Melinda Hedgecorth grew up on the outskirts of Kansas City, MO producing performances in her living room, where her little brother and cat often held supporting roles. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from UMKC where teachers like Paula Weber (ballet), Leni Wylliams (modern) and Tamara Carson (flamenco) helped her get closer to finding her own movement. Rhythm and weight became important areas of exploration. At this time she also developed a deep interest in working with musicians in a studio and stage setting.
In 1998 she journeyed to Spain for the first time, not knowing Spanish or how to find her way around the grand city of Madrid. At the legendary flamenco school Amor de Dios she went through a rigorous 5-hour daily instruction and practice regimen with a different teacher leading each hour. Her feet bled from the concentrated practice, and her lungs hurt from breathing the smoke-filled air from the continuously smoldering cigarettes that were a mainstay of the dressing rooms. Flamenco is an addictive discipline and she was hooked. She made it a point to travel to Spain yearly for more instruction and immersion, eventually deciding to settle in Spain long term.
Melinda has lived the last 14 years in one of the capital cities of flamenco and Kansas City’s sister city, Sevilla, Spain. There, she developed her skills in flamenco clubs, cultural centers, museums and theatres, learning more onstage with her able musicians than she had ever learned in a studio setting. This immersion with local guitarists and singers provided the practice sessions required to learn and absorb the codes and signals, which make up the language of flamenco.
Melinda is once again a Kansas City resident and inspired to pass on the precious information gathered during those years. She teaches at Kansas University and is working on a Flamenco/Indian fusion performance with Professor Patrick Suzeau. Through her newly formed LLC 45°, she promotes her classes and her two performance groups, Siento y Vivo Flamenco with guitarist Beau Bledsoe, and Flamenkcmo with husband and singer/guitarist Antonio Rojas Flor. A life-long learner she continues to grow by taking professional development courses with Artist Inc. Always a teacher, she continues to do workshops in the states and Sevilla, training a new generation of dancers. She continues to perform internationally.