Top 12 Most Incredible Spanish Dancers in the World
Explore the importance of dance in Spain’s history, values, and culture with 12 of the most amazing Spanish dancers!
Humans began dancing centuries ago. This rhythmic movement finds its way into every aspect of human culture. Spain has a strong connection with dance.
Get ready to dive into Spain’s dancing culture. Along the way, you’ll learn about traditional flamenco dancing and discover a bit of Spanish history.
A Brief History of Dance in Spain
Spain has a special history with dance. Throughout history, Spain gave life to thousands of new dances. In fact, during the Renaissance period, there were over 200 traditional dances in the Catalonia region alone!
During the reign of doctor Francisco Franco, many arts were banned, including regional dances. However, Spanish dancers bounced back from this setback. Once Spain returned to democratic rule, dancing quickly swept through the country once more.
See also: 80+ Dance Vocabulary Words in Spanish
What Is Flamenco?
Currently, flamenco is one of the most popular and culturally significant dances associated with Spain. This dancing style comes from southern Spain but has mysterious roots. It blends music, dance, and song together into perfect harmony.
How Do Spanish Dancers Dress?
It’s common for Spanish female dancers to wear deep red dresses with ruffles. Meanwhile, male Spanish flamenco dancers tend to wear black, tight-fitting pants and a shirt beneath a short jacket or vest.
No matter what they wear, these Spanish dancers are able to create feelings within each movement as they match their steps to the music.
What Are Spanish Dancers Called?
In Spanish, dance is called el baile. To refer to a dancer in Spanish, you say el bailador for a male and la bailadora for a female.
Check out: Latin American Dance: The History of Tango
12 Famous Spanish Dancers
Check out the amazing rhythm and poise of these 12 traditional Spanish dancers!
1. Joaquín Cortés
Joaquín Cortés is trained in ballet and flamenco dancing. He was born in 1969 and began his passion for dancing at age 12. At 15, he joined the Spanish National Ballet.
He went on to create his own choreography and productions and star in a few films. This Córdoba native shared his love of dancing with the world as he traveled abroad.
2. Sara Pereyra Baras
Born in 1971, Sara Baras wasted no time in quickly mastering dance. From studying dance at her mother’s school to joining the company Los Niños de la Tertulia Flamenca, Baras worked hard at a young age for her passion. Eventually, she even created her own dance company!
3. Carmen Amaya
Carmen Amaya is among one of the most copied Spanish dancers. Her aggressive style and quick footwork was difficult to match. She also became known for her non-conformist and masculine style. A monument was established in Barcelona to honor this unconventional and trendsetting dancer.
4. Manuela Carrasco
Like most famous Spanish dancers, Manuela Carrasco displayed an interest in this movement early on in her childhood. At 13 years old, she went on tour in Europe for two years with the flamenco company Curro Velez. She went on to find much success in her career thanks to her unique yet natural style of dancing.
5. Antonio Canales
Born in Seville in 1961, Antonio Canales was always destined to dance. His family was made up of flamenco performers and Canales was no exception. He became famous for his unconventional style and ability to bring flamenco to international stages.
6. Sergio Aranda
Sergio Aranda is one of the most promising dancers from Málaga. He even won first prize in the Concurso Fuentes dance competition! Aranda’s dancing style is rhythmic and natural. It gives off a sense of professionalism without being overly polished and structured.
7. Cecilia Gomez
Cecilia Gomez studied classical Spanish dance at Malaga Dance Conservatory and specialized in flamenco. She continued to practice at several other schools and went on to present in shows around the globe. In 2010, Cecilia Gómez launched her own flamenco show: Cateyana, su pasión.
8. Antonio Montoya Flores (El Farruco)
What Antonio Montoya Flores lacked in formal education, he made up for in passionate dancing. He spent his youth on the road helping his father who was a cattle dealer and learning to dance from his mom.
Flores got married as a teen. However, tragedy struck his small family when his wife died soon after and his son passed away when Flores was 18 years old. Flores channeled this suffering and emotion into his work creating authentic movements across the stage.
9. Antonio Gades
Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer Antonio Gades helped bring this style of dance to the international stage. He was one of the most revered flamenco dancers of the twentieth century.
He studied Russian, French, and Italian dance as well. As he traveled the world extensively with different productions, Gades brought his glowing passion for dance.
10. Cristina Hoyos
Cristina Hoyos went from dancing in the streets as a girl to joining Antonio Gades’s dance company. She even became his leading dancer! After leaving the company, Hoyos continued to make moves in the dancing industry. She eventually created her own company and presented works around the world.
Hoyos wanted people to remember that “Times change, they evolve, there are new ways of doing things, but the things that identify a city and a style of dancing shouldn’t be lost.”
11. José Losada Sanchez (El Carrete)
José Losada Sanchez, also known as El Carrete, is famous for his flamboyant flamenco style. However, this dancer had humble beginnings. Sanchez used to dance on the street for money from passers-by to help support his family.
El Carrete did not let this stop him from touring Europe with some of the most famous flamenco dancers of his time.
12. Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya (Farruquito)
Flamenco is in Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya’s blood. He is the son of a flamenco singer and dancer and grandson to famous dancer El Farruco. Farruquito kept the family tradition alive by performing alongside his relatives in performances from the age of 5.
Keep the Rhythm Going with a Free Spanish Class
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