Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Ongoing Spanish Group Class every Tuesday Night in Santa Monica

I  am offering this class for people interested in learning Spanish but can not afford my private one -on-one classes. In the Ongoing Spanish Class we learn PRACTICAL SPANISH
to help you get by when you are travelling or if you just want to know some basic Spanish so you can get by in Los Angeles with ease. ( LOL! ) Come Practice Your Spanish in a FUN Setting:

Classes are ongoing in Santa Monica every Tuesday Night.

January 28: Introductionrs and Talking about Yourself
February 4: Directions
February 11: How to Order at a Restaurant
February 25: How to Tell Time

Classes are $30 per person, drop in, but if you buy a package of 5 Classes it's just $25 per person. You can purchase a package of classes by following the link below. All Materials are included. You can purchase your pass to get in the class online by following the link below.Classes will begin on January 28 and will be ongoing throughout the Spring. It's best to start on January 28, 2014, but you can start at anytime as every week we will be covering a bit of the material from the previous week/s. Please RSVP by emailing me at sabrina@escuela-espanol.com - If you'd like to just buy one class at $30 time that is fine too, go to link below


You may also call me on (310) 993-6007 for more information..

I look forward to seeing you soon !


This article was written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo
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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Happy New Year -2014 Events within the Hispanic Community Los Angeles

Dear Students,
I wanted to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous 2014 ! 

La Escuela Español is celebrating its 7th year on the planet. I am very happy to anounce some very exciting and happy changes and progress.  That said, in the spirit of celebration, I'd like to invite  you out to some wonderful celebrations that will be happening in Los Angeles. There will be festivals, music concerts, Flamenco dance events, Aztec Dancers and  that will give you an opportunity to not only use your Spanish, but to enrich your life with the beautiful and colorful Latin culture.

I will also be continuing my Spanish Classes for the community. They are held on Tuesday afternoons in Santa Monica. Classes are ongoing, each class we discuss practical matters in daily life: Introductions, Directions, Ordering at a restaurant, Reserving Accommodations and even Asking someone to dance. Your first class is free with this email, please RSVP.

I also just published some articles in my blog, Learning Spanish is Fun ! that will help you learn more about Latin Culture, Music and of course the Spanish language. If you have not subscribed yet, please do so by entering your email in the subscription box on my blog page. 

Here are a list of some events that you can mark on your calender for the early this year 2014:

 FIESTA DE LA CANDELARIA - February 2nd - Traditional blessing of elaborately dressed icons in the culmination of the Christmas season. Music and prizes.125 Paseo De La Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 

Artisanal Goods- La Placita Olvera

Mexican Folk Costume
Mexican Folkloric Costumes 
Vendors - La Placita Olvera
Vendors at La Placita Olvera

LA POESÍA FÉSTIVAL- 2014, Friday, January 17, 8:00PM to 10:00PM. Celebration of Latino Poetry, Bring your own poetry.  Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center.681 Venice Blvd. Venice, California 90291. http://www.beyondbaroque.org 

LIVE FLAMENCO:   2014- January 17 ,18 & 19th.  8 pm. Fountain Theater holds Forever Flamenco once a month on Sundays.

LIVE AZTEC DANCERS: 2014- Every Afternoon during the week on the Plaza of La Placita Olvera.

SALSA BALLROOM DANCING:  -2014, January 25.  Salsa Dance Lessons every Monday Night-UCLA Ballroom Dance Society- Kerchoff Hall. Grand Salon.
please email Cynthia & James for more information atballroom@ucla.edu

FINE ART- Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Gallery.  Jordi Alcaraz Artist Extended: 2014, extended through January.

 http:// http://www.jackrutbergfinearts.com/videos.html

AMERICAN SABOR: LATINOS IN AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC: -2014, until February 9.  CSULA Fine Arts Gallery 5151 State University Drive.Los Angeles.

Mambo Dancers

I hope that you will join me this 2014 to experience the beautiful Latin culture in Los Angeles and have some fun and practice your Spanish !

I look forward to seeing you soon !


This article was written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo
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Friday, 10 January 2014

The Latin Ballad

The Latin Ballad 

The Latin (or romantic) ballad is a Latin musical genre which originated in the 1960s. This ballad is very popular in Latin America and Spain, and is characterized by a sensitive rhythm. A descendant of the bolero, it has several variants (such as salsa and cumbia). Since the mid-20th century a number of artists have popularized the genre, such as Julio Iglesias, Luis Miguel, Enrique Iglesias and Cristian Castro. The world famous song "Historia De Amor" has been one of the most covered songs in Latin Music History, it has been covered by Pedro Infante, Julio Iglesias, Ana Gabriel and Edye Gorme. " Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti" has been covered by many artists, Ricardo Montaner and now most recently with Christina Aguilera.

The Latin Ballad Playlist 
Enjoy the beautiful, romantic and sensual music of Julio Iglesias, Edy Gorme, Celia Cruz, and Pedro Infante. 


This article was written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo
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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Wordless Wednesdays- Dia De Los Muertos

Hollywood Forever Cemetery. First Prize Winner For More Wordless Wednesday Participants

This article was written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo
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Friday, 15 November 2013

Classic Latin Songs of All Time

This playlist has Classic Latin Songs from all over Latin America and Spain. Many of these songs have been covered by famous artist and bands, all over the world, like Pedro Infante's, "Historia de Amor". which has been one of the most recorded songs in Latin music history "Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti", which has recently been recorded by Christina Aguilera, and the classic song Bamboleo which has been recorded by The Gypsy Kings and Celia Cruz. The music runs the gamut from Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Flamenco,Tango to the classic Love Ballad like " Besame Mucho", which has been recorded even by the Beatles. This playlist spans a few decades and demonstrates the diversity and soul of Latin music from all over the Spanish Diaspora.

Here are a few Songs from within the Playlist ( 20 Songs) that I believe are some of the most popular and important songs in Latin Music History and that will give you a taste of this beautiful music that I grew up listening to here in America.

The Song, " Guantanamera" was a continuation of the poem by Cuban poet and statesman,Jose Marti. It has been covered by all the great artists: Beatles, Sandpipers, and even Julio Iglesias.

" Besame Mucho- Andrea Bocelli

" Quien Sera? " Pedro Infante

" Que Rico El Mambo"- Perez Prado

La Cumparsita - Carlos Gardel

Graicas a La Vida written by Violetta Parra Song by Mercedes Sosa

" Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti" Song by Christina Alguilera and Alejandro Sanz.

" Amor De Mis Amores"- Margarita La Diosa de La Cumbia- La Sonora Dynamita

" Historia de Amor" - Song by Luis Miguel

To See Full Latin Songs Playlist, Click Above Playlist to hear all 20 Songs. Enjoy !

This article was written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Aztec Dance

The Aztec Dance, “Danza Azteca” in Spanish or “Mi’totiliztli” in Nahuatl, is one of the most basic manifestations of the artistic and cultural spirit of the native people of Mexico. It is a mixture of thousands of years of history of both the agrarian and militaristic ethnic groups of the area, and the integration of pre-columbian and Christian rituals as evolved over the centuries.The Aztec dancers are devoted to preserving the traditions and rituals of pre-Hispanic culture through the expression of dance and ceremony.

The Dance represents the eternal search of man for cosmic harmony and integration, both of his body and his spirit, and all the chants of Aztec Dance ritual refer to this essential process. The Aztec Dance has been referred to as a form of prayer and a total way of life and communication.

During the performance, dancers wear traditional costumes, including feather head-dresses and seed-leggings called “chachayotls” that make noise when we dance. Each time you see the Aztec Dancers you take a step back in time. The drum and sea shell alert you that something special is about to happen. The dances are very expressive and represent the forces of nature, the universal four corners of the earth, human existence and the desire to achieve balance with the four elements of earth, wind, fire, water and air. The dancers unite to create a corporal expression to worship and communicate with their gods. Aztec dance is a dance that is grounded in nature and respect for all living beings.

In modern times, Mexican people enjoy learning and dancing Aztec Dance to connect and preserve their Aztec roots long before they were conquered by the Spaniards.

To see Live Aztec Dance in Los Angeles, all you have to do is go to La Placita Olvera during the weekday afternoon.

More on Aztecs and the Spanish Conquistadors coming soon in Learning Spanish is Fun !

This article was written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Authentic Paella Valenciana- Taste of Spain Class at Whole Foods

Sabrina Rongstad Bravo, Chef and Food Writer and owner of Sabrina's Latin Kitchen

Chef Sabrina Rongstad Bravo at Whole Foods 3rd & Faifax

I am very happy to announce that I am getting myself out there with Sabrina's Latin Kitchen I taught Authentic Paella Valenciana class on March 28th at Whole Foods, Third and Fairfax location . This was the first class in a Culinary Series, Taste of Spain, there will be more classes to follow. So Watch this space !

Here are some of the highlights of that class, it was a lot of fun with a lot of student interaction and many people asking a lot of questions. I gave everyone a chance to look at saffron and to smell it. I called in for class participation and we had a few enthusiastic volunteers.

Cathy Quein Marketing Supervisor at Whole Foods giving everyone a whiff of the saffron

I highly recommend using Bomba rice as this is rice dish, Bomba Rice or Short Grain rice absorbs the flavor of the liquid better than most rices since it absorbs three times the amount of liquid. Paella has a long history that originated in the country side in Spain with the peasant people of Spain, just like Flamenco dance, later both of these iconic art forms became modernized and popularized by the masses, but if you look deeper they started with the common ordinary people. Flamenco with the outcast gypsies and Paella with the peasants in the Spanish countryside.

Taste of Spain Class- Students Watching Paella simmer slowly

For me, I was introduced to Paella by Mother and then again my Cuban boyfriend's Mother. At celebrations and family get togethers we would often dine at El Cid in Los Angeles, there Paella isn't the best, but it was my Mother's attempt to introduce me and my siblings to Spanish culture, the Flamenco there is phenomenal, and I highly recommed going there with your friends. I often taking my Spanish students there. Here is an authentic Paella Valenciana dish, it's really fun to make but you will need some patience because there are a lot of steps, but once you do it 2-3 times, you should be able to do it with your eyes closed and then make your own Paella. After all, Paella is made with whatever is in your house, and it's common Arabic-myth that Paella was made with baqiyah, ( Arabic script: بقية)  ) which means left overs.

Whatever you do, don't skimp on the saffron or the rice. If you can't afford Bomba rice, use Short grain rice ( also highly absorbent), and if you can't find Short Grain Rice, use Long Grain. Remember to add salt to the saffron infusion but do it in 1/4 teaspoon increments.

The End Result, an Authentic Delicious Paella

 An Authentic Paella Valenciana made in about 1 and half hours. The process of making Paella is painstaking : Rice, Saffron, Chicken, Pork, Shrimp, Mussels, Haricort Verts and Peas, garnished with Piquillo peppers and lemon. A delight to the senses and the spirit ! Ole !

Paella is a great dish for parties, big or small and it's fun to make with a group of people. Sangria makes a great accompaniment. Both taste better the next day ! See for yourself !

Ole and Buen Provecho ! :)

To Read More about The History of Flamenco  refer to this blog !
To buy Bomba rice go to La Tienda !

This article was written by Chef and Food Writer Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo
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