Mercedes Ibarra has been a dancer since she was a child, studying ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and hip-hop all through grade school. In 1995, while she was at UCLA, she found Flamenco dance and fell in love. Soon after, she was performing with two Los Angeles-based Flamenco dance companies in various venues around Southern California. In 2005, she moved to Spain where she studied at the world-renowned Centro de Arte Flamenco y Danza Española, Amor de Dios, in Madrid. While she was there, she studied with various Flamenco masters and legends and she performed at El Juglar in the historic Flamenco district of Lavapiés. Mercedes returned to Los Angeles in the Fall of 2008 and began performing as a soloist in collaboration with various Flamenco venues and artists in Southern California. In 2010, Mercedes collaborated with Collage Dance Theatre, for the company’s 25th anniversary performance, “Governing Bodies”, at Los Angeles City Hall, under Heidi Duckler’s artistic direction and then joined Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre for a reprise of “Governing Bodies” at Ventura City Hall in 2015. During this time, Mercedes began working as a Teaching Artist with the Duck Truck Crew Residency Program. Mercedes is also a featured dancer in Sakai Flamenco, under the artistic direction of Linda Andrade, which works in collaboration with the Los Angeles Music Center to bring Flamenco performances to Los Angeles area schools. Most recently, Mercedes has been teaching Flamenco at the Orange County School of the Arts in its International Dance Conservatory. Because of her various projects and collaborations, Mercedes Ibarra was nominated for and accepted into the International Dance Council at UNESCO in 2014.