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María Benítez: A Life of Fire and Passion

One of the great flamenco dancers, María Benítez made Santa Fe her home. She's an internationally recognized expert in the field of Spanish dance and all that it embraces.


Her studies took her to Spain where she also performed and while abroad also danced in North Africa, Portugal and South America. She choreographed for opera and performed at numerous dance festivals. In 1970, she and her husband Cecilio founded the Institute for Spanish Arts in Santa Fe.


Her awards include a Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, a City of Santa Fe Mayor's Award, and the Classical Spanish Dance Award from the Institute of Puerto Rico in New York City. She was nominated for the National Medal of Arts, supported by a joint resolution of the New Mexico House and Senate.



Have you experienced a performance of Maria Benítez or learned to dance with her? Please share your story. Flamenco is much loved in Santa Fe. What other Santa Fe flamenco dancers have you experienced and feel deserved to be honored as well?

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