May Car­reras Riera & Jose Luis Cameán Bar­tolomé

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - NEWS - SU­SAN JOHN­SON

Eversince I started walk­ing, I was danc­ing, first with my grand­mother, Elisa, in the kitchen in Madrid [Spain, where I was born]. When I was three years old, I started bal­let, and fla­menco when I was seven. My grand­mother passed all her love for the mu­sic and the cul­ture of the tra­di­tional dances to me, then I learned many dif­fer­ent dance styles – hip-hop, jazz – and started per­form­ing when I was 12 years old, un­til fo­cus­ing again on Latin dance.

I met Jose in Madrid seven years ago at a salsa club, and the day af­ter we were danc­ing tango to­gether and have been shar­ing the dance ever since. I fin­ished my stud­ies in ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­rior de­sign while Jose came to Aus­tralia to study English. He found a job in a dance school, and later I moved with him to Aus­tralia. It is our dream to dance and spread our love of danc­ing wher­ever we go.

In many ways, a lot of peo­ple are teach­ing us even more than we are teach­ing them [at K&L Dance school, Wool­loongabba, in Bris­bane’s in­ner east]. Our won­der­ful stu­dents helped crowdfund us to fly to the com­pe­ti­tion [the 2015 World Latin Dance Cup] in Mi­ami, US. There were 1500 com­peti­tors from 40 coun­tries, and win­ning our cat­e­gory [Pro­fes­sional Tango Cou­ple] was like a dream.

Jose has many times been the one who has helped me. He is a very kind man and an amaz­ing hus­band. He is also a hard worker and very fo­cused, and doesn’t take no for an an­swer.

We sup­port each other and as a fam­ily of two in Aus­tralia, we need to stick to­gether.

Iwas born in Buenos Aires [in Ar­gentina] but my fam­ily moved to Madrid when I was four. I have loved tango since I was 18 and my sis­ter, San­dra, pushed me to­wards it. She was the dancer in my fam­ily and she asked me to start learn­ing with her. From the time I started, I didn’t stop learn­ing and danc­ing a lot. Now, danc­ing is my life.

I hold a de­gree in phys­i­cal education and I am still learn­ing about the body, con­nec­tion and move­ment in dance. I danced pro­fes­sion­ally in Ar­gentina and Spain and have rep­re­sented Spain in clas­sic Ar­gen­tinian tango, but when I fin­ished my de­gree, I was look­ing for a job in a pri­vate school. They ex­pected a se­cond lan­guage, so I de­cided to learn English over­seas. I chose Bris­bane be­cause a sales­man I knew in Madrid, Car­los Avila, was sell­ing English cour­ses – he had been in Bris­bane a few years be­fore and told me fan­tas­tic things about the time he had here. The funny thing is, he also later moved to Bris­bane, and now he and his part­ner are our stu­dents.

In 2014, May and I were granted a Dis­tin­guished Tal­ent visa for our tango and Latin dance knowl­edge, and we are ap­ply­ing for cit­i­zen­ship this year. Aus­tralians love Latin dance, maybe be­cause they are look­ing for fun. Some­times I get home­sick, not so much for the cul­ture, but for the fam­ily.

Ev­ery­one ex­presses a lot through danc­ing and, with May, our com­mu­ni­ca­tion is helped by the dance. She is a won­der­ful woman who be­lieves in me and this is why I am here. She means ev­ery­thing to me.

M AY CAR­RERAS RIERA,

32, L ATIN DA NCE TEACHER, HIGH­GATE

HILL JOSE LUIS CAMEÁN BAR­TOLOMÉ,

32, L ATIN DA NCE TEACHER, HIGH­GATE

HILL

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