Spanish Dance extraordinaire, Jose Molina, passed away on January 5th. The famed Flamenco dancer died of lung cancer, but his legacy will live on within the dance community for decades to come.

Mr. Molina arrived in the U.S in 1956, and brought Flamenco dance to audiences throughout the country. He made several TV appearances, and his company, José Molina Bailes Españoles, toured the states for thirty years. As a beloved teacher and Flamenco master, Molina was beloved by many, and he was a very important influencer of Spanish dance in the U.S.

But what makes this man special is not the fact that he was on the Tonight Show, or that he was a famous dancer, but the fact that he’s the dancer version of the American Dream! Molina came to America with hope and some mad skills, and he chose to share his art form with the world. He created a company from nothing, and paved the way for flamenco dancing to take root in the U.S. So a huge thank you to the man who shared his art form, and made a difference.