Rosario Ancer receives the Lola Award for a body of work spanning more than 25 years. Photo by VNB Photography.
Rosario Ancer. Photo by VNB Photography.

Meet dancer, choreographer and artistic director and founder of Vancouver’s Flamenco Rosario, Rosario Ancer.

Flamenco Rosario next hosts the 26th edition of the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival which runs September 10-20, with free workshops and ticketed performances at various Vancouver venues.

Meet Rosario Ancer

“Mama Lolita,” my grandmother, told me that when I could barely walk and while humming a melody, I’d pick up my skirt from each side and move from one side of the room to the other one and then I’d curtsy to an imaginary audience. She feared I’d become a dancer, a profession not particularly encouraged in our social milieu.

My father owned the only cinema in our small town, and as a child I would spend countless hours watching movies from far away places with wonderful people doing amazing things. In fact, it was at the movies when I fell in love with flamenco watching the movie “Pena, Penita, Pena” by the unforgettable Lola Flores, “La Faraona,” a Spanish flamenco singer and dancer. Soon after I started to imitate her moves to an audience of my friends and family, who encouraged me with shouts of “Gitana, gitana!!! (Gypsy, gypsy!!!). I did not know it then, but my life was decided at this moment.

Flamenco took me to Spain where I became a professional dancer performing with excellent Spanish dance companies in Spain, though Europe and South East Asia and a “Tablao” in Madrid. I met my husband in Spain, Vancouverite and flamenco guitarist Victor Kolstee, and after a successful career in Spain, we decided to make our home in Vancouver, with our children Alejandra and Antonio.

Vancouver received us with open arms and our school, dance company and flamenco festival flourished. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I never made the decision to move to Spain and the thought scares me. My life is so fulfilled personally and professionally and just to top it all, a new blessing and a new inspiration arrived: Sebastien Caspar, our first grandson.

20 Questions with Rosario Ancer

[dropcap]1[/dropcap]Your first job.

At a bank. I was the first woman in my family in the work force.

[dropcap]2[/dropcap] The job you always wanted as a child.

Dancer and mom.

[dropcap]3[/dropcap] Your pet peeve.

Not remembering a word in English when I most need it.

[dropcap]4[/dropcap]Your hero.

Mamá Lolita, my grandmother.

[dropcap]5[/dropcap]Your biggest indulgence.

Staring at my newborn grandson for hours and hours.

[dropcap]6[/dropcap]One thing no one knows about you.

That I can be vulnerable.

[dropcap]7[/dropcap] Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.

Books, sun screen and a hammock.

[dropcap]8[/dropcap] The one word your best friend would use to describe you.

I asked and he says: “force-of-nature-one-of-a-kind”.

[dropcap]9[/dropcap] If you were not pursuing a career in dance, what would you be doing right now?

Anything and everything creative.

[dropcap]10[/dropcap] Hero or villain?

Hero.

[dropcap]11[/dropcap] Your life’s motto/mantra.

Family first.

[dropcap]12[/dropcap]The song that gets the most play on your iTunes playlist.

Summertime.

[dropcap]13[/dropcap]The last movie you saw.

Amy, the 2015 documentary on Amy Winehouse.

[dropcap]14[/dropcap]If you were a cartoon character what cartoon character would you be and why?

Cinderella. It was the first cartoon movie I ever saw and it taught me to appreciate patience and optimism.

[dropcap]15[/dropcap]What will it say on your grave marker?

Don’t disturb, please.

[dropcap]16[/dropcap]Who would you most like to have dinner with?

My husband, Victor.

[dropcap]17[/dropcap]Your idea of happiness.

Sundays surrounded by my family.

[dropcap]18[/dropcap]The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.

My children.

[dropcap]19[/dropcap]If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 20-year old self?

Worry about nothing, the future is friendly.

[dropcap]20[/dropcap]To be or not to be?

Sorry, what was the question?