Oscar Nieto

Artistic Director, Flamenco Dancer, Singer, Choreographer, Instructor


“Oscar Nieto…puts the stage on fire when he performs! As one of very few senior male flamenco dancers in the country, he is leaving an important legacy for flamenco dance across Canada.”

– Selection Committee, Jacqueline Lemieux Prize 2005

Oscar Nieto is one of the original pioneers of flamenco in Vancouver where he has performed, taught and promoted the art for more than 40 years.  He founded his dance company, Mozaico de Danzas, in Los Angeles in 1972.  This was the seed that would eventually grow to become Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy and the professional company Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre.  Through his many years as a mentor and role model, Oscar has become a respected pillar of Vancouver’s vital flamenco community.

Oscar has been one of North America’s most acclaimed flamenco dancers since launching his professional dance career at the Chicago Lyric Opera House in 1969.  Since his debut performance, Oscar has accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments, including working with Lola Montes and her Spanish Ballet and the Jose Greco Company; touring Europe with Antonio’s Ballet Silouetas; and performing and choreographing for the Boston Ballet, the Boston Flamenco Ballet, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Opera.

A charismatic and consummate performer, Oscar has been called “a flamenco Fred Astaire” by the LA Times.  His impeccable technique, striking choreography, and irresistible stage presence have brought countless devotees to the arts of flamenco and Spanish dance.

The recipient of numerous grants in support of his work, Oscar has dedicated much of his life to the study of the evolution of Spanish dance and flamenco. His productions have combined his vast knowledge of the traditions of Spanish dance arts with his unstoppable innovative spirit, including multi-media elements, non-traditional instrumentation and contemporary choreographic fusions.

Teaching Style

Oscar Nieto is in constant demand as a guest artist and teacher across Canada, the USA and Asia.  His broad experience and knowledge gives students a rich background in the history of flamenco and Spanish dance, the cante (song), jaleo (shouts of encouragement) and compas (rhythm).

Oscar has developed his Cognitive Awareness Learning methodology over many years of teaching.  This method opens up various channels of learning, enabling students to truly understand the nuances of flamenco dance and music, and expand their creative potential.  His constant positive encouragement and humour have made Oscar a beloved teacher who offers students a learning experience which is both challenging and enlightening.

The Oscar Nieto Scholarship Award is awarded annually in his honour to recognize students of outstanding promise, ability and dedication.

“There is only one Oscar Nieto which is why I feel so fortunate and appreciative every time I step into class. Oscar is more than a teacher. He is a role model and an inspiration.”