History Flamenco School Ottawa
Sara Pelizer created The Flamenco Dance Studio Ottawa during the summer of 2010 with the full intention of it becoming what it is today; a reference of high level Flamenco training in Ottawa. Sara began offering beginner and intermediate level Flamenco classes, by posting ads on cafe bulletin boards across the city. She soon discovered a demand for Flamenco dance in Ottawa and the two levels of dance groups were formed. She began teaching classes at different community centres, the Bronson Centre and at Carleton University. Sara encountered several obstacles, such as a lack of available peak time slots and a difficulty in finding community centres with appropriate flooring and mirrors for Flamenco dance. During the spring of 2012, Sara began searching for a place of her own to host the dance sessions. In May of 2012, the Flamenco Dance Studio really came to life when it settled in its new home at 161 York Street. It is here that Sara continues to share her love for Flamenco dance with her beginner and intermediate groups. She is extremely keen about maintaining a high level of Flamenco in her classes and continues to do so through the teaching of music, history of Flamenco and excellent dance form. Students who possess a deep passion and commitment for the Art of Flamenco Dance have every opportunity to achieve a substandard level of success at The Flamenco Dance Studio Ottawa! Students are also given the opportunity to perform at the Studio’s Recitals every year and at several Festivals such as; the Festival Lationoamericano, Multicultural Day at Maison du Citoyen in Gatineau, the Drum Festival, Rahim`s Salsa Party, OCCP (Ottawa Class Centre Party) and at the Byward Market.
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Sara Pelizer has been the Director of both The Flamenco Studio and Culturas Spanish School since 2011. Sara's journey to become a professional Flamenco began at age five when she was introduced to ballet, contemporay dance and jazz in her native country of Brazil, at Club Tiete in São Paulo. Her dance classes were combined with Olympic gymnastics training, for a total of five hours of training per day. At age ten, her parents transferred her to the Royal Ballet School, where she focused only on ballet. In 1991, her family moved to Mexico where Sara was introduced to her dance teacher and mentor, Mrs. Carmen Alafita de Mendoza. Mrs. Alafita directed the repertoire “Tributo a
Garcia Lorca" performed in Xalapa, Cordoba and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. Mrs. Alifita greatly influenced Sara’s dancing experience with her wisdom, kindness and generosity. Sara continued to dance in Mexico for another five years, until her family returned to São Paulo, where she continued her dance studies.
Sara left Brazil and immigrated to Toronto in 1998. She did not have the financial means to continue her dance lessons during this time as her main focus was to study her new language and to secure employment in an attempt to sponsor her family to Canada. Her family was finally admitted to Canada ten years later in 2008.
Sara felt the need to further her academic studies in 2000 and enrolled in university. Between the years 2000 and 2005 she studied Economics/Political Science at University of Toronto and worked as a foreign currency trader at Bank of America. Sara completed her Bachelor’s degree and obtained her licenses to work as a futures and options stock trader, while working at former “Refco” between the years of 2006 to 2007. In 2008 she was accepted by the London School of Economics for her Master’s degree. Sara realized that she would never be truly happy working in a career that brought her financial gain, but denied her spiritual happiness and serenity. She declined the invitation and decided instead, to follow her call to the Art of Dance. Sara has since, been passionately devoted to her love of the arts. Sara discovered Flamenco dance in Toronto in 2005. She instantaneously and profoundly identified herself with it. In 2007, she was invited to teach Flamenco to students between the ages of 7 and 10. She also began teaching adults during the following year. Between 2006 and 2008 she appeared at numerous performances in Toronto.
Towards the end of 2008, Sara travelled to Seville, Spain to intensify her studies. Some of her teachers were Juan Polvillo, Alicia Marquez, Manuel Betanzos, Andres Pena, Rafael Campallo and “La Choni”. She returned to Spain in 2009 to further her studies. This time, she studied at Amor de Dios School in Madrid, with La Tati and Alfonso Losa.
Sara began residing in Ottawa in 2010. Since that time, she has created the Flamenco Dance Studio and she has been active with her numerous productions throughout the years. Sara recognizes the need to help local artists and she is keen about providing space to allow them to show their talents.
Despite being a professional in the Flamenco field, Sara recognizes the need to maintain her technique and she routinely enrolls in master classes.