Valerie Scannura had been performing and teaching flamenco and Spanish dance for ten years prior to founding her own company and school, Ritmo Flamenco in 1995. Valeria graduated from the National Ballet School’s prestigious teacher training program and taught ballet exclusively for five years before flamenco became her main love. Her desire to integrate the art forms of flamenco with contemporary dance and ballet have made her company stand out as being innovative and technically advanced . In this aspect, her school is unique in it’s development and nurturing of up and coming young artists. Presently, she has established an ongoing relationship with teachers and schools in Jerez, Spain where she brings her dancers yearly. This desire to integrate her students with Spain has influenced the international stature of her school and increases her standards of performance.
Valerie herself has been traveling to Spain since 1992 and has had the privilege of attending classes at the historic “Amor de Dios” studios. Amor de Dios is the emblematic centre of Flamenco and Spanish Dance. Created in 1953 as a rehearsal studio and has grown to be associated with the most prestigious names of Spanish dance and flamenco; from Antonio Gades to the current names in flamenco like Marco Flores and Belen Maya. I have studied with many great artists such as Merche Esmeralda, Ciro, Manolete, El Guito, Paco Romero, Maria Magdalena, Carmela Greco, Alejandro Granados, Yolanda Heredia and others too numerous to mention. These studies have elevated my knowledge and appreciation of the art of Spanish dance and I have constructed my own syllabus based on an amalgamation of information from all of these teachers. In 2000, I became enamoured with Jerez de la Frontera and began my annual journey to the “heartbeat” of flamenco. Andalusia is where flamenco is born and bred and I have enjoyed many trips to this beautiful city to take part in the Festival de Jerez and study with pure born artists just as Mercedes Ruiz. Each year, I return to Spain to various cities and have enjoyed workshop intensives in Granada, Spain with Belen Maya and have continued to add new creativity to my teaching and performing.
Valerie loves the art of teaching and besides cultivating and core group of 40-50 students since 1995, she continues to work with professional dance students at the National Ballet School of Canada for Cecchetti Day and has created works for Cawthra Secondary School. She was Principal of the Umbrella Dance Program at the Quinte Ballet School of Canada for several years and presently has a satellite studio in Prince Edward County where she teach small group classes. Her Toronto school keeps her busy as there are classes running almost every day of the week!!
“Flamenco concerts can sometimes be formulaic, but Ritmo Flamenco refuses to fall into that trap.”
“The talented dancers rivet the eye with their commitment and Valeria, as always is a compelling performer.”
Paula Citron – The Globe and Mail
The Dance Company
The Ritmo Flamenco Dance and Music Ensemble was formed in 1995 by Valerie Scannura (Artistic Director, choreographer) and Roger Scannura (Music Director, flamenco guitarist). Their daughter, Anjelica Scannura is Co-Artistic Director and is an award-winning choreographer and dancer.
Since its inception, they have enthralled audiences in music and dance festivals worldwide. The company strives to create original concepts woven seamlessly into their productions with artists they have mentored, while continually going to the source by travelling to Spain. They have garnered a strong reputation for their authentic brand of flamenco that is bred in the bone, ensuring their presentations are marked with the Scannura’s outstanding level of excellence.
“Valeria is always a compelling performer. Her dancers rivet the eye with their commitment.” Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail.