Contributor Karen Stelling Began her Spanish Dance training in 1975 and since then has performed in many venues around Chicago, the Midwest and beyond. She was the First Dancer of the Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Company from its inception in 1976 through 1987, performing flamenco, neo-classical and many of the regional dances of Spain. Highlighted performances included the chance to dance with the Chicago Symphony, at the Theater of the Riverside Church in New York City, for migrant workers in the fields of Southern Illinois and in many lecture-demonstration and concerts for Chicago and suburban school students.
After leaving the Company, Karen continued to perform at a variety of concert halls, festivals and special events as a soloist/guest artist, and as a member of the flamenco trio, Los Tres. Karen was a guest artist and choreographer in 1999 and again in 2002 with the Ole Ole Puppet and Dance Theater directed by Wendy Clinard.
In 2007, Karen provided choreography for the Halcyon Theatre’s production of Yerma, by F. G. Lorca. Karen has taught private and group flamenco classes for over two decades including work for Hedwig Dance, the Evanston Park District, Danza Viva, Harper College Dance Program, The Salt Creek Ballet and currently at the Flamenco Arts Center and SPACE in Chicago. She received flamenco and Spanish dance training from many masters of both “old school” and the “Nuevo” styles. Karen also enjoys playing the cajon, a box drum used frequently in flamenco and teaching castanet technique.
Karen writes about Flamenco and Spanish Dance for 4dancers.
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