The Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Youth Company serves as the pre-professional training program to the organization’s professional company. It’s comprised of two levels:
Level 1: Starting at age 10, supports students with some dance experience and interested in continued learning the art of Spanish dance.
Level 2: For 16+ is designed to support students interested in advancing their Spanish dance skills for college credit and/or professional pursuits.
Both levels take classes in ballet and Spanish dance.
Auditions are held annually.
Youth Company program highlights include:
Training with company artistic directors and staff
Training with guest artists from Spain & the U.S.
Performance opportunities in the community
Performances with the professional company and guest artists
National and international touring opportunities
Extra Benefits: Costumes, castanets, shoes, and accessories
Founded in 1985 by Dame Libby Komaiko and the late Lillian C. Heminover, executive board member, and Fine Arts coordinator at Frederick Funston School, the training program offers intensive training to serious, young artists.
They routinely perform at the American Spanish Dance and Music Festival, at the annual Holiday Concerts and for the Our Chance to Dance Youth Festival as well as performances throughout Chicago and Illinois.
In 2012, the Youth Company undertook a summer Flamenco intensive program in Madrid, Spain. Learning from masters such as Carmela Greco, María Torres, Joaquín Ruiz, Paloma Gómez and Carolina Arias.
Youth Company dancers receive a scholarship worth $10,000 annually which includes training with local professional Spanish Dance instructors and guest artists from Spain, performance opportunities, costumes and rehearsal wear.