Our Dancers

Daniel Paredez
Male Soloist/Instructor

Daniel began dancing flamenco in January 2006 training intensively with local flamenco artist, Estela Velez. He's also studied with renowned Flamenco masters Alejandro Granados, La Farruca, Carmela Greco, Antonio Santaella, Adrian Santana, Marco Flores, Miguel Vargas, David Coria, and many others.  Daniel joined Furia Flamenca in 2006, and shortly thereafter became the company’s lead male dancer and a soloist for the company. His performances include the Washington National Opera's production of Don Giovanni (2007) and Carmen (2015) at the Kennedy Center; soloist in Furia Flamenca’s Lorca: Flamenco Poetry (Alden Theater, 2009; the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, 2010; Atlas Performing Arts Center, 2011, 2015) where he was an Emerging Performer finalist at the Metro-DC Dance Awards (2011); Ida y Vuelta: De Donde Vienes Mestizo in Managua, Nicaragua (2011), and a featured dancer in Teatro Lyrico DC’s La Verbena de la Paloma at the Gala Hispanic Theater (2014).  He has also performed in tablaos locally and abroad in Puerto Rico and Nicaragua. He taught flamenco at the summer intensives at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in D.C (2009) and Maryland Youth Ballet (2017 & 2018).  Daniel has supplemented his Flamenco with training in ballet, modern, and aerial dance.  

Currently, Daniel is faculty at the Joy of Motion Dance Center and Treasurer of the Board of Director's for Dance Metro DC.

Karina Valverde
Dancer/Public Relations and Marketing Director

Karina's flamenco journey began at Joy of Motion Dance Center in 2004 and joined Furia Flamenca in 2015. She has primarily studied under the mentorship of Estela Velez de Paredez. She further trained under visiting master artists including Alejandro Granados, La Farruca, Carmela Greco, Miguel Vargas, and Antonio Vargas to name a few. Always working to learn and improve her technique, Karina also participated in the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque in 2008 and 2011. She compliments her flamenco traditional style with her background in Latin Dance and Raqs Sharqi (bellydance). From 2003-2007, she concurrently trained and performed with a local bellydance troop, U Street Caravan. Karina sees flamenco as a life-long challenge and continues her intensive training with Furia Flamenca.

Amy Weishampel
Dancer/Substitute Instructor

Amy studied ballet and modern dance extensively at the Peabody Preparatory at the age of eight and graduated from the Carver Center for Arts and Technology in 2003. She was first introduced to flamenco at the age of 14. She trained extensively with Nancy Sedgwick, Jaime Coronado and Lourdes Elias, performing with their company, Spanish Dance Society, from 2001 to its dissolution in 2004. Amy began studying with Estela Velez in 2006, and joined Furia Flamenca shortly after. Amy has performed at various theaters and festivals over the Baltimore/Washington area, and has taken workshops with La Farruca, Omyra Amaya, Antonio Vargas, Lola Greco, Carmela Greco, and Alejandro Granados, among others.

Morgan Heyer
Dancer/Substitute Instructor

Morgan began studying dance at the age of four with ballet and modern in Laurel, MD. Upon learning of the form from a friend, she started lessons in flamenco at age nine with Nancy Sedgewick. Since then she has attended workshops given by Dame Marina Keet, Yloy Ybarra, and Jorge Navarro. In 1996, Morgan studied with Ziva Cohen and performed throughout the Washington, D.C. area.  Morgan has been a member of Furia Flamenca since its inception in 2003.

Sylvia Melecio
Dancer/Substitute Instructor

Sylvia has been studying and performing Flamenco in the Washington, DC-metro area since 2000  She has been studying with Estela Velez de Paredez since 2002. Sylvia is one of the founding members of Furia Flamenca, and has been dancing with the company since its inception under the direction of Estela Velez. She also trained with Flamenco Masters Antonio Santaella, Alejandro Granados, Miguel Vargas, Carmela Greco and others, and attended flamenco workshops at the National Institute of Flamenco in New Mexico. Her dance background includes ballet, Spanish dance and folk dances which she studied at the Academia de Baile Zaida Varas while in her native Puerto Rico.

Tammy Lemley

Tammy's first experience flamenco was love at first sight! Soon after moving from Texas to Washington, DC, she saw her first flamenco show and was mesmerized by the profiles, beautiful swirling skirts and fiery footwork. She began studying flamenco with Ziva Cohen at Joy of Motion in 1995 and performed with Ziva's Spanish Dance Ensemble for over 9 years. She has performed extensively in numerous venues in the Washington, DC-metro area including the Kennedy Center, the Corcoran, Dance Place and the Publick Playhouse. Tammy has been dancing since the age of five. Her repertoire also includes ballet, tap, jazz, ballroom and belly dance.  Tammy has been a member of Furia Flamenca since its inception in 2003.

Lauren Raivel

Lauren started dancing flamenco with Martin Cruz at the ADEC in Puebla, Mexico in 1996. A native of Maryland, she has lived in Pamplona, Spain for a year and Puebla Mexico for three years. After returning to the United States, she took Spanish Dance lessons at the Oxford Academy with Nancy Sedgewick. In 2004, she started taking classes with Estela Velez. She became a company member of Furia Flamenca in 2004. She has performed at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, The Alden Theatre, the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Theater, Sidney Harmon Hall, Dance Place and Publik Playhouse. In 2006, she took classes at the Amor de Dios studio in Madrid, Spain. In 2011, she attended the National Institute of Flamenco in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Among the flamenco Masters she has trained with are Alejandro Granados, Miguel Vargas, Carmela Greco, la Farruca, Antonio Vargas, Antonio Santaella, Raimundo Benitez, and Marisol Encinas. She taught beginning dance at Forever Dancing in Falls Church, Virginia from 2014 to 2015. She now is the sponsor for the International Dance Club at Glasgow Middle School.

Mariana Teresa Osorio

Mariana began her flamenco studies with a summer Sevillanas course taught by the late Tina Ramirez at Ballet Hispanico in New York City. During her senior year in college she learned her first solea and bulerias in a class taught by Clara Mora Chinoy, after which Mariana knew she had found a life-long passion. Upon moving to Washington D.C., she studied extensively under Lourdes Elias, Jaime Coronado and Nancy Sedgwick Monahan at the Oxford Academy and later joined their dance company, the Spanish Dance Society. After the company was disbanded, Mariana continued her studies under Sara Candela, Ana Menendez and Ulrika Frank at the D.C. Dance Collective. After taking a hiatus to pursue a master's degree, she returned to intensive flamenco studies in 2008 under Estela Velez and joined Furia Flamenca later that year. Mariana has taken workshops with Antonio Vargas, Carmela Greco, Alejandro Granados, Miguel Vargas, and Pablo Rodarte. Mariana has had the opportunity to perform at numerous events and venues around the D.C. area including the Feria de Sevilla, the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, the Alden Theater, the Atlas Theater, the Corcoran Gallery, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Reston Multi-Cultural Festival, the Intersections Festival, Happenings at Harmon Hall, and the EU Embassies Open House.

Yanet Juarez

Yanet fell in love with dancing at age six.  Ever since then, she has been training in Ballet and Mexican Folk dance. Currently, she trains with the Ballet Studio in Washington, DC.  She also dances with the Maru Monetro Dance Company with whom she's had the opportunity to perform all over the Washington, DC Metropolitan area including the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institute and the White House.  

She joined Furia Flamenca in 2017 and has greatly enjoyed learning under the direction and guidance of Estela Velez.

Patricia Bueno Abdala

Patricia is a native of La Paz, Bolivia. She started her study of Spanish Dance at Academia de Danzas Española Carmen Bravo. She moved to Chicago in 1982, and while pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Illinois, joined de Circle Dancers. In 1987, she began formal training with Dame Kibby Komaiko, founder of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater. She has also studied with Paco Alonso, Victorio Khorjhan, Karen Stelling, Juan Ramon, Luis Montero, Manolo Rivera, Azucena Vega, Juanjo Linares. In 1988, she became a Scholarship Apprentice to the Ensemble Español, and in 1989, was promoted to Full Company Dancer. In 1996, Patricia was promoted to Principal Dancer, and danced with Ensemble Espanol for two years.  She has since studied with Carmela Greco, Timo Lozano, Paloma Gomez, Ana Gonzales, Omayra Amaya and Edwin Aparicio. In 2017, she started training with Estela Velez and Daniel Paredez. She has performed as Guest Artist for the World Fest with St. Louis Cultural Flamenco Society in St. Louis, MO. She has also performed for The Chicago Human Rhythm’s Project World Festival of Tap and Percussive Dance Honoring Juan Ramon.

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Jenish Patel

Jenish learned and performed Indian folk dances, while growing up in India and has been exposed to Indian classical dance and music from an early age.  Jenish began his formal Kathak (classical dance of North India) training in 2011 from various Kathak teachers based in the US, and also learned Kathak in workshop with renowned Kathak Gurus of India.  He has peformed Kathak extensively, as part of Rajiv Purohit's Haveli Dancerfs group in New York City.  After moving to the DC area, Jenish has been choreographing and performing Kathak with Nootana, a Soluth Asian classical arts ensemble in Washington, DC/Maryland area. Jenish is currently a Kathak instructor at Joy of Motion Dance Center in Washington, DC.


Jenish started his flamenco training in 2015 with Estela Velez de Paredez and Daniel Paredez at Joy of Motion and joined Furia Flamenca in 2016.  In 2017, Jenish was a featured dancer and co-choreographer for a well-received Kathak-Flamenco duet for the Atlas Intersections festival in 2017.