Juana Jimenez
El Sali bailaor

EL SALI was born in Salinas de Yana in the North of Spain on the 11th of June 1936 at 7am in the morning. Only the hazard wanted that place to be witness of this birth, as his parents. Gipsies, were always wandering about from one place to another enjoying the sweet awakenings by the birds trill by the green shore of a little river with the dew of the night and of the warmth of the bonfire that lighted the camp. The carts were forming a circle, the horses neighing, brothers, sisters and relations singing and dancing, the child was born all right and the feast lasted all day and all night. The sun started rising when the gipsies tired and exhausted went to their carts to rest.

On the following day when everybody was waiting by the fire for the coffee to be made, a woman of pleasant features and of distinguished bearing came to the camp, the father of the child just born approached her and ask her what she wanted. The woman told him that a little gipsy knocked at her door begging. praying and with tears in the eyes for some white material to make swaddling cloths for her new born brother because they could only cover him with his mother's cloak. The good woman uncovered the basket in which she had cloths and some food for the baby and his mother and gave it to the gipsy.

The visits of the woman were everyday in fact so often so that she did not miss a day going to the camp to see the baby. Big was the happiness of the good woman when all of the gipsies wanted her to be the godmother of the child. She desired this very much and readily accepted. A few days later the Baptism was celebrated which gave to the child the name of... EL SALI ... For he was born in Salinas de Yana and because his godmother was the owner of a lime factory in this village. A curious thing is that none of Sali's relations have tried to dance in public before, that’s to say none of them are professionals of Flamenco dancing, despite having some wonderful abilities for this Art.

El Sali who is so gifted has no need whatsoever of a teacher and he climbed to the top because he has that special quality that differentiates from the others. That only a gipsy like he can possess through instinct. Nobody ever taught him a single step of his dance but his body moves with grace and harmony. Every time a guitar is played near him. Many sacrifices end many hours of practice. EI Sali has had to spend to create his own style and dancing. When he dances he puts so much into it that after each performance it can be verified that he loses a kilo and a half in weight. His dance is new and different every night.

Download Spanish biography

El Sali
gallery El Sali