Amaya was born in the slums of Barcelona Somorrostro (now Vila Olympic Village ). At the age of seven, she began to dance. In 1929, she made her debut in Paris applause and admiration for her dancing skills. In 1936 she went to America, where she appeared as an actress in several films, such as in Los Taranto, one inspired by Romeo and Juliet Spanish musical drama and in the short film Danzas Gitanas. She was invited to the White House in 1944 by Franklin Roosevelt and in 1953 by Harry S. Truman. Carmen Amaya was buried in Cementiri del Sud- Oest on Barcelona's Montjuïc.