Juana Flamenca

Juana (Jenny Vassallo) started classical ballet training in Malta at the age of four at the Tanya Bayona Princess Poutiatine Academy of Ballet. During this time she performed in many theatre shows in Ballet and Jazz dance. At the age of fifteen she started Spanish dancing (Flamenco, Escuela Bolera and Regional) under the direction of Rosanna Maya. In 1994, she attended the London Studio Centre for a summer school course in Flamenco and Escuela Bolera.

Juana completed her Advanced examination with the Spanish Dance Society. She also trained in the Alianza Flamenca Syllabus under the direction of Rosanna Maya and Carlos (Clive Bain). In 2007 she successfully passed her Alianza Flamenca Primer Diploma de Enseñanza (teaching diploma).

Rosanna Maya invited nineteen year old Juana to join Alegria Dance Company, with whom she performed regularly as a soloist and company member for theatre, TV and flamenco cabaret shows for over 20 years. Juana taught classes at Alegria Academia. She performed in and choreographed for school shows there.

Juana taught Sevillanas classes at the University of Malta and performed during lectures in the Hispanic Studies Department there. She has also performed in festivals, receptions and theatre shows at the University with Rosanna Maya.

Juana also performed as a soloist with flamenco guitarist Pepe El Tiburon for theatre, flamenco cabaret shows and local TV.

Since 1999 Juana has been teaching flamenco dance at the Alison White School of Dance. Her students have successfully passed Alianza Flamenca assessments and B.T.D.A. medal tests. Juana has also choreographed for several dance academy shows and theatre productions.

In 2001, Juana was the first person in Malta to win the Comsec International Scholarship Award to attend master classes at the 2002 prestigious Flamenco Festival in Jerez de la Frontera Spain. Whilst there she studied with flamenco legends Merche Esmerelda and Matilde Coral. A few years later she returned to the flamenco festival in Jerez de la Frontera and watched top theatre productions with artists such as Eva la Yerbabuena, Maria Pages and Ballet Nacional de España.

In 2007, Juana moved to Dublin, Ireland for a year where she performed regularly in theatres, castles and hotels. She taught open flamenco (technique and choreography) and Alianza Flamenca syllabus classes at various studios, gave workshops and choreographed. She performed with guitarists John Walsh ‘Juan El Picao’, Lucas Gonzalez, Paco Garcia Arrasto and Alan Ryan. Juana appeared on the TV show ‘Glas Vegas’.

Juana was invited to return to Ireland to perform in Arts festivals and performances around the country- namely in Dublin, Galway and Cork. She also organised a workshop with Riverdance star Yolanda Sobrado and a show for her students. She worked with Yasmina (Ireland dance stars), in a Flamenco-Eastern fusion show.

Juana visited China in 2011 and was invited to perform in Beijing and Shandong. She also appeared on TV there.

Over the years Juana has attended workshops in Spain and Malta with renowned flamenco artists such as Juan Ogalla, Manolo Marin, Jose Merino (of Ballet Nacional de Espana), Ana Morales, Sara Santos and Javier Latorre. She also attended several workshops with Francesca Grima ‘Cikka’.

Juana has performed as a guest dancer and choreographer. She has choreographed and worked with local dancers and guitarist Alejandro Gomez most recently in 2019.

In 2019 Juana spent a month in Spain. She attended the bulerias festival in Jerez de la Frontera, then went on to Madrid.

In Madrid she took daily flamenco classes at the top flamenco studio of Amor de Dios, where the best flamenco artists teach. She took classes with Kelian Jiminez, David Paniagua, Cristobal Reyes, Amelia Vega, Belen Fernandez and Lola Mayo.

Juana also has a Yoga teacher’s diploma from Kevala Centre/Natural Healthcare College. She has taught Yoga classes at Sky Spirit fitness lounge, Alison White dance studio, Summerbell Dance Academy, Freestyle dance studio and Dingli council as well as at the International Dance Academy in Dublin.