May Carreras Riera & Jose Luis Cameán Bartolomé
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, HIGHGATEHILL JOSE LUIS CAMEÁN BARTOLOMÉ,32, L ATIN DA NCE TEACHER, HIGHGATEHILL