Photo by Dayna Szyndrowski
Michelle Harding is a professional flamenco dancer, teacher and choreographer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
As a Performer
Michelle is one of Vancouver’s popular tablao performers, known for her improvisational instinct, rapid-fire footwork and engaging presence. Always interested in the processes of collaboration and experimentation, she has worked with many artists from outside the usual scope of the form to innovate and challenge expectations. She has worked with such diverse artists and groups as The Plastic Acid Orchestra, Tyson Naylor (jazz pianist), Mashregh (Persian-flamenco fusion), Krystle dos Santos (jazz-soul singer) and Silk Road Music Ensemble. She currently performs most frequently with Calle Verde.
Michelle has danced in dozens of professional presentations including performances at the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, Victoria Flamenco Festival, Coetani Experimental Flamenco Festival (Greece) and many productions with Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre. She has performed and taught from coast to coast in Canada, including a two-year residency project with the Festival of New Dance in St. John’s Newfoundland.
Michelle has studied flamenco and classical Spanish dance in Spain, Greece, Canada and the USA with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists.
As a Teacher
Michelle is keenly aware that every student is unique and she creates an inclusive atmosphere to optimize individual learning. She is particularly skilled in developing technical precision and communicating the interplay between the various elements of flamenco in performance: song, music, percussion and dance.
Michelle believes that flamenco is learned and expressed through both the body and the mind. With passion and humour, she strives to enable students to access greater personal kinesthetic and energetic awareness. She encourages students to explore their own potential for artistic expression through the medium of a strong technical foundation in flamenco dance.
She is a tireless ambassador for the art of flamenco, teaching and performing in dozens of educational programs in schools and seniors’ centres, as well as bringing the flamenco community together to raise funds for local charities. She teaches independently and with her mentor, Oscar Nieto.