We meet directly for a drink. Bertha was looking at me all the time with huge super black eyes that were popping out of her face from the excitement of having me close and trapped in LA.
She was Afro American and I really liked that. Flamenco has always gone rey close to them and she was also totally enraptured with me.
She told me that flamenco was only studied in LA for an hour on Wednesdays, and very occasionally, on a Saturday. That the students waited for the courses of the teachers who came from Spain once or twice a year ... people are very busy in Los Angeles.
She told me that she would call about 5 students and we would have a class to get to know me and see the result.
That I was a teacher in “Amor De Dios” the most prestigious flamenco studies in the world, would surely help, but they didn't know me there, they didn't even know Madrid in LA! Only Barcelona and very few people
Normally, people there don't have vacations, even 10 years go by and they have only gone a week to Cabo San Lucar, which is nearby.
Bertha, immediately after class, took me to a dance school that had been closed for many years, because their director, a great Tap dancer, the father of the famous teacher from the FAMA series, Debbie Allen, had to be pointed out a leg due to a serious illness.
When I enter one of the 2 huge rooms it had, and step on that plywood floor, perfect for flamenco, with a sound of roots, of purity. The old grand piano with the soul of blues, the walls full of photos of Hollywood tap myths, the old mirrors speckled by quicksilver stains, full of experiences, rehearsals, art, and good time ... A sensation came through my body, so incredible!, of respect, admiration and at the same time of such great sorrow, that I already had the duty to restore joy and bring new blood.
I closed my eyes, and for an instant I visualized everything that then really happened to me.
Bertha informed me that during the mornings, children without economic resources between 5 and 10 years old would come to study with a teacher.
But that they would leave me school to start teaching and that as students entered, I would already pay rent to help with the reform of the changing rooms and bathrooms.
I did not hesitate for a minute to run away and spend the last $ 50 that I had left of the $ 100 that I brought for a year, and buy in the corner store two plants that would give life to the reception and ten lollipops for the children that would be my friends and my inspiration.
But my biggest surprise was, when right next door I had an old fashioned shoemaker, with its tiny shop, I couldn't believe it! We would do business!
I entered again super happy and with the spirit of a director and I said aloud to Bertha; I am going to revolutionize flamenco in LA, the students will study from Monday to Thursday from 8:30 pm to 10pm as if we were in Spain and stomped so much that the “Filis” on the sole would wear out and then we will do business by bringing the “ Filis ”from Madrid, which shoemaker will change according to what I teach him and to whom we will give a percentage.
Within a week of starting, and solely by word of mouth, I already had 20 local students every day, in addition to 8 hours a day of private classes. Students who came from San Diego driving two hours one way and two hours back just to study with me, students each of a different nationality, we were UNICEF!
The school was reborn and vibrated with the sound of flamenco nails.
Unattended dreams will breathe life
All my wishes will come true
And theree’ll be time for everything
When I get over you..
It is very gratifying to have an idea like the experimental Flamenco in Valencia, carry it out and have managed to attract more than 20 foreign clients to Valencia in a short time and without marketing, who have passed through the Flamenco Art Center, and who have not only They learned a lot if not they have returned to their country with a better concept of Valencia.
His experience and approach to flamenco led by Esther Ponce will make you return without hesitation to the city of Turia.
Esther Ponce not only surrounds them with her passion and charisma from the first moment, her professionalism and a very long journey through different countries of the world where she has lived for long periods, she makes them fall in love.
You just have to read the dedications of all the foreigners who write in their precious notebook created for them and that are already adding more and more.
The foreigner is used to teaching flamenco very quickly and without discipline, anything goes, any shoe, any skirt, hanging out even parodying and even ridiculing flamenco.
From England, without a doubt the most special Experimental Flamenco we have had at the Flamenco Art Center in these two and a half years.
The Esther Ponce Stylized Flamenco Art Center has been open for two and a half years. El Ángel Every August 28, for Esther’s birthday, a new foreign student gives her a gift and the flamenco toast intensifies.
This year Esther thought that her Angel would be very busy due to the current pandemic situation and also that it would be a coincidence that another year happened.
But to Esther’s surprise it was like that and without doubt the most special flamenco toast for England.
After the experience of teaching classes with a mask? A private flamenco class for two hours without stopping, does Esther remember that when she and the student went out into the street they breathed for two seconds as if there were no tomorrow?According to Esther’s recent experience, with the mask you cannot see the total expression of the student, but the eyes also speak and flamenco is also expressed with the body.
With all the safety measures, the student disinfected her shoes, put hydroalcoholic gel on her hands, a temperature control was performed with a non-contact forehead thermometer and the student did not remove her mask during the two hours, only in the changing room that she only used to drink water.