|Contact:||Miguel Caro 243-7348
Carolyn Gonzales 277-5920
July 10, 2001
DREAM COME TRUE
Caro's heart in performance, teaching
Caro's dance studio stands empty on a lazy summer day. The only sound is the
swamp cooler, creating an oasis on a hot Albuquerque afternoon. Outside the
window, the cars and buses pass by noiselessly on Central Avenue, Route 66,
near Old Town.
No music is playing as Caro enters the room, nor is he dressed in performance
finery, but still, his eyes dance and when he speaks, it's like hearing a familiar
song. The room itself responds to his presence. The sun gleams off the mirrored
wall, posters and pictures of colorful dancers brighten.
"I am the dancer. I feel the dance in my heart as I perform, but to teach
is also in my dream," Caro says. "Some students take longer to learn.
I work with the class to adjust because everyone is important to me. This way,
they gain respect for me as a teacher and I develop friendships with them."
Born in Ameca in the Mexican state of Jalisco, Caro grew up in Mexico City,
where he dreamt of becoming a famous bailador and visiting the United States.
Caro's first dance opportunity came when he was chosen to travel with "Danzas
Autótomas de Mexico." He was one of the lucky few chosen to travel
with the company. Later he would be selected from among 200 applicants to dance
with the Naciónal Ballet Folklórico.
He's danced the world over, touring in Europe and the United States. In New
Mexico, he noticed that while many people were of Mexican descent, local dance
groups mixed Mexican dances and costumes outside the context of Mexican folklore.
He decided he could be the one to bring authenticity to folkloric dance in the
Land of Enchantment. He returned to Mexico, but felt a strong urge to come back
to New Mexico to share the knowledge and appreciation of Mexican dance in its
He persists in his goal to teach Mexican folk dance at its authentic best.
He runs his own studio where he teaches children as young as five as well as
adults. He teaches at UNM and at several area public schools. He's also taught
senior citizens and inter-generational groups at the South Broadway Cultural
Because he wants his art to be true to its origin, he attends to every detail.
"I design and make the costumes for the dancers," he says, showing
calloused fingers from the meticulous needlework.
"I send my sister Beatriz in Mexico City the design and tell her the colors
and materials. She's been sewing costumes for 35 years," he says. Caro's
own tough-skinned thumb and forefinger come from attention to detailed decoration
on each costume.
Costumes aren't all it takes to achieve the authentic look. Hair and make up are part of the package and Caro's eye for detail and perfection led him to earn a cosmetology license.
"The hair and make up must be the same from one dancer to the next. I teach them how to put their hair up, and how make up is applied depending on whether or not they're performing at daytime or nighttime, indoors or outdoors," he says.
His efforts are paying off. Most recently, he caught the attention of the David
Letterman Show because of a special dance he performs. Dressed in a traditional
white suit, he places a tray on his head upon which sits ten glasses filled
with water. He went to New York City to tape the dance, which he says he often
performs at weddings with the addition of a bottle of champagne on the tray
that he serves to the lucky couple with his special toast, "I wish happiness
The taping involved rigorous rehearsals and, yes; there was some spilled water.
He expects the show to air the segment in about three months. Enhancing his
David Letterman experience was a chance meeting. "I met Jennifer Lopez,"
he says with a gleam in his eye.
Caro has spent more than three decades collecting music from the many regions
of Mexico and learning the intricacies of some 2,000 dances. He dreams of one
day having a place where he can have both his studio and his home, but in the
meantime, he's following his heart.
"I want to continue to dance to the last second of my life."
# # #
Please let us know what you thought of this article. Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
of New Mexico
Public Affairs Department
Hodgin Hall, 2nd floor
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0011
Telephone: (505) 277-5813
Fax: (505) 277-1981