Melinda Marquez, Founder and Artistic Director of the Melinda Marquez Flamenco Dance Center in New Haven, CT, is a dedicated teacher, performer, choreographer and mentor to young dancers. She recently completed a 27-year tenure as faculty member of Ballet Hispanico of NY, during which time she also developed programs and designed curriculum for Ballet Hispanicoʼs arts-in-education programs in the public schools. Melinda Marquez was a founding member of the Spanish Dance Arts Company now known as Flamenco Vivo/ Carlota Santana, with her mentor Roberto Lorca and dancer Carlota Santana. Early in her career she received a generous choreography fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and she continues her choreographic work, utilizing many of the dancers she trains in NY and CT. In 2005 Melinda produced the radio program, “Flamenco: A Living Art Form” which aired on WPKN, Bridgeport, CT., and highlighted the contributions of women flamenco artists from around the world, through live and recorded interviews and music. Melinda also produces the “Tablao de la luna nueva” in New Haven, which brings together professional flamenco artists, students at her center, and engages and educates the community about the art of flamenco. Melinda began her dance training in Detroit, with Cecchetti master, Rose Marie Floyd. Thanks to Ms Floyd, during her formative years she also had the good fortune to study in England with Cecchetti disciples Margaret Marsh, Laura Wilson, Nora Roche and Pavlova company member Molly Lake. While a scholarship trainee at the Harkness Ballet, Melinda discovered flamenco. Just out of her teen years, she turned down a contract from Alfonso Catá, then Director of the Frankfurt Ballet to pursue a career in flamenco.
Melinda has studied and performed with masters of flamenco dance both in New York and Spain. She toured with the companies of Jose Molina, Orlando Romero, Luis Rivera, Maria Alba, appeared with the Jose Greco Company and the Azucena y Edo Company and danced at flamenco clubs throughout NYC. As a young dancer in Spain Melinda danced with the Miguel Sandoval Company, toured as partner to dancer Pablo Rodarte and began to hone her fledgling craft dancing in the cuadro of the flamenco tablao, Las Cuevas de Nemesio. She is proud to have had the opportunity to dance with legends such as flamenco singers Domingo Alvarado and Juan Cantero, guitarist Mario Escudero and with jazz bassist, Charles Mingus at Carnegie Hall among many others.
Melinda received her BA in Spanish (summa cum laude) and her MA in Womenʼs Studies from Southern Connecticut State University.