Staff

Our Staff

All of our instructors (be it of Spanish language, film, theatre, dance, or cooking) and staff have something in common: passion, experience and excellence. No matter what you choose to learn at Battersea Spanish, or who you deal with at our organisation, it will have a meaningful impact in you.  If you’re interested in teaching or working with us please contact us today at hola@batterseaspanish.com. We love fresh and inspiring minds!


 

Sara Caba

Founder & DirectorSara Caba At Battersea Spanish

Sara Caba At Battersea Spanish

Costa Rica is my home country. There, I studied Psychology at Universidad de Costa Rica. Sixteen years ago I left looking to expand my horizons. I went to Copenhagen, where I studied a Master’s degree in Science, Technology and Society at Roskilde Universitet, and stayed four years, collecting work experience as a Spanish teacher and at IBM. I then moved to Boston, where I gained further experience teaching. I enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and worked as a Project Officer at Harvard University LASPAU. I then came to London, where I took the Spanish Teaching Certificate from Goldsmiths University and Instituto Cervantes, and became the proud founder of award winning Battersea Spanish. I love to work, watch films, write, travel and read.


Carolina San Martín

Host & Community Manager

Hola! I’m Carolina San Martín, I come from  the outstanding city of Santiago Chile, surrounded by the Andes Mountains. I’m an energetic and very creative educator who came to the UK to spread Chilean happiness and my educational knowledge about leading entertainment projects for students. Last but not least,  I’m quite a people person, so you will recognise me quite well. Cant wait to meet you!


Ben Hope

Co-FounderBen Hope, the co-founder of Battersea Spanish

benSince 2002, when I was working as a marketing manager for Costa Rica Outward Bound, and later as a school director for an English School in Boston, I’ve been promoting language learning and exchanges and finding interesting ways to use the web to bring people together in the ‘real world’. You are likely to see me at Battersea Spanish Social Events, and I look forward to organizing more. If you run a Spanish or Latin oriented business, restaurant, dance school, night club, etc., and are interested in partnering to create compelling events, please contact me at: ben (at) batterseaspanish.com


María de la O Garrido

Spanish InstructorMaría de la O Garrido, a Spanish instructor at Battersea Spanish

María de la O Garrido, a Spanish instructor at Battersea Spanish¡Hola! My name is María and I come from one of the capital cities in Andalusia, Jaén, paraíso interior! I have been enjoying teaching Spanish since I moved to England, first in beautiful Cornwall, now in London. I graduated from the Spanish Language Teaching to Adults Program from Instituto Cervantes and the University of Roehampton in London, and have been gaining experience as a Spanish teacher for children and adults in a variety of settings. I am also a contemporary artist whose work is multidisciplinary and includes sculpture and photography and has a strong influence from literature. In my artistic practice, there is an emphasis in the educational field, developed through workshops and exhibitions. I studied a BA in Fine Arts in Valencia and spent my last year in Guadalajara, Mexico. I am really looking forward to meeting you all, so see you soon at Battersea Spanish!


Luis Edoardo Torres

Spanish InstructorLuis Edorado Torres, the Director of Taller de Escritura Creativa & Spanish/Literature Instructor at Battersea Spanish

edoardo¡Hola! My name is Luis Edoardo, and I was born in Nuevo Laredo Mexico, in the frontier with the US. I have always been an enthusiastic reader, writer and educator. I started writing poetry and plays because I wanted to be like Federico García Lorca one day. For 10 years I collaborated with a literary magazine and had the opportunity to meet and learn from many great Latin American writers. My plays have been published in different anthologies, staged several times and translated to English and German. These experiences motivated me to study for a master’s degree in Education of the Arts in Roehampton University. I have also been teaching Spanish and literature to young people and adults for over 6 years, both in Mexico, the UK and more recently Greece. I can’t wat to meet you in class! ¡Hasta pronto!


Trinidad Martínez

Spanish InstructorTrinidad - Spanish Instructor

Trinidad - Spanish Instructor¡Hola a todo el mundo! My name is Trinidad and I am from the beautiful city of Córdoba at the heart of Andalusia. I have a degree in English Studies from Universidad de Córdoba, and postgraduate studies in teaching Spanish as a foreign language to children and adults. Teaching has always been my passion and when I came to London many years ago, I decided to dedicate myself to teaching Spanish. I like to read, dance and travel whenever I can, but what I like the most about all things is sharing great moments with my friends and other wonderful people.


Alicia Sáenz

Spanish InstructorAlicia Saenz

Alicia Saenz¡Hola! My name is Alicia and I’m from the lovely city of Madrid. I have a degree in Primary Education specialised in Foreign Language by the Autonomous University of Madrid and I have been teaching in London since 2014. I have also taught Spanish in the USA, Norway, and Spain. I am in love with my job as I enjoy seeing my students become more and more confident in Spanish as weeks go by. In my free time, I enjoy going to salsa and hip-hop lessons, going hiking with my beautiful doggies and simply spending quality time with friends. I can’t wait to meet you at Battersea Spanish ¡Hasta pronto!


Clara Doña

Spanish InstructorClara Doña - Spanish Instructor

Clara Doña - Spanish Instructor¡Hola! My name is Clara and I come from Valencia, Spain, the land that always smells of orange blossom. I studied Spanish Linguistics and Literature in the University of Valencia and did a year abroad in Queen Mary University of London. I have been living in the UK for eight years, and have pursued an MA in Comparative Literature at UCL, as well as a PGCE in UEL. I am passionate about languages, which has led me to teach them in a Secondary School environment, as well as to adults. I enjoy all things cultural, from art to literature, and I absolutely love debating about them. ¡Nos vemos en Battersea Spanish!


Neidy Guerrero

Spanish InstructorSpanish Instructor

Spanish Instructor¡Hola a todos! I am Neidy from Bogotá Colombia. I love languages and teaching them, which is the reason why I studied Modern Languages at La Salle University and then did a Master’s in Education at Universidad Externado de Colombia. I recently moved to London, and I am really excited about being able to teach my language and culture here. I love to draw, watch films, travel and read. I am also a tattoo artist! ¡Saludos y nos vemos pronto en Battersea Spanish!


Camila Merlo

Spanish InstructorCamila Merlo, a Spanish instructor at Battersea Spanish

¡Hola! My name is Camila and I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have always been passionate about language and literature, which is why I studied Letras at Universidad de Buenos Aires. Teaching my language and transmitting my culture is one of the things that I enjoy the most because it is about creating bonds between people through communication. In my free time, I love going for a walk in a park while drinking mate, playing football with my friends and, of course, watching a good film. Saludos and I look forward to meeting you in Battersea Spanish!


Verónica Castañeda

Spanish Tutor for ChildrenVeronica - Spanish Tutor for Kids

Veronica - Spanish Tutor for Kids¡Hola! My name is Verónica and I am from Huelva, a city in the South of Spain surrounded by nice beaches, with sunny weather and amazing food. I studied Translation and Interpreting (English and German) at University Pablo de Olavide, and a Master’s degree in English Teaching, becoming an English as a Second Language Teacher in Spain. I have been working as an Early Years Educator since I arrived in London four years ago. Back in Spain, I had also experience working with children as a Spanish and English Tutor. Teaching and learning languages has always been my passion and I really love working with children. I am very excited to teach Spanish to the little ones!


Tania Betancor

Spanish Tutor for ChildrenTania Betancor, a Spanish tutor for children at Battersea Spanish

tania¡Hola a todos! My name is Tania and I am from Lanzarote, one of the seven islands part of the Canary archipelago, where it’s always summer! I studied education in Madrid at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and came to London three years ago with the goal of gaining more experience as a Spanish teacher. My favourite part of the job is when I see that my students are able to put into practice what they have learned in class.  It is incredibly rewarding. Thanks to my work as a deputy manager at a local nursery in Wandsworth I have gained a lot of experience working with children between the ages of 2 and 4. My passion is teaching children and thanks to Battersea Spanish I am teaching Spanish to the little ones. ¡Nos vemos pronto!


Juan Carlos Otero

Flamenco & Visual PerformerJuan Carlos Otero, a Flamenco and visual performer at Battersea Spanish

Flamenco Artist

I graduated in 1994 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, producing painting, conceptual video, sound and performance. I continued developing conceptual work in design, and worked extensively in education but my main artistic output for the past two decades has been as a flamenco dancer and choreographer. Since 2013 I have also been devising multi disciplined experimental theatre. My practice has evolved around the dichotomies of my dual nationality/ cultural identity and the split between my background in traditional culture and my education in contemporary art. For years now I have been trying to create projects that unify my various creative strands.


Magdalena Mannion

Flamenco InstructorMagdalena Mannion

Magdalena MannionHola! My name is Magdalena and I am a flamenco dancer/choreographer and teacher based between Madrid and London. I studied at Amor de Dios and Fundación Casa Patas in Madrid, and have a degree in Pedagogy of Flamenco, specializing in professional flamenco training from Conservatorio Superior de Danza Maria de Avila, Madrid. I am the co-artistic director of the contemporary flamenco dance company Dotdotdot Dance, whose work includes a commission from Sadler’s Wells. I am a regular soloist in Madrid’s traditional flamenco venues, “tablaos”, such as Corral de la Morería, Café de Chinitas and Casa Patas, and I have also had the opportunity of touring internationally with different dance companies. I have been a guest teacher at Casa Flamenco, Pekin. I am passionate about the history of flamenco and have a particular interest in the traditional flamenco repertoire.


Carmen Igarza

Flamenco InstructorCarmen Igarza, a Flamenco Teacher at Battersea Spanish

Flamenco TeacherHola! My name is Carmen Igarza and I come from beautiful Albacete in Spain.  I am a professional Flamenco Dancer and Teacher who has been living in London for more than 15 years! As a dancer, I’ve had the privilege of performing around the UK with Alma Flamenca Company, touring major theatres including The Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Hippodrome, Dublin Opera House and the Lowry Centre. I perform regularly at events and tablaos in London, including Ronnie Scott’s and currently I’m working with a number of dance companies as well as teaching. I like to combine very traditional Flamenco with a modern interpretation influenced by other dance styles and music, but deeply rooted in the Flamenco tradition.  I feel it is important to create a relaxed atmosphere where students are encouraged to express themselves and develop their personal styles through the enjoyment of this beautiful art form. I also love to have a good time with my students, so I look forward to seeing you in Battersea Spanish soon!


Natalia García-Huidobro

Flamenco InstructorNatalia García-Huidobro

Natalia García-Huidobro¡Hola! My name is Natalia. I am a Chilean Choreographer and dancer based in Spain with training in Mexico (with Mercedes Amaya “La Winy”, niece of Carmen Amaya), Spain and the United Kingdom. I have had the opportunity to perform in all the tablaos in Madrid, collaborated with several companies and performed in stages in Chile, Argentina, Spain, the U.K., Russia, Japan, amongst other countries. I have developed a very personal line of contemporary flamenco facing the tradition and opening the structures of this language in collaboration with artists from different disciplines. This has allowed me to feed La Típica (company that I lead since 2000) with new forms of flamenco. Some of my main works as artistic director are El Arrebato, Our prayer, La Extranjera, Memorias del viento, Acuérdate de mí…Lola, Silencio and A ras de Tierra. As a performer I have collaborated with various visual artists and musicians, such as Juan José Gurrola, Rodrigo Bazaes, José Luis Vidal, Sonia Sabri, Lemi Ponifasio and have participated in projects of audience’s integration through dance at Sadler’s Wells (UK).


Noemí Luz

Flamenco InstructorNoemi Luz Flamenco Instructor

Noemi Luz Flamenco Instructor¡Hola! My name is Noemí, and I am a flamenco performer, choreographer and teacher. I trained classically at Elmhurst Ballet School and Central School of Ballet (UK) before moving to Seville, Spain age 20. There I became apprentice to my mentor Yolanda Heredia for 6 years, specialising in traditional flamenco and bata de cola technique. I have performed at many traditional flamenco venues in Spain including Tablao Arenal, La Casa de la Guitarra, Peña la Perla de Cadiz, Peña Niño del Alfalfa and Café Zyriab as well as appearing on CanalSur TV and BBC Radio.
I co-founded Dotdotdot Dance in 2014 and together we have produced and toured our productions No Frills and In Body around the UK, Sweden and Spain. My choreographic works include The Ugly Truth, Into Being (Sadler’s Wells Takeover of the National Theatre River Stage 2018), Life, Melvin, is a fish and RAW (work in progress). I’ve performed at theatres and festivals such as Coetani Festival for Experimental Flamenco (Athens), CAAC Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Seville), PAUL Studios Collective, The Wall Series Vol.1 (Berlin), Flamenco Fredag (Stockholm) and Contemporary Dance Series Corto y Bailo (Seville) among many others. I have also taught flamenco, choreography and composition workshops and masterclasses at institutions such as the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza (Seville), Estudio 35 (Seville), Asómate Local Flamenco (Seville), Trinity College of Music, The Drama Centre and The Royal College of Music (London) as well as giving private coaching to individual students.


Alejandra Gudí

Flamenco ArtistAlejandra Gudí - Flamenco Artist

Alejandra Gudí - Flamenco ArtistBorn in Almería Spain, and winner of the National Prize por Alegrías La Perla de Cádiz in 2018, Alejandra has danced in some of the most renown dance companies in Spain and abroad; including Compañía de Antonio el Pipa, Compañía flamenca de Carmen Cortés, Ballet de Rafael Aguilar, Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía and Compañía Rafaela Carrasco. She is also a regular dancer in some of the most prestigious tablaos in Madrid, such as Corral de la Morería , Corral de la Pacheca, Casa Patas, Villa Rosa, Café de Chinitas, Las Tablas , Torres Bermejas, Las Carboneras,  and Teatro Flamenco Madrid, amongst others.
She is a guest lecturer in the specialty of Flamenco Dance at Conservatorio Superior de Danza María de Avila in Madrid.
Currently she is developing the show “20” with José Porcel, and is also immersed in the new show of Rafaela Carrasco, “Nocturna”.


Siobhan Fitzgerald

Fitness & Dance InstructorSiobhan - Fitness Instructor

Siobhan - Fitness InstructorHola! I’m Siobhan, a little Welsh pocket rocket ready to whip you into shape and shake your stresses away.  As a professional dancer, and personal trainer, dance and fitness has always been my passion. I am so excited to dance with you and help you achieve your fitness and dance goals, gain confidence as well as living your best life. Expect high energy, party vibes and a few laughs in between! Fuego fuego


Rafal Lautenbach

Fitness & Dance InstructorRafal - Fitness Instructor

Rafal - Fitness InstructorHola! My name is Rafal, and not Rafael but you can call me Rafa 🙂
At the young age of 12, I started to dance. It has always been my passion and developed into my professional career. It began with a course in Latin American and Ballroom dance. For the subsequent 11 years I developed my dancing skills in Astra Dance School in North Poland, where I am from. Following the completion of my teaching qualifications ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing), I moved to London and quickly put my skills into practice. In the UK, I have danced in a number of high-profile showcases and Strictly-style competitions and was selected to be part of the supporting cast for Cheek to Cheek, dancing alongside Strictly’s Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag.


Laura Kenyon

Fitness & Dance InstructorLaura Kenyon - Fitness Instructor

Laura Kenyon - Fitness InstructorHola, I’m Laura! Originally from France, I am a dance performer, dance teacher and yoga and fitness instructor. I started dancing Flamenco when I was 6 years old and then trained in ballet and contemporary. I graduated with a dance degree in 2014 in London and have performed for the past 10 years between France and the UK, in various venues and theatres including Festival d’Avignon, Sadler’s Wells, Hat Fair and more. My Flamenco training mostly took place in Sevilla, in several dance schools – Ados & Alicia Marquez – and I continue to go back every year to learn from grand Bailaoras such as La Lupi, Maria Morena among others.


Lucia Ruibal

Flamenco ArtistLucia Ruibal

Lucia RuibalLucía Ruibal was born in 1990 in El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz) as part of a family dedicated to music and art. Her father, songwriter Javier Ruibal, had a particular influence in her artistic awakening. Her dance shows the many styles that she experienced in her upbringing. Her beginnings were with classical dance, but at a very early stage she encountered Flamenco, and had the opportunity to train with figures such as “La Lupi” and “Mercedes Ruíz”. Later on she moved to Madrid, where she continued to expand her education with the best maestros, and started dancing in professional dance companies and tablaos. She was the recipient of the “IV Concurso Tablao Villa-Rosa”.


Angus Cruickshank

Guitarist and ComposerAngus Cruickshank - Guitarist

¡Hola! I’m Angus. I started studying flamenco late ’80s and following a visit to Paco Peña’s summer school in Cordoba 1990. I have played in 7 countries, through the years, in venues ranging from Glastonbury festival, Royal Albert Hall and Courtauld Gallery, to Peñas in Glasgow, Bristol, London, and tiny village halls in the wilds of Norfolk. I’ve worked with flamenco luminaries such as Mario Maya, La Tati, Angel Muñoz, Alicia Marquez, Inmaculada Ortega, Beatrice Martin, Cristian Lozano as well as the majority of London based professional artists. I’m happy to be working for this exciting project and hope we can inspire you to explore more about flamenco and Spanish culture.


Juan Toledo

Book Club CoordinatorJuan Toledo - Spanish Book Club

Juan Toledo - Spanish Book Club¡Hola! I am Juan Toledo, Colombian by birth, Londoner by choice. I have dedicated my professional life to reading, writing and teaching. I am the editor of the literary magazine Perro Negro, and the director of the online radio station ZTR Radio. I am a literary critic, translator and author of the recent poetry book titled “Ocurrencias y recurrencias”. I have called London my home for over two decades. I live in South London with my wife and three children.


Jorge Bravo

Guitarist and ComposerJorge Bravo, a Flamenco Guitar Instructor and performer at Battersea Spanish

Flamenco Guitar InstructorHola everyone! My name is Jorge and I’ve been a musician for more than three decades. My passion for and dedication to music has enabled me to travel around the world as a concert guitarist, and collaborate with amazing musicians either as a guitarist, arranger, songwriter or composer. Alongside my career as a performer and producer, I love sharing my enthusiasm for the beautiful art-form of flamenco guitar with students of all levels. I’m delighted to join Battersea Spanish’s team of teachers and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with new groups of students!