And now, here’s another in our occasional series called “My Spot,” celebrating personal experiences with special places in California. Meet a
waitress/caregiver who takes us to the studio where she dances flamenco!
My name is Maria Howard and I live in Santa Rosa, California. And I’ve been taking dance classes at Flamenco Arts Dance Studio in downtown Santa Rosa for 15 years now.
Dance has played a very important role ever since I was five, from Chinese folk dancing through ballet through modern dance. And now that the kids are grown and gone, I have more time for myself, and I’ve rediscovered that part of me.
I’ve made many friends at the studio and it’s like my second family.
My first flamenco solo, which was in May at the studio, was something that I anticipated -- and I was nervous. But my teacher said that I was ready, and I surprised myself in the end. And it helped to have friends in the audience. And as I got on stage, I thought, 'You know, this is my time.' And it was very moving and powerful for me.
There is a transformation. You put on a persona and you just love it when people afterward say, 'I didn’t know you could dance that way! I didn’t know that part of you.' It’s very rewarding.