40 years of passion for Spanish and flamenco: The beginnings of the Carmen de las Cuevas School

The first students

August 6, 1984 marked the beginning of the Carmen de las Cuevas School's journey with the arrival of Mark Weber, the first student who knocked on its door. At that time, Carmen and Nacho returned from a year in England and ventured into an innovative project for the time: a Spanish school for foreigners and flamenco in Granada.

Their first location, in the nearby Cuesta de la Victoria, served as a starting point until the spring of 1986, when they moved to their current location.

Beginnings Carmen de las Cuevas School
1984, from right to left: Carmen (22 years old) and Nacho (24 years old), founders and still current directors of the school. Pierre-Henri (22 years old) and Mark (19 years old), the first students.

The first Spanish school in Granada

The Carmen de las Cuevas School was the first Spanish school for foreigners in the city of Granada, although there were already flamenco schools such as Mariquilla, with a prestigious track record.

In those beginnings, resources for teaching Spanish were scarce, limited to basic manuals and there was hardly any talk about the “communicative method.” The classes were based on conversation, supported by grammar lessons using own materials and the few Spanish books available for foreigners.

In those first years, Nacho and Carmen not only taught Spanish to their students, but also traveled with them for several days, attended flamenco festivals in other cities or organized long parties with all their friends.

Their programs were very flexible, they often taught on weekends, to travel during weekdays and thus be able to appreciate the authentic daily life of the different places they visited. Always seeking to transmit culture in all its aspects along with language.

Excursion through the deserts of Granada
Excursion through the deserts of the northern area of ​​Granada
Party with friends and students
1985: With friends and students

Flamenco

Since their beginnings as flamenco fans and with their good friend and dancer Mai Cruz, they offered their students optional flamenco dance courses, as a fundamental part of Spanish culture.

Even in 1985 they organized a flamenco night in which Mai Cruz danced with nothing more and nothing less than the singing of Jaime “El Parrón” and the guitar of Miguel Ángel Cortés!!

Mai Cruz, flamenco dancer
1985: Mai Cruz, friend and flamenco dancer, taught the first dance classes.
Flamenco Night 1985
Already in 1985 they organized shows for their students and friends with prestigious artists. Until 1986, when they moved to the new location, they were called "Center of Culture and Studies Granada"
Victory Hill 1985
1985: Carmen and Nacho (at the ends) with a group of students on the Cuesta de la Victoria. At the Regine center, they still maintain their friendship.

During those two years at Cuesta de la Victoria, they welcomed a handful of students, mainly Europeans from Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and France.

With few resources, no internet!, a few brochures photocopied on cardboard were enough to attract these first international students. Almost a miracle!

The Carmen de las Cuevas School has cultivated lasting friendships since those early days that have endured over time, like their dear friend Regine!

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