Persona June, 17th 2011 by

Dario meets F.A.M.A and Manuela Veronese!

 I first met the energetic Manuela Veronese, the creator and director of “Fama” the Academy School of Dance Pop, based in Fuengirola, whilst I was celebrating my birthday with friends at a local restaurant. 
For some time I had been pondering on how to help Debbi Mace the President of the International Charity “The Children for Peace,” as she wished to bring a group of needy children from the Middle East, for a fund raising Gala event in Marbella.  A mutual friend introduced me to her, and as she was leaving the restaurant she gave me her F.A.M.A card. All the bits of my conundrum fell into place, as on my suggestion, she contacted Debbi in Rome; they both clicked and now Manuela is hard at it, rehearsing over 50 talented dancers, all children, especially for this great event. So the meeting was fortuitous for us all.
Italian born Manuela, who is the owner, director and driving force of this exciting school of dance, is a highly experienced dancer in her own right, as she was a professional dancer and teacher at the respected Academy of Ballet of the Goethe Theatre in Bremen, Germany.
She was trained in her art, by some of the best dance teachers not only in Europe, but also in the USA, such names as Hans Kresnik (Choreographer) Martha Graham (a pioneer of contemporary ballet) and Art Hutchinson (Ballet dancer of Wilmington, Philadelphia.) She was with the corps de ballet at the Bremer Theatre with choreographer Hans Kresnik in tours in Poland, Warsaw and Danzig, and Germany, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Recklinghausen.
With the Stephen Greco ballet, she professionally toured in Rimini, Milan, St.Vincent, Torino and Barcelona. and spent an exciting year in Estoril, Portugal with the Ballet of Jose Montes, and then she toured Italy, Milan, St. Vincent, Bergamo.
For two years her superb dance shows were regularly performed at the Casino Torrequebrada, Malaga and Manuela was also ballet Captain for Nacho Arieta, which toured Italy and Spain (Granada, Cordoba, Madrid, Salamanca, Huelva, Merida, Seville).
I asked how long she had been teaching children to dance in this area and she replied.
“I have been teaching children in Ballet and Modern Dance, as well as Break Dance and Salsa the last 30 years. Every single year I have produced a Christmas Show and always participated in many events during the summer. I organized summer schools for children all ages every year with a dance and sports program during the mornings. I cannot say that I love children to death, but I love to teach them and to get them somewhere in life.”

I started teaching children from Mijas in 1982, and in those days parents generally were reluctant to spend money for dance classes, and the people though very very nice, were quite laid back.  It was therefore quite a challenge to try to approach and instill in those people my own cultural standards, distinctive knowledge, ideas and methods, including teaching them discipline, punctuality and joy for the beautiful experience that dancing is all about.”
I have heard, that you are quite a disciplinarian and work hard to instill this belief into your pupils. Is that reputation correct? “I have to say at this point, that I was brought up in Germany, so my teaching style is very tough. I don’t allow anything in class and I wish to follow certain rules of behaviour in class and of course to achieve certain skills during each course. So I started holding exams each year in springtime and ”Wow”, what a success this became, This is what the students needed: to show what they can do and each received a prize when they were the best. Old values are still required! And I have to say: it works! Parents want to be proud again of how clever and well educated their children can be and not on how cool they appear to be.” 
Manuela has a number of large shows being rehearsed; one with 150 dancers and as I mentioned at the start of this article, she is currently rehearsing with her dancers and singers, for a special Gala event on the 4 June 2011 to be held at the exclusive Hotel Villa Padierna near Marbella, for The Children for Peace Onlus, headed by its indefatigable President Debbi Mace, and the Vice-President Lamia Khashoggi, who have organized this glamorous Gala with a host of famous stars and celebrities including  Ana Obregon and the ever professional and disciplined Manuela, is working with them to ensure its success in raising funds for the charity.



Dario Poli

Composer, artist, and a published author and illustrator. He is initiator of the campaign to present a better image Internationally, of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Composer of the music "Marbella Marbella" used as the anthem of the campaign and also many other recorded compositions including Nostradamus, and Corazon, for The Children for Peace Onlus charity in Rome as well as the co-author of the powerful musical drama Lady X and The Power of Destiny. He is also the editor and a founder member of this website.

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