Sabor A Fuego

Esther, elegance in the details

The unexpected ups and downs in destiny, the capricious turnarounds of life, or the predefined order in the stars take us there where we are and to be what we are.

The beginnings

Hi, how are you doing?

I’m going to give you a brief description of how I’ve gone through different happenings that have made me become, directly or indirectly, luckyly or in a fully deserved manner, a professional dancer and the creator, with my love of a lifetime, of the “Sabor A Fuego” dance company.

Although I consider myself to be quite a shy person, I’ve always liked singing, dancing, performing and all these kind of things. Since I was a child, I hid in my room to sing and dance (I learned by heart all the music videos I watched on tv), I had a great time; that was the way I enjoyed myself, but when I was discovered by my parents, oh god! I didn’t know where to hide, I felt so embarrassed!

At school and rhythmic gymnastics

After growing up a little bit, when I was 9 I’d say, I was the kind of girl that performed at every school and neighbourhood parties, or wherever I could, making up my own choreographies. At that time, I wasn’t scared any more by being looked at and attracting everybody’s attention, because I combined all that things with rhythmic gymnastics competitions.

I’m going to take a break now to tell that, when I was 9, a delegation from the rhythmic gymnastics Spanish Federation came to Badajoz to select girls and take them to Madrid to build the new national team for the Olympic Games held in Atlanta. My cousin and I were selected; my father didn’t want me to go, but my cousin (Nuria Cabanillas) finally took part in the competition since she was three years older than me. Despite her and the team managing to win the gold medal, I never thought of reproaching my parents for anything, since I’ve had a very happy childhood, surrounded by all my family; I wouldn’t change that by no means.

Well, I’ll go on. After that, my brother (Sergio) had the mind to do gymnastics with me and we moved into artistic gimnastics so that we could be together; it was Sergio the one who succeeded in that field. Entrance tests for the regional team were held again, and Sergio was selected. He was with them just for a week, since he was continuously crying because he wanted to be with her sister; so he came back to keep on training with me at school. As an anecdote, I’ll tell you that our school, Luis Vives School, won the regional competition in Extremadura, finishing on top of all the different schools and teams.

Dance lessons

When I was 13, my mother started attending dance lessons and she wanted me to join her; but no way, at that time I was a super fan of Backstreet Boys, and as you’ll understand, my mother’s teacher seemed like an old fogey to me, and that ballroom dancing was a dowdy thing for old people, you know…

Next year, however, the dance instructor was replaced by a different one, and my father decided to attend the lessons too. I joined them one day and I loved the instructor, he was 18, tall, blonde and very nice… on those terms, I decided to join the lessons, of course. We got on really well, so much that he created a choreography with me and we performed it as a surprise for his parents at a club. His mother didn’t like it because “I was really green“… green, green… no, I’d rather say yellow! Ha ha! Well, they didn’t allow him to dance with me anymore, not even to meet me, it was a pity.

Therefore, my mother contacted with her old instructor so that I could be trained at his school, because I couldn’t stand being without dancing. And I did very well. This man was called Charly, he opened the door of his ballroom and contemporary dance school to me (for free), on condition that I performed with the instructors. I thank him a lot, and I won’t forget that person who spent most time with me: Paca, sincerely, thanks a lot.

When I already was 16, in Valencia de Rentoso (one of the many villages that we visited to perform there), I met a very special boy that would turn into my first dance partner, Antolín. He told me he was moving to Badajoz to dance with me, so I was delighted but quite embarrassed too.

So he came to Badajoz and joined my school; it was then when I went through my first disappointment in the dance world. This boy changed his life to dance with me, the school’s principal wanted him to be a dance partner for all the girls, and he didn’t want to do so; the result? both of us were kicked out of the school. So I found myself at 17 with no instructor, no school and no place to dance, although I had a dance partner at least. But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and many people started to call me to teach at different resident’s associations and schools, so I developed a children’s dance group, with my two 11 and 12 year-old cousins, two more 9 and 10 year-old girls, my 14 year-old brother Sergio and his 16 year-old partner. I trained and created choreographies for them, and I also performed shows with my partner and the group alternely, it was great.

That same year, all the young people dancing in Badajoz joined to compete at retro dance in Torremolinos, in the formation category. We were so lucky that we became european champions. When I went through all that… wow! I couldn’t believe it: the stage, the lights, the people, the customes… It was such a great time!

Competition… and Salsa

Since then, I focussed on competition, dancing waltz, tango, pasodoble and some salsa… with practically no time and no means.

It was then when I started to dance with Sergio, and both of us were the perfect dancing partners on the stage, as for confidence, mutual understanding and, above all, respect; well, except during the training, we always ended up quarrelling. We danced at many places and we won lots of prizes. A time came that we were a bit tired of the panel of judges being made up of famous people, and tired of having to learn using videos because there were no qualified teachers in Badajoz.

So we made a decision, the best choice in our lifes, that was giving a try to salsa. And, what a coincidence, Lázaro (a Pura Salsa’s dancer, from Cádiz) came to Badajoz to teach intensive lessons on a weekend, so we learnt a couple of moves for slot salsa and a few moves for cuban salsa.

Amateur SalsaOpen

With our experience in competitions and on stage, and with our performance clothing, we took part in the SalsaOpen elimination round in Cádiz; to be honest, we went there just to give it a try, to see who were the winners to follow in their steps and take part in the next round. But, as fate had it, we won! Well, that was in the amateur competition, since despite having won several european titles, we wanted to start it from scratch; in addition, we didn’t live off our dancing, Sergio was studying and I was working in a clothing store. As an anecdote, I’ll tell you that in that same elimination round, Samuel (Wally) from Seville was the winner in the professional competition.

At that time, Fabián was already a friend of my brother; he introduced him to me one day at the beach… and I couldn’t stand him. Taking up competition again, during that same championship, a girl approached us saying she was Fabián’s sister and that she owned an important dance compnay that travelled all around the world, and that she wanted us to join the company. Well, thank heaven, it lasted a very short time, since the only thing we learnt was the timing and how wicked people can be.

In the final round, we won the national competition. We were the national amateur champions, but what most impressed us was meeting international dancers as renowned as Jorge Santana, Jayson Molina, Ramón Morales or Marta González.

Sabor A Fuego

From that time on, it’s easier that you know everything. Fabián and I fell in love, he taught us to dance on 2. Time went by and we were also trained as dance partners, we turned into “Sabor A Fuego” and we created the company with Sergio and another girl, the one who danced with him since they were kids. That’s how we began taking part in more competitions, congresses, festivals, salsaweekends, etc. I just wish that we last as long as possible in this show business and I hope it doesn’t come to an end all of a sudden, but giving it up the same way we came in, gently, step by step.

At last but not least, I’d like to thank Juan Antonio Domínguez Becerra and Isabel Vázquez Aranda, my parents, for all the support, love and hope they’ve given to us from the beginning; you’re the best, I love you!

Esther

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