A native of Albuquerque, NM, Elena Heiss, 19 years old, began flamenco dance training at the National Institute of Flamenco (NIF) at the age of eight. Elena was awarded a Princess Grace Foundation Scholarship in 2014 for Dance. She has performed solos at the Vail International Dance Festival, Damian Woetzel, Director, every year since 2014 and was the Inaugural Scholar-in-Residence with the Artist-in-Residence, Tiler Peck, in 2014. She performed solo at NYC’s City Center for the Vail Dance Festival ReMix NYC 2016.
She has collaborated with Lil’ Buck and Ron Myles at VDF 2015 in ‘Ascending Bird. Elena performed at VIDF 2016 the solo choreography and World Premier “Zapateado” (Joaquín Rodrigo) choreographed by Valeriano Paños and Rafael Estévez, Estévez / Paños y Compañía (Madrid, Spain). She has also studied at the renowned flamenco school in Madrid, Amor de Dios.
Elena continues her flamenco training and studies at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque. In the last year, she has studied with Jesús Carmona, Adrián Santana, Iván Vargas, and Lucía Álvarez (La Piñona) through the Artist-in-Residence program at UNM’s Dance and Theater Department and NIF. She performs in Tablaos in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. She is an apprentice for Yjastros, The American Flamenco Repertory Company, under the direction of Joaquín Encinias and Marisol Encinias.