Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Local Sandwiches

Best Local Sandwiches

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
San Antonio’s Transgender Community Shows its Pride

San Antonio’s Transgender Community Shows its Pride

The Pride Issue: Despite the common belief that it was transgender activist Sylvia Rivera who sparked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement by flinging her high... By Jade Esteban Estrada 7/2/2014
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Cityscrapes: Local history pays the price for Briscoe deal

Cityscrapes: Local history pays the price for Briscoe deal

News: The annual City budget is a dense and often arcane thing, filled with “mandates,” “restricted funds,” and “special funds.” It isn’t the lightest reading... By Heywood Sanders 9/17/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Music

Rediscovering La Presy, San Antonio's gift to flamenco

Photo: PHOTOS COURTESY OF TREVIÑO FAMILY, License: N/A

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TREVIÑO FAMILY

La Presy in Granada, the "Comanche Indian" that became a "Sacromonte gypsy."

Photo: , License: N/A

At El Poco Loco, mid-to-late 60s. El Curro is on guitar.



Related stories


Her classes were grueling. La Presy had no time for those who wanted to have an "extracurricular activity." She wanted serious (and good) dancers. Many left, intimidated by her demanding nature and fierce personality. If you were her dancer, she had no problem telling you exactly how you were supposed to do that step.

"I don't see too many virgins in here," she used to tell her students during any of her legendary class interruptions. "¡Tienes que mover las caderas como si te estuvieran comiendo el coño!" ("You have to move your hips as if someone was eating your pussy!")

"She was wild, lethal, but she was also very funny," said singer-songwriter-dancer Lara Bello, who studied under her since the late '90s. "She would find things in you other schools couldn't find, because she was fearless. She didn't care about what people may have thought of her — all she cared about was for you to learn that step, and was willing to say anything to make you understand."

Home is where the heart is

In 1998, when her mother got very sick, La Presy returned to San Antonio for a few weeks. She did a few workshops at Teresa Champion's studio (then located on Flores St.) and then, in 2000, Josie Champion (El Curro's sister) brought her back to do workshops 18 hours a week for at least three months.

"She gave an extraordinary workshop," said Carmen Linares "La Chiqui," one of SA's top flamenco instructors. "When Josie brought her I sent about 20 of my students. It was very strong."

"As a teacher myself, I was flabbergasted when I saw that workshop," said Jesús Moreno, who toured with La Presy when they were with the Ciro company in the early-to-mid '70s. "She was amazing. One thing is to teach, but to go from dancer in SA to teacher, and then teach Spaniards, that's something else." And yes, Moreno also praised La Presy's unique gift: "She had a photographic memory."

"I was giving her a way to make money before going back to Spain," Josie Champion said. "We fed her, we clothed her, put 15 pounds on her. She brought Spain to us and left me with enough flamenco material to last me for a lifetime."

Both Teresa and Josie Champion admit much of the choreographies they use to this day are La Presy's.

"Bringing her here was very special for me because she's one of my greatest influences," said Josie. "I learned flamenco with my family and my style reflects that. I love my family very much and Teresa means the world to me, but I do my own thing and my compases [plural for compás, or the intricate time signatures of flamenco], are all La Presy's. She's the one I looked up to and the one I wanted to be like."

Once back in Spain, La Presy kept busy. She taught at Carmen de las Cuevas for four years before finally opening her own school in 2000.

Going down

Recently in Music
  • The Permanent Gangsta Status of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy Prodigy, better known to ’90s rap aficionados as the prodigious half of Queensbridge duo Mobb Deep, has made a successful career operating on... | 9/17/2014
  • Our Picks for the 31st Annual Jazz’SAlive Eddie Palmieri: 9:30pm Saturday. Jazz’SAlive has traditionally made sure to clear at least one headlining space for Latin jazz... | 9/17/2014
  • Loudon Wainwright Hasn’t Got the Blues (Yet) Emerging with his eponymous debut in 1970, singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III found himself lumped along with fellow post-Dylan folk-revivalists Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens and Randy Newman. But where those contemporaries relied on abstract imagery or p | 9/17/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus