Teresa Champion

Teresa Champion

Teresa Champion (nee Martinez) was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Her father’s name is Eusebyo Martinez and her Mother’s name is Maria Martinez. Her father was born in Monterey, Mexico. Her mother was born in San Antonio, Texas. Teresa’s father came to San Antonio from Mexico when he was 7 years old. She went to school in San Antonio at Barkley and Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary, Rhodes Middle School, and Lanier High School. Where she stayed one year and decided to go to a school of the arts in Mexico. She attended the Ballet Artes de Mexico in Mexico City. There she studied under the famous Oscar Tariva, Antonio De Cordova and also under Pilar Riojas. In Mexico she appeared at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Later as part of a cultural exchange program Teresa was sent to Spain as a quest of the Spanish Government. She has danced in performances in Madrid, Tokyo, Honolulu, and Las Vegas. After her studies she returned home and introduce the first high heel flamenco dance shoe. Teresa has been dancing since she was a little girl and first studied at the Guadalupe Community Center and her first instructor was Rosita Cardenas.

She has been married for over fifty years to William Champion better known as El Curro. He is a world famous flamenco guitarist. Teresa has two daughters, Elsa and Chayo. Chayo is a singer and Elsa is a folkloric and flamenco dancer and has a granddaughter who is also following in the arts, Annette Champion Flores who teaches dance at San Antonio Community College.

Teresa went on to have a tremendous impact in the art world both as a performer and as an advocate for the arts. As the first founder of Ballet Folkloric of San Antonio, she has introduced audiences far and wide to the beauty and power of Latin American dance, and she has been specifically honored for her work in the unique field of flamenco dance. Some of her major accomplishments were that she was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1987. Celebrando La Danza Day 1991 Proclamation from the city of Odessa, served as the 1997 Grand Marshall at San Antonio’s Fiesta Flambeau Parade where she received the Yellow Rose of Texas Award from Governor George Bush. She was featured as a dancer in the classic John Wayne file The Alamo (still viewed on utube), Alamo Kiwanis Life Achievement Award, and Mana Award de San Antonio this year. Today Teresa Champion is still teaching at her dance studio (Teresa’s Dance Academy) and performs all around San Antonio, Texas and still receives invitations to perform at special events across the country.

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