After more than three decades teaching Santa Barbarans of all ages the art of flamenco, Linda Vega has decided to take a step back from her namesake studio. “It is with a heavy heart (and a joyful one) that after 33 years I say goodbye,” Vega, who moved to Spain at age 22 to study flamenco, posted on her Facebook site.
Since the doors opened in the late 1980s, dancers of all abilities — from novice to professional — have passed through Vega’s studio, including 36 students who became Old Spanish Days Spirits and Junior Spirits of Fiesta. “Opening night at the Mission is maybe the most important night of all for my dancers, because you just can’t compare the opening of the Mission with anything else. It’s magical,” Vega said in a 2017 interview with the Independent. “My desire always is to teach my students really well and then give them wings to fly,” she said.
Although Vega is withdrawing from day-to-day operations to spend more time with her family, her school will carry on under the tutelage of Maria Bermudez. Bermudez has taught dance for more than 30 years in Jerez de la Frontera, the Spanish city in Andalusia. Jerez is known for its robust flamenco traditions and is often referred to as the “city of flamenco.” “It is with pleasure and honor that I bring you the amazing flamenco artist that is taking over my studio, Maria ‘la chacha’ Bermudez,” said Vega. “She has so much to bring to our dancers and our city. I believe she will take flamenco in Santa Barbara to a new level!
“I have put my heart and soul into every moment of working with my students. From the tiniest ones to the professionals, it has been such a huge honor and blessing to teach in this beautiful city,” Vega wrote. While departure from teaching is bittersweet, Vega promises to “still come to Santa Barbara and be present in the studio.” And she will be available for private lessons and workshops. For more information and to contact Linda Vega, email her at email@example.com, or go to facebook.com/linda.vega.3766.
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