I have grown as a dancer and become invested in the Bay Area's flamenco community through the art, passion and mentoring of Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos. This dance company not only offers a diverse mix of classes, performances and special events, but also invites dancers, musicians and audience members of all ages and stages to immerse themselves in the rich inner workings of the world of flamenco. To me, Yaelisa is the matriatch of flamenco in the Bay Area. She not only understands flamenco but also understands how to teach it- challenging students to study and master not only choreographies but also the compas, the history, the palmas and the roots that flamenco has grown from. Her classes kick ass- and her choreographies even moreso. Yaelisa has mentored countless flamenco dancers who have now begun to thrive as teachers in their own right. I respect her community-building skills and her commitment to her students and fellow artists in the Bay Area. And on a personal note, I have gone from being a clueless, self-conscious beginner to embrace curiosity, dedication and joy as a true student of this art form. Caminos Flamencos performances are thrilling to watch and even more thrilling to perform in. The community that Caminos Flamencos attracts is infectious in its love for this art form. I'm so grateful to have stumbled into flamenco as a result of the Yaelisa's memorable 'Boy with a Coin' music video almost 10 years ago now. Keep it coming!