"I Think I Dance Because I Don't Like to Dance"

Galván (center) in his El Amor Brujo. Javier Fergo, Courtesy Jerez Festival

I always ask myself: If my parents hadn't been flamenco dancers, would I have danced? I certainly don't have a calling for dancing. As a child I was no Billy Elliot—that kind of boy that would do anything to dance. In fact, I was the Anti-Billy Elliot. My parents were always forcing me to dance, and I pushed back as much as I could. I thought dancing was boring.


So why, as an adult, do I continue to dance? I know it sounds odd, but I think I dance because I don't like to dance. It's not logical, but there is something freeing in accepting that. I literally cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't dance. I've danced since I've had consciousness. It's simply in my DNA. And you can't escape what you are.

I was always going to be a dancer, but my saving grace as an adult is that I don't feel any pressure. I feel total freedom when it comes to how I choose to dance. As long as people continue asking me to perform, I will, but it has to be on my terms.

When I perform in public, it's not so much the dance that I respect as much as the venue and stage and the people who come to watch me. I find that connection very special, even more so as time passes.

I love reading and film, but I am not a writer or a filmmaker. Dance is the tool I was given, so it's the tool I use to create art. I consider myself an artist more than a dancer, because the work that I create is inspired by more than just movement. Dance is just a means of transmission, that little bit of magic that was handed down to me and that I now use to create a world of my own within a profession that I never chose for myself.

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