Jennifer Watkins retires after 22 years at the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company

Jan. 12, 2021

For the past 22 years, Jennifer Watkins has been the administrative backbone of the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company (EESDC). An experienced programmer, producer, and consultant, Jennifer has facilitated the creative work of the company by securing operating funds from all three levels of government, increasing the company’s presence by developing programming and workshops, developing budgets, and managing the intricacies of the day-to-day operations at EESDC.


Jennifer started her career as a professional dancer. She performed with independent dance companies, presented her own choreography, and worked in theatre, film, and television as a member of ACTRA.


Before joining EESDC, and for the last 34 years, Jennifer has been active in Toronto’s dance community in various administrative and management roles, notably, with Danny Grossman Dance Company, Dance Umbrella of Ontario, fFIDA, CADA, Moving Pictures Festival and with numerous independent dance artists. Jennifer was also the Grants Officer for the Toronto Arts Council the first year of the amalgamation of the Dance and Music Programs and has been a long-time member of the Board of Directors for Dance Ontario, currently serving as Executive Vice-Chair. 



I cannot express adequately how grateful I am for all that Jennifer has done. Many milestones and accomplishments were achieved due to her expertise and diligence. She took on responsibilities that seemed daunting to me. It has always been reassuring to me to know that I could count on her good assessment of a situation so that the most appropriate decision could be made for the success of EESDC

- Esmeralda Enrique.


Please join us in wishing her a happy retirement!


Vanessa Guillén has joined EESDC to succeed Jennifer and takes the title of General Manager and Communications Director. Vanessa comes from a background in communication and architecture and has been involved in the Toronto flamenco community for over a decade.


I wholeheartedly welcome to our flamenco family, Vanessa Guillén, a bright and talented member of our dance community. I look forward to working with her on new projects and the day-to-day responsibilities at EESDC.

- Esmeralda Enrique.