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Meet Ania Bartelmus of La Candela Company in Decatur

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ania Bartelmus.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Years ago, back in Poland, my mom took me to a flamenco concert. It was a show of a famous flamenco guitarist Paco Peña with just a little bit of dance at the end. It took place in a small city and in a small historic church as part of a huge music festival. Those few minutes of vigorous and passionate dance stayed with me forever and planted a seed to start my study of flamenco.

For many years I treated it as a hobby. There were years when I couldn’t dance while in pursuit of an accounting degree and others when I performed in an enthusiast flamenco company in Atlanta. All that time I felt something was amiss. I recalled the first performance I saw as a little girl and felt there must be something else that would allow me to better express my emotions. I decided to leave everything I had in Atlanta, move to Seville, Spain and dedicate myself to flamenco dance. In the beginning, I stayed there for two continuous years. They weren’t easy, because when I left Atlanta, I thought I was already pretty good, which turned out not to be true.

Those years changed everything for me. Every minute of studying, watching, listening, performing and living flamenco counted. I moved back home knowing that I had to keep coming back to Seville for more. For every few months I spend in Spain I return home aware that I grasped yet another flamenco secret. I always strive to apply or adapt these new skills in my shows for the Atlanta audience. When putting on a show, my number one priority is to stay true to what I learned and captivate my audience with the most authentic flamenco experience.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has not been smooth for me. I completely changed my career, and it took me some time to find my place in the field. Although I was a very good accountant, I had no idea how to run a business and how to treat my art as a business. I had to learn all new concepts and aspects of the music business to prevail and arrive at where I am today.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the La Candela Company story. Tell us more about the business.
My business is named La Candela Company and provides flamenco and Latin entertainment.

What sets me apart is the experience I gained in Seville and my willingness to strive and create shows that truly reflect the spirit of flamenco, shows that I could present in Seville and I wouldn’t feel inferior compared to my flamenco colleagues there.

What we offer is not only authentic flamenco but also Latin jazz and world fusion music that was incorporated into our program out of the need for a more complete entertainment package.

I’m proud to announce a flamenco concert organized in collaboration with the American Cancer Society that benefits this great institution, its programs and its efforts to help us all better understand and fight cancer. The benefit concert will take place on June 9th.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
None. I don’t believe that you need to be lucky in order to succeed. What we see as luck can result from many circumstances including just a positive attitude and positive expectations. Hurdles are just a part of success, and drive the determined forward.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Paco Rosso, Greg Fior, Penny Wong

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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