Founder, Artistic Director
Esmeralda Enrique is one of the most celebrated Flamenco dance artists in Canada. Lauded internationally as a choreographer and teacher, she founded the Academy of Spanish Dance in 1981 and the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company in 1982, renowned for its innovation, versatility, and artistic excellence. Esmeralda grew up in the flamenco tradition, studying dance as a child and was working professionally by the age of 14. She has received numerous awards including being one of three finalists for The Toronto Arts Foundation’s 2022 Celebration of Cultural Life Award. She received the Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Vision Award for Arts and Culture and the inaugural Young Centre for the Performing Arts Dance Award as Senior Artist in 2012. In 2014 the City of Barrie, Ontario dedicated their fifth annual Rhythmfest to Esmeralda in recognition of her contribution to dance in Canada and North America and she was awarded the Pioneers Award in Art and Dance from the Hispanic Canadian Heritage Council as well as named one of the 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians in 2008. Ms. Enrique has also been honoured with Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for Outstanding Performance in 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2006 and for Outstanding New Choreography in 2009, 2015 and 2018.
Esmeralda reveals in her work a total mastery and love of the art. Her infinite creativity, energy, and passion will continue to convey a true love for the art of flamenco for generations to come. Undoubtedly, her spirit and energy over the last forty-one years have helped make flamenco a vibrant, driving force on the Canadian dance landscape.