Bridgit Luján was introduced to dance at age two when she began studying Spanish folk dance in Albuquerque. At age four she began jazz and classical ballet, later dancing pointe. In her late teens, under the tutelage of Pablo Rodarte, she focused on escuela bolera, classical Spanish, and flamenco. She continued her dance studies at the University of New Mexico, earning an MA in dance and an MBA in international business.
After performing under the direction of Eva Enciñías, Lili del Castillo, Anotnio Hidalgo, and Pablo Rodarte, she joined Maria Benitez’s Estampa Española in 2000. She has traveled to Spain on numerous occasions to further her study with master teachers including La Tati, Manolete, Antonio Canales, Victoria Eugenia, Merche Esmeralda, Marco Flores, Inmaculada Aguilar, Matilde Coral, Pilar Ogalla, and Farruquito. Since 2003, Bridgit has directed her own touring company, Dulce Flamenco Internacional, which has presented over 50 performances in the U.S., supported by generous grants from Altria Group and Spain’s Ministry of Culture. In Spain, Bridgit has performed in choreographed works in the Festival Jerez, under the direction of Javier Latorre, and in various peñas. Bridgit has partnered with dancers Pol Vaquero of Cordoba and Carlos Carbonell of Cadiz, and performed with musicians such as Manuel Soto and Pepe de Morao of the famed Sodera and Morao clans of Jerez.
Bridgit holds a level II New Mexico state teaching license endorsed in dance. In 2013 she became the first and only American Flamenco dance teacher to be an endorsed member of the Asociacion de Profesores de Danza Española y Flamenco of Madrid, Spain (APDE). Bridgit has taught at the University of New Mexico, Santa Fe Community College, Albuquerque Public Schools, and the National Conservatory of Flamenco. She is also currently teaching flamenco at Central New Mexico Community College and at Santa Fe High School. This year, Bridgit was awarded two prestigious awards from the University of New Mexico: the Hall of Fame Young Alumni Award from the Anderson School of Management, and the alumni association's Inspirational Young Alumnus Award.
Alice Blumenfeld's powerful performances onstage, and her scholarly work offstage, make her a preeminent force in the American flamenco dance scene. Soon to hold an MFA in dance from Hollins University's low residency program (2017), she continues to push her artistic development.
Currently focusing on creating new full-length productions for her company, Abrepaso Flamenco, Alice can be found traveling the U.S., teaching, and performing. Her work has been commissioned by YoungArts for the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (Washington, D.C., 2014), and she has presented her work at various venues including the Baryshnikov Performing Arts Center (NYC) and The Outpost Performance Space (Albuqeruque). She has toured extensively with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, and performed in EntreFlamenco (Santa Fe), Nelida Tirado’s Flamenco Company (NYC), in Rosario Toledo’s Cómplices (Philadelphia, PA), and with Forever Flamenco (Los Angeles), and at various venues in Sevilla, Spain.
In 2012, Alice received a Fulbright Scholarship, studying under the tutelage of Andrés Marín, Manuela Ríos, Rosario Toledo, Adela Campallo, Antonio Canales, Farruquito, Yolanda Heredia, Belen Maya, and others in Sevilla, Spain. (To read about her experiences with the Fulbright, visit her blog, Alice's Adventures in Spain.) In 2013, Alice gave the Selma Jeanne Cohen endowed dance lecture, “Beyond Stereotypes: Unraveling Flamenco Dance from Its Historical and Cultural Threads.” In 2008, Blumenfeld was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and received a Silver Award from the YoungArts Foundation.
Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Alice began her training at age three, studying the Cecchetti Method of ballet with Karen Alwin. Benigna Sanchez introduced her to flamenco at age 12, and she immediately fell in love with the art form, vigorously studying at the National Institute of Flamenco before moving to New York, and continuing to study in Spain with world-renowned artists.
Emmy Grimm began studying Flamenco at the age of four and teaching at age 12 with the Institute for Spanish Arts, and joined Flamenco's Next Generation at 10. She has worked in the company of Antonio Granjero and Estefania Ramirez as well as Chuscales and Mina Fajardo. In 2012 Emmy received the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and in 2013 she studied in Spain intensively with José Galván, Juana Amaya, Juan Paredes and Rocio Alcaide Ruiz. Emmy performed under the direction of José Galván several times in Sevilla including at the Teatro Alameda Festival Flamenco. Emmy performed her first summer season with the Juan Siddi Theatre Company in 2013. Currently Emmy is abroad, studying flamenco in Spain.
Illeana Gomez began her dance studies at a young age, studying ballet and classical Spanish dance at the Alta Gracia Garcia school and the Mina Gutierrez Hachar dance school in Laredo, Texas. In 2003, she got her first taste of professional performance with the groups Flamenco Fuego de San Antonio, and Tierra Adentro Cuadro Flamenco. Since then, she pursued intensive flamenco studies, traveling to Spain frequently to study at Amor de Dios school in Madrid or at various schools, including Juana Amaya’s academy in Seville. In 2006, Illeana moved to Albuquerque to study at the Conservatory of Flamenco Arts, where she soon became a member of Alma Flamenca, then Yjastros: the American Flamenco Repertory Company. That year, Illeana was accepted to the MFA program at the University of New Mexico, where she studied with Eva Encinias- Sandoval and earned an MFA in dance. Illeana has gained professional experience working in companies including Yjastros, Theresa Cardenas Theater Company, Juan Siddi Flamenco Theater Company, and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana. As a company member of Juan Siddi Flamenco and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Illeana has shared the stage with artists including Coral de Los Reyes, Jose Valle “Chuscales,” Jesule de Utrera, Kina Mendez. She has also had the great opportunity to work in tablaos with such artists as Saray Muñoz, Pedro Cortez, and Auxi Fernandez.