Ania Bartelmus

Tell us about your childhood and the kind of environment you grew up in. I was born and raised in Poland and my childhood was amazing. I remember the endless summers spent playing outside and discovering new corners in my neighborhood with my friends. Inside the house, I spent hours coming up with musical plays, teaching my cousins their roles and acting and dancing in front of our family. My mom was always very supportive and encouraged me to find myself and my passion as she believed it was very important. She took me to any classes that were available including theater, dance, gymnastics, painting, horse riding, and piano. She was also the one who took me to a flamenco concert and exposed me to this previously unknown art.

What has been the number one struggle in your current position? The number one struggle is managing every aspect of my business by myself. All I want to do is dance, create, learn, discover, share and inspire. Instead, I spend most of my time marketing, managing, networking and following up with clients.

What advice would you give based on your past experiences? Don’t be afraid to take risks. The only way to change something in your life is to get out of your comfort zone. At first, take smaller risks and smaller changes to get yourself more and more comfortable and eventually you will be ready to go for something you have always dreamed of.

Tell us about yourself, passions, accomplishments, goals etc. I´ve always known I wanted to be an artist but it wasn’t always clear to me in what discipline until I saw flamenco for the first time. The dance is the perfect combination of challenge, expression, and release. Flamenco is magical. I love that moment when I am on stage and I get so engulfed with music that I feel it with every part of my body. In that moment I achieve the strongest connection with the audience and they feel my emotions the most. This deep feeling and that personal connection doesn’t always happen but is the greatest reward. That’s when I feel accomplished and one with the audience. My goals for the future are to continue to travel to Spain to further develop as a dancer and keep sharing the art of flamenco with the people who may not be aware of this art form.

Is there anything else you would like to add, future projects or other personal events? I have several projects that I am excited about. The biggest one is the organization of the flamenco show to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. I’m eager to be part of it because we will perform for an amazing cause and secondly because we showcase our first theatrical performance called “A Dos Guitarras”. I will dance accompanied by two flamenco guitarists, and in the show, we explore the idea to present an authentic flamenco show with only two guitars and without other elements of flamenco such as song or percussion. The show will take place on June 9th at the Clarkston Community Center. Another project I am excited about is to be included in the team of artists sharing their skills with the community thanks to The Home Depot Foundation. As of April 25th, I will teach free community flamenco lessons at The Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes Benz Stadium. I’m happy to reach more people with flamenco, especially those who wouldn’t be able to experience it otherwise.

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