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    Champion Belly Dancer - Anjelica Scannura

    Anjelica Scannura is a very talented woman who in just a few short years, learned the history, movements and craft of Belly dancing and was recently inducted into the Belly dancer of the Universe Hall of Fame.

    She currently teaches the sultry and exotic techniques of both Belly dance and Flamenco dancing in Liberty Village at Ritmo Flamenco Dance Studio, located at 19R Atlantic Ave.

    Anjelica is just 25 years old and she has accomplished a so much, but she has been dancing since before she could walk. She also grew up with parents who lived and breathed the arts.  Her mother has roots in Ireland and worked for the National Ballet, and her father, Roger Scannura, is originally from Malta and is a well known Flamenco guitarist. She credits her parents for her love of Flamenco.

    Flamenco has been a huge part of her life and last year she was welcomed to compete in Spain in a major Flamenco choreography competition that has been infamous for excluding dancers who don’t hail from Spain.

    In 2009, Anjelica Scannura decided to change up her dance career. She was involved with competitive Irish dance for 6 years. Those high kicks and stomping rhythms had taken a toll and she needed to give her feet a rest from the clapping and clanging of Riverdance style performance. She traded her classic black Irish footwear for the colourful skirts and scarves of belly dance. Scannura's connection to the form was instant.

    Her foray into this centuries old tradition would put her onto the international stage -- and in just a couple of years, she became one of the top belly dancers on the planet. She was recently inducted into the Belly dancer Universe Hall of Fame, along with several other awards.

    Anjelica is a committed and passionate performer. When she teaches, her students often remark on how serious she is about her dancing and her emotional connection to the music. When the performance ends and the teaching begins, Scannura is all laughs and even a little goofy. I asked her about her emotional connection to her performances.

    Anjelica Scannura is one of those interesting stories that you can only find in a big city like Toronto. She is a woman who has evolved her art form by fusing Flamenco and Belly dancing together. On top of that she has conquered the craft on the international stage and has become one of the best in the world.

    Scannura has performed in Madrid, Miami, Malta and Mexico, but she teaches right here in Toronto at Ritmo Flamenco.

    In March, Scannura will perform at Harbourfront Centre as part of the Next Steps Dance program, and April at the Living Arts Centre, but you can dance with her now. Check RitmoFlamenco.ca for class details, and check www.anjelicascannura.com to learn more about her.


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