Caló Theatre Group
Dancers & Instructors
Marianela "Malita" Belloso (Instructor/Dancer)
Marianela “Malita” Belloso was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been dancing flamenco for over twenty five years. She started dancing flamenco when she was only six years old, and by the time she was nine she was already performing on television and in major flamenco stage productions with Siudy Quintero Dance Academy – the largest flamenco dance academy in Venezuela. Along with her extensive flamenco training, Malita has also studied tap dancing for nine years, and performed with Salsatlanta, a professional salsa dancing troupe, for five years. Malita brought her dancing skills to Atlanta in 2000, where she met flamenco guitarist Farzan Kendrick and formed the flamenco performance company Caló Gitano. Since that time, Malita has become well known for her energetic, fun, passionate, authentic, and skillful performances that transport audiences straight into the cultural heart of Spain.
Malita’s ability to mesmerize audiences comes not only from her inherent “duende,” but also from her acquired knowledge of flamenco and her ability as an educator to convey that knowledge and the beauty of the dance to others. Besides being a highly trained dancer, Malita is also a certified school teacher with a Master’s Degree in Spanish Culture and History. Malita obtained her Master’s Degree in Salamanca, Spain, in 2005, where she continued to dance flamenco even while she was earning her degree. With her skills as a dancer, knowledge of flamenco and its cultural roots, and experience as a professional educator, Malita brings the same passion, fun, authenticity, and dedication to her flamenco classes that she brings to her flamenco performances.
Kevin Wilson (Singer and Percussionist)
Kevin Wilson was born in Lansing, Michigan, and has been singing with Caló Gitano since 2004. As a performer and director of musicals and other theatrical productions, and as the lead vocalist of various bands ever since he was a teenager, Kevin has enjoyed performing and singing practically his entire life. However, he only developed a love for flamenco singing after Marianela “Malita” Belloso introduced him to the wonderful art form in 2001. Now, outside of his day job as an attorney, Kevin keeps his creative side alive by performing with Caló Gitano, and by teaching and dancing salsa with Malita.
María Carolina Belloso-Wheeler (Dancer/Instructor)
Born in Caracas,Venezuela, Cara has been a dancer for most of her life. She started her training with the Siudy Quintero Flamenco Dance Academy at the age of 5, becoming a tap dancer and professional flamenco dancer by the time she moved to the United States in 1994. Since then, she has become a flamenco instructor, teaching students alongside her sister, Malita. She is also the Director of the Alpharetta branch of Caló Gitano, where she teaches kids and adults of all ages. In 2012 she was cast as one of the dancers with the Atlanta Opera's production of "Carmen," during which she also played the role of "Manuelita".
She is intensely passionate about choreographing for Caló Theater Company, where she can utilize her creativity as a graphic designer and apply it to her dancing. She is also extremely proud of Malita and Caló Gitano, and is excited to share her amazing experiences in Caló Gitano with the the city she loves, her students, friends, and above all, her family.
Gloriela "Loly" Rosas (Dancer/Instructor)
Originally from Panama, Loly is a flamenco dancer and instructor who currently resides in Atlanta. Loly has over 20 years of experience as a dancer and as a fitness instructor. In 1987, Loly began teaching fitness. Through the years, she has added several different styles of dance to her repertoire, including hip-hop, salsa, and funk. In 2010-2011, Loly competed in local and national Fitness Competitions.
At the end of 2006, Loly took a leap and moved from Atlanta to Miami, Florida, but she returned to Atlanta in 2009, continuing her career in Graphic Design as a Project Manager, as well as working as an independent artist in her own company, Glo Design, LLC. At the same time, Loly continued to work as a fitness and flamenco instructor, and as a workshop organizer. Currently, Loly teaches weekly flamenco classes with Caló Gitano in metro Atlanta, and is a member of Caló Gitano Dance Company and Caló Theatre Company. In November 2012, she also appeared as a principal flamenco dancer in the Atlanta Opera's production of "Carmen."
Loly is motivated by living as healthy as possible and staying fit, but in her heart her true passion is art -- expressed through her work as both a designer and a dancer.
Ikuko Kawasaki (Dancer)
Ikuko Kawasaki was born in Osaka, Japan. She began her dancing career at the age of four by studying modern ballet. Throughout her middle school, junior high, and high school years she continued her training through studying baton twirling, rhythmic gymnastics, and modern dance as both a dancer and a choreographer. In 2003, a flamenco guitarist friend of hers introduced Ikuko to the world of flamenco, and Ikuko began taking flamenco classes in Atlanta. When Ikuko saw Malita perform flamenco at Little Alley restaurant in 2006, she was amazed by Malita's strong performance, and she became Malita's student as soon as Malita established the Caló Gitano Flamenco Dance Company & Academy in Atlanta in the summer of 2007. After one year of instruction from Malita, Ikuko was invited to perform with Caló Gitano, and she now performs regularly at a variety of private and public events.
Rachel Gorwitz (Dancer)
Rachel (“La Serpiente”) started studying flamenco with Calo Gitano company member Gloriela (“Loly”) Rosas in 2004, and with Malita in 2007, and joined Calo Gitano dance company in 2010 and Calo Gitano theater company in 2012 . Rachel is married to talented flamenco photographer (and the most supportive flamenco husband EVER), Eugenio Beltran. To support her flamenco habit, Rachel has a day job as a public health physician. Someday over a glass of wine, ask her how she got her flamenco name (“La Serpiente”).
Maki Hashimoto (Dancer)
Maki was inspired to learn flamenco after attending one of Malita's shows. She began taking classes in 2009. Maki loves to dance, and in her spare time, studies dance culture. When she is not occupied with dance, Maki works as a chemist.
Kim Chirstopher (Dancer)
Kim has been a student of the grand artform of flamenco for over 16 years. She is very inspired by flamenco cante, toque and of course baile, and feels all components should be studied and understood to some degree to have a full appreciation of this complex, dynamic and unique art and way of life. Kim is greatly appreciative of the opportunities flamenco has provided in her life; the people, places and performances she has experienced along the way provide inspiration and the strong desire to learn more, to create and to connect with people. Because of this, she knows flamenco will be a life long journey, rich with opportunities and experiences.
Claudio Campos (Dancer)
Born in Florida and raised in Costa Rica, Claudio Campos has consistently pursued artistic endeavors, in the disciplines of dance, voice, film, and photography. As a dancer, Claudio has studied and performed Latin and Indian dances, including Tango, Salsa, Merengue, and Bhangra. In addition, Claudio is a trained singer. As a filmmaker, he has directed a short film called "The Three Seasons of Ernesto Oh". He also specializes in dance, food and fashion photography. When he is not working as a web developer, Claudio enjoys posting reviews of independent and award-winning films.
Mary Beth Morrison (Dancer)
Mary Beth started out in theatre - first venturing into acting eight years ago with the Pacific Okinawa Players, while living in Japan . She has been performing ever since – as an actor, musician, music director, dancer, and director. She began studying flamenco with Malita shortly after moving to Atlana in 2008. She is currently studying acting with Sandra Dorsey, at Dorsey Studios, and voice with Sharon Blackwood. Recent roles include: Lady Thiang in "The King and I", Natalie Ludwig in "Cabaret" and La Condesa in "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom". She has also recently danced in Calo Gitano's flamenco show, "Raices".
Andi McAfee (Dancer)
Andi is a very rare bird, not often seen in these parts anymore: a genuine Atlanta native. A student at Atlanta International School, Andi began her dance training at the age of four with Atlanta Ballet's Center for Dance Education. While there, she had the opportunity to perform annually in Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker and a half dozen other professional ballets. Over the years, she has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and pointe; eventually joining Atlanta Ballet's Pre-professional program at age 14. After seeing a Caló Gitano Dance Company flamenco show, Andi knew that flamenco was the perfect way she could combine her passion for dance and love of Spanish language and culture. She immediately began studying flamenco with Marianela "Malita" Belloso and Maria Carolina Belloso-Wheeler at Caló Gitano Flamenco Academy, and has been loving it ever since!
Ashley Nichols (Dancer)
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Ashley has been a lifelong student of dance. he began studying ballet at an early age and progressed to cheerleading, drill team, Latin and ballroom dance. In 2003, she discovered Middle Eastern dance or belly dance, as it is more commonly known, and it became her passion. Studying under various master instructors, Ashley continued to hone her skills as a dancer, entertainer, and instructor. She and her colleagues opened Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance in 2009, where they continue to develop their skills and share their love of Middle Eastern dance with the community. Ashley began studying flamenco with Malita in the fall of 2009, having been inspired by a flamenco dancer she had seen in one of the Riverdance productions. To her, flamenco represents power, passion, and control, which are elements she strives to bring to all her performances. She is excited about working with Caló Theater Company and being able to share her love of dance with others.
Izabel Blankenship (Dancer)
Izabel Blankenship was born in Recife, Brazil, where she participated in folkloric and modern dance groups. She moved to Atlanta in 1994 and continued her dance training with ballroom dance instructor Phyllis Deneve. From 1996 to 1998, she danced as a member of “Wings Dance Ensemble” under the direction of Amy Howton. Izabel was first exposed to flamenco dancing in 2003 when she went to Salamanca, Spain, to earn her Master’s Degree. While there, she saw Marianela “Malita” Belloso, who was also in Spain working on her Master’s Degree, dancing flamenco. As Izabel puts it, “I fell in love with flamenco when I saw Malita dancing. She makes it look so effortless!” Soon after seeing Malita dance, Izabel started taking flamenco classes from her. Izabel has been Malita’s student since the summer of 2003, and she debuted as a performer with Caló Gitano in October of 2004.In addition to taking classes from Malita, Izabel has received instruction from Andrés Marín and taken flamenco classes with Karina Martínez.
Anailza Cordeiro (Dancer)
Born in the north (Belem) but raised in the south (Sao Paulo) of Brazil, Ana moved to the US in 1988 with her family. Ana initially started dancing belly dance in 1997. After visiting tablaos in Spain in 1998, flamenco stole her mind and heart, although she kept dancing belly dance for a few more years. She then moved to "flamenco" permanently in 2001 with breaks here and there. Eventually, in 2004, Ana became a steady student of flamenco and involved herself more deeply in the flamenco community. She appreciates all aspects of this powerful living art and is very thankful for the opportunities that this form of dancing has given her to express herself.
Luciana Araujo (Dancer)
Luciana was born and raised in Salta, Argentina. She began learning Flamenco at the age of 8 with Virgina Miller at "Estudio Liliana Rinaldi." She quickly developed a passion for dance, which led her to other disciplines such as ballet, Argentinian folk, and jazz. At the age of 18, she earned a diploma in Dance Instruction, specializing in Flamenco. Luciana also participated in several dance competitions throughout Argentina.
She also studied law as a full-time student at the Universidad Catolica de Salta. In 2002, she was awarded a scholarship to participate in the Summer Dance at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA, where she further refined her dance skills in jazz. She married in 2003 and moved to Miami, FL. She took a hiatus from dance to raise two children, a girl and a boy. She moved to Atlanta with her family in 2008 and started dancing with Caló Gitano in February 2013.