelona. He has been teaching flamenco for 6 years.
“When I dance, everything around me stops – I don’t dance, I feel.” In his teaching, Santiago hopes to inspire students of all levels to love, feel and express themselves in flamenco.