We all are big puzzles, made of a thousand pieces from our experience, which make us to be what we are.
I was born 24 years ago, and I was raised in a modest neighborhood in Seville, San Jerónimo, which I like a lot and have very happy memories of; I still go for a walk round there sometimes. When I was a child, I was a restless boy, becoming a nightmare for my mother… a little bit naughty, I’d say. As an anecdote, I can tell you that, because of my pig-headedness, I even convinced my mother of taking me to a casting for a famous tv show, and I finally got selected; I enjoyed it a lot.
Little time after that, when I was 7, I got involved with one of my great passions, martial arts; specifically, taekwondo. I practised it everyday for 8 years. I advanced till the black belt rank and I shared my time among lessons, training sessions and competitions, where I managed to win a few championships in Andalucía; I didn’t have the chance to compete in other disciplines due to a problem in my knee, that I still suffer from but I can live with.
During all these years, there was a very special person for me: Manuel García, my teacher (thanks for everything you taught me). I practised taekwondo till I was 15, because by that time my salsa was demanding too much time and I also had to move to a different place.
My life puzzle has pieces of all different sizes and shapes, and my mother placed the first piece of my salsa life; that’s when the salsa-loving Fabián was born. One day in summer, she encouraged me to join dance lessons, salsa and latin rhythms; I said no. At that time, I was rather interested in hiphop, hardcore or breakbeat music. But, although I showed a great resistance, she managed to take me to see a lesson, when I was 13. To be honest, I liked it, more than anything because there were lots of girls there that I could get off with (ha ha!) That was, I think, one of the main reasons to join the lessons; well, and also that I tried to do the footwork when I got home, and I think I did it very well.
So I joined the group in the next lesson. Luismel was the instructor, also known as Luis “el cubano”; he was my first dance instructor and he put salsa poison into my veins. With him, I learned to dance salsa, cuban salsa of course, but also merengue, bachata, cha cha, “el baile del perrito”, “el baile de la botella”… ha ha! What a wonderful time…
Besides Luismel, who was a great friend, I made many cuban friends; together, we gave striking parties! With them, I learned to feel the music, because many of them were musicians; I learned guaguancó, columbia, afro, folklore, etc… all of them with a taste from the streets. That was a key point for me, something I’ve eventually appreciated in my training as a dancer.
Which I consider to be the second stage in my education as a dancer was self-taught; I began to have a great ambition to learn and improve as a dancer, and there were no teachers to learn from, so my salsa staerted to grow with my own dedication and inspiration. To satiate my hunger for learning, I started taking funky and hiphop lessons, at Jacqueline’s school, a great friend and dancer from S.D.C.
There I found new horizons and a new open field in dancing; I learned and incorporated new moves to my dancing, and new ways of feeling the different rhythms. And what is most important, I performed my first dance show with her, Fabián & Jacqueline, during the first congress in Cádiz. Don’t look for the video! Everyone has a beginning, I’m glad to have improved since then.
From that point, my working stage started; after watching me dancing, I was hired in different clubs, in Seville and the surronding area, in shows, on tv, etc… Then I began to work permanently at “Salamandra” disco, animating parties and dancing improvisations on the stage. I was then demanded to work at “La Cabaña” disco, which was a historical landmark in salsa in my home town, Seville. I worked there in the same way, although I worked as a dj ocassionally; until the time came that my music was the most demanded, so I stayed there working as a dj.
From there, my story follows two directions, as a dj on one hand and as a dance instructor on the other hand, because many people demanded me to spread my knowledge. With my own style, I taught salsa, merengue, bachata, cha cha and rueda cubana.
I could combine my studies with the time I spent looking for music, teaching and working as a dj on weekends. During my training and evolution as a dj, I started to love and feel the music the same way that I do nowadays; this was a very very important stage for me, because I discovered artists, voices, orchestras, instruments, rhythms, etc… This period lasted something like 2 years, in which I learned and enjoyed myself a lot.
After that time, I felt like I needed a change in my life, and I did so. I started to play all kind of music as a dj, in comertial, funky or house sessions in several fashionable clubs all around Seville (from those years, I’d like to give a hug to my great friend Ñoño, I love you man!), playing salsa music just on sundays.
Concerning salsa, I kept on teaching. At that time, salsa congresses started or, at least, I heard about them; whenever I had the chance, I run away to attend any of them, to watch the shows and take every lesson possible with all the teachers. At the same time, I met two great artists that influenced my salsa. Firstly, Jayson Molina, from who I learned dancing on 2 specially; he was the teacher I took most lessons from. And later on, I met Jorge Santana, who influenced my salsa style and from who I improved my knowledge about music and dance.
I also moved to live in a different place again, in the suburbs of Seville this time, and I was able to take a great passion up again, martial arts; I started practicing WingTsun, which I become engaged to, but just for a year since I had to give it up again because of my job (I’ll take it up again).
So, while playing all kind of music as a dj at different clubs, playing salsa on sundays, teaching, enjoying the congresses, etc… I eventually came up again with a girl named Esther; that girl I had met 4 years ago and that, not much later on, would turn into the most important thing in my life. A few months later, and while we were already in love, we’d also join at a different level to fulfil a dream, “Sabor A Fuego”, our own dance company.
This was in 2003 and, since then, we’ve taken part in lots of events, salsaweekends, congresses, festivals, competitions, etc… We’ve grown and we keep growing as dancers, as teachers, as artists, as a company; and, what is most important, as persons inside this large family, with its good and bad points, which is dancing, which is salsa.
So far, I’ve told you where I come from and what are the different pieces of my own puzzle, which I think is still to be finished. I’ll keep on telling you more stories, anecdotes and curious things. See you soon!
Lots of hugs and kisses!!
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.
Passion for dance, salsa, afro-caribbean rhythms and the latin universe. Meet Fabián & Esther, meet Sabor A Fuego…