Biography

In case you don’t know me, I'll briefly share with you why am I qualified to lead you on the dance path...

I am Puela Lunaris, the founder of Dances of the World Society. I am on a mission to rescuing dances in danger of extinction. My specialty is Danza Mediterranea®, which includes ancient and contemporary dance styles inspired by different Mediterranean areas including Babylon, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, and Spain.

My signature style is the Lunaris Barefoot Flamenco for World Fusion™,  with dances of Morisco, Gypsy, and Jewish Sephardi origins from my native Spain, which many dancers around the world are now using to spark their own dances.

 
I have been making a living as a professional dancer/dance teacher for over 22 years and counting (with no day job). But I am also the eternal student! I am always investing in my own professional development. And, I must tell you: it more than pays off.

Not only have I earned a B.A. in Dance Education from the State University of New York, I am also currently enrolled in a Master in Digital Media at New York University, and I have accomplished many teacher trainings and certification programs myself, including:

◆ Dance Education Laboratory’s Year-Long Teacher Training
◆ National Dance Institute: Dance Teacher Training Intensive
◆ Community Word Project’s Year-Long Multidisciplinary Teaching Artist Program
◆ Zumba® Fitness and Zumba® Core Instructor Certifications
◆ Interdisciplinary Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
◆ Chair-Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Integral Yoga Institute International
◆ Qi Gong Teacher Training Certification by the Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine
◆ Neuro-Linguistic Programing Practitioner Certification by the NLP Center of New York
◆ Yoga for Stress-Management Certification by the Integral Yoga Institute International
◆ Graduated from the renown Dance Education Laboratory's exclusive Facilitator In Training Program

 

In the field of Flamenco, I have been blessed to study under some of the most legendary gypsy dancers of all time, such as Maestro “El Farruco,” Matilde Coral, and Estrella Morena.

In the field of Bellydance, I’ve completed ethnographic field research in Morocco, Iraq, Jordan, and -of course- Spain.

Always fascinated by world dance diverse ethnic traditions, I have also learned a great deal of dancing in the kitchens of families from Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Lebanon and India.

My classical ballet training under the great Adolfo Leon in Madrid, Spain, has been as well a great foundation for my dance career.

However, what I think has made me a sought after instructor is my extensive research on dances of Morisco, Gypsy and Sephardi origins from my native Spain. Specially, my dedicated work to save Zambra Mora and different Barefoot Flamenco styles from danger of extinction.

Thousands of successful, smart women around the world are learning, practicing and enjoying my  choreographies through my  Amazon best-seller DVDs.

This is a trophy photo! These Gypsy grandmothers are the matriarchs of several clans of the most famous Gypsy performers in Spain called Gypsy Dynasties. If you are like me, having had the opportunity and the honor to learn directly from them is the ultimate dream come true for a cultural dancer.

As the founder of Dances of the World Society, my mission is to rescue dance and music traditions in danger of extinction by documenting them audio-visually in their natural environment.

As far as my teaching experience goes, my list is too long. So I will only highlight a few special places: I have taught at Peter Gabriel’s W.O.M.A.D. Festivals, The Omega Institute, Hollins University, The Performing Arts Network in Miami Beach, The Centro Andaluz de Danza in Seville, The Escuela de Música y Danza in Madrid, The Rakkasah/Spring Caravan Festival, The Juilliard School, The CUNY Dance Department, The New York Open Center, and The Instituto Cervantes in New York City.

Furthermore, I have been a dance Teaching Artist with the prestigious New York City Center for 11 years and a licensed per diem dance teacher with the NYC D.O.E for 4 years. I also led teacher trainings at the distinguished Planet Dance program of the Dance Education Laboratory in New York City.

Some of my most memorable performances have taken place at Alexander the Great’s Throne Room during The International Babylon Festival 1999 (Iraq), Teatro de la Villa (Madrid), and Goddessdance (New York City).

It was a delight to perform for members of the Royal Jordanian family in Amman, as it was to perform for Former Vice-president Al Gore and Dr. Deepak Chopra at the Alliance for the New Humanity in San Juan (PR).

I have also had the pleasure to enjoy numerous TV appearances including all major National Television Networks in Spain, R.A.I. (Italy), Univision, NBC, CNN and PBS in the U.S.A.

Moreover, based on my 20+ years as a dance teacher and workshop leader, I have developed the Successful Presentations Skills™ methodology used by top executives and dynamic entrepreneurs whom I coach in New York City.

As a result of my 22 years (and counting) of glorious dance career, I have put together this a professional training, so you, and many other wonderful dancers around the world, can benefit from all that I have learned and all that I have accomplished

I am not telling you all these things about myself to impress you. I only wish to impress upon you the fact that I have the capability and expertise to nurture you if you care to join our Certification Programs.  I am lovingly dedicated to your success as a dancer and dance teacher!

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