Hola Bega, Far South Flamenco take students to Spain in 2018

Hola Espana: Veronica Valderrama of Lochiel and Marie Andreu Martin of Bega will give their students the ultimate cultural education to improve their flamenco and language skills during a tour of Spain next year. Photo: Supplied

Hola Espana: Veronica Valderrama of Lochiel and Marie Andreu Martin of Bega will give their students the ultimate cultural education to improve their flamenco and language skills during a tour of Spain next year. Photo: Supplied

When teachers Veronica Valderrama and Maria Andreu Martin began talking about a group trip to Spain with their students, they were only having a laugh. 

But when they realised their classes at Hola Bega Spanish and Far South Flamenco were genuinely interested, the joking stopped and planning began. 

The ambitious project will give their students a culturally immersive boost, pushing them to the next level of their language and dance lessons. 

In March 2018, Ms Valderrama, and Ms Andreu Martin will guide their students on a three week cultural tour of Spain, including museums, food and wine tasting and exploring the countryside.

Along their journey, their education will continue, with Spanish language classes and Flamenco lessons held almost every day.

“The students were asking for it. You need a goal to aim for,” Ms Valderrama said.

“It needs to have a point; to see all your effort being used in real life. This is about giving students the most immersive, positive experience possible.”

She said there is no better experience than travelling through Spain for students of Flamenco, because very region offers different aspects of the art form.

Ms Valderrama is a professional classical ballet dancer who started Far South Flamenco classes a few years ago. Her oldest student is 96 years old and her youngest ballerinas are three.

Ms Andreu Martin began teaching her native Spanish to keen students of all ages six years ago after she moved to the area with her family.

They are passionate about Spanish culture and have an intimate knowledge of the side of Spain that locals live, promising their travel group a genuine glimpse of Spanish life. 

The trip will benefit not just the students, but also the teachers, who are conscious of their isolation on the Far South Coast.

 Ms Andreu Martin is looking forward to seeing her family and practicing her language on the trip. She said travelling back to Spain keeps her up to date. 

In the future, Ms Valderrama, and Ms Andreu Martin want to see the tour become an annual part of their teaching year, giving students in the Bega Valley the chance to practice and develop their skills in an immersive environment. 

The teachers invite anyone interested in joining the Spain trip in the future to prepare by signing up to their Spanish language or flamenco dance classes.  

To give people a taste of Spanish culture, Far South Flamenco and Hola Bega will host an evening of Spanish music, theatre, dance and song at Funhouse Studio, Bega on Saturday, October 21. Tickets are $25, for bookings call 6495 7160.

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