Forum: Folk / Flamenco

Excited Flamenco Newbie :-)
By dforeman Comments: 98, member since Tue Mar 23, 2010
On Mon May 03, 2010 03:35 PM

I took my very first Flamenco class last week, during San Francisco's National Dance Week, and I have to say, "I loved it!" I was super excited and nervous when I got to the studio...and even a little more so when the instructor (Danica Sena) introduced herself...but the class was absolutely amazing.

We barely spent anytime learning basic movements (palmas, zapateados, and hand/arm movements) and pretty much got into choreography immediately. I had some (hm) "issues" to begin with, just remembering the rhythm of palmas, which was slightly embarrassing, but almost the entire class was new to Flamenco. By the end though, we were dancing, smiling, and having a grand old time practicing!

Since my background is in your typical trifecta (ballet, tap, and jazz) I was completely enamored by the sound, movement, and style of Flamenco! I can't wait to go again on Wednesday night...just wanted to share my experience and joy! :)

4 Replies to Excited Flamenco Newbie :-)

re: Excited Flamenco Newbie :-)
By nevroth Comments: 1238, member since Fri Nov 21, 2003
On Fri May 07, 2010 12:53 AM
Welcome to the fabulous world of flamenco! I danced only ballet and modern before trying out flamenco. It looked so beautiful! I've been dancing for about 4 years and am in a professional company and it's wonderful! The best thing about folk dance is that it doesn't matter what your size is or your age- it's all about hard work, technique and passion.

I would ask you what palo (rhythm) you learned, but as a newbie I'm sure you were just trying to figure out what was going on! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and hope you continue to take classes. There are usually opportunities to dance at showcases, festivals, even events (when your more inter/adv) with your teacher, and it's SO MUCH FUN to dress up in costume.

Since you're already a dancer, you know how expensive our *ahem* equipment can be, and flamenco is no different. But lemme tell you, while pricey it's wonderful to buy a new skirt, shoes, manton (shawl), albanico (fan), etc- and all the color choices! *dies* Very addicting.

Well, after that, all I can say is- welcome aboard! :0)

PS- if you're ever down in Los Angeles, PM me and I can give you info on all our fabulous teachers in the area
re: Excited Flamenco Newbie :-)
By dforeman Comments: 98, member since Tue Mar 23, 2010
On Fri May 14, 2010 12:51 AM
Hi Nevroth, thanks for the reply! :) That's amazing, after just four years dancing Flamenco, you are a professional. Congratulations! You must have worked/are still working incredibly hard!

I've now taken three classes and am even more in love with the style, so I will definitely be continuing. The classes are very intense and fast paced, but absolutely enjoyable. You're right I don't know a lot about what we're doing right now, honestly I'm just trying to keep up with the pace and steps ;)

The choreography we are working on right now is called something like a juadinera (I completely apologize for butchering or getting this word horribly wrong!). It is based on 12 counts, is very fluid and romantic and just rolls, before calling for the cante it gets very powerful and quick, then goes back to being fluid again. When the more advanced students run through it, it's very beautiful!

I've noticed that prices are a little high, just like a lot of classes, but I can't wait to save up some money and buy some real flamenco shoes (right now I'm using character, which are alright, but I wish I had a thicker heel sometimes).

Anyways, thanks for the reply and if I travel to LA I'll definitely check with you!
re: Excited Flamenco Newbie :-)
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3627, member since Fri Oct 10, 2008
On Sun Jul 11, 2010 06:25 PM
I just took my first Flamenco class yesterday and loved it. Well, I did have morning-long Flamenco workshop many years ago which was challenging and fun; however that was just a real quick introduction to typical movements and steps, not the beginning of a series of classes.

Now, finally, I have access to "serious" classes. Most of the students already have character shoes so that's what we're using. In the first class we concentrated on basic form and technique plus learned some basic steps. Over this, first 6 week-session we are learning a simple Sevillana. Our homework is to practice the steps and hand movements covered in class and also to look up people dancing Sevillanas on YouTube so as to get an idea of the various styles.
re: Excited Flamenco Newbie :-)
By nevroth Comments: 1238, member since Fri Nov 21, 2003
On Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:33 AM
The Sevillanas are the hands down, unofficial party dance, lol. If you ever go to Spain, especially during feria, it isn't uncommon to see people dancing Sevillanas in restaurants, clubs, or even the street.

Sevillanas was also my first intro into flamenco. While technically a folk dance and not TRUE flamenco, it does incorporate a lot of floreo and can include more complicated footwork. I've always wanted to learn how to dance them with a fan!