This blogging thing is new to me — which is why I’m not yet in the habit of writing regularly…
Ok, so where was I? Oh yes … I guess I should tell you a little more about me. I wish I had an interesting way of describing myself, but I really don’t. I’m 30-something, single, never married, no children. Not by choice, really, it’s just the way things have played out thus far. This doesn’t depress me — not anymore, anyway, and I’m not even sure if it ever did. I think I always reacted to what others projected on me …” Oh, don’t worry, someday you’ll meet a good man” or “there’s still time; someday you’ll have kids.” I think the pity from others made me feel like I should pity myself. But now instead of going along with these comments, I just respond, “Yes, but maybe I won’t, and that’s ok.” And I do mean that. Because what I’ve learned is the longer you’re single, the more selfish you become, and sometimes the thought of giving half or most of my life to a husband and kids scares the hell out of me.
It’s my freedom that led me to flamenco. I had my first dose of duende in 2002 when I spent a couple of weeks on a Contiki tour that took me to Madrid and Barcelona, as well as the coasts of France, Italy and Monaco. I saw my first show in Madrid, I think … I don’t recall exactly. But do recall the beauty, grace and FIRE of the dancers, and thinking of how awesome it would be to learn to do that. I so fell in love with Spanish culture in general, that I vowed to go back very soon — which I did. The following year I took a month off from freelancing and spent a full month in Spain (which included a brief jaunt to Portugal.) I saw more of the country and saw a show in Sevilla this time. What a magical trip; I didn’t even feel like a tourist. I felt so comfortable, so at home, and even managed to speak Spanish, which is quite a feat for me (that’s another issue; don’t ask). I didn’t want to leave.
The country and its fiery flamencas left an impression on me, but I wouldn’t be moved to pursue the dance until years later when a date took me to a local dinner/flamenco show for my birthday. The show was awesome and when they pulled me up on stage to dance bulerias — wow! I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but I stomped my feet in compás and with attitude like a giant serrano ham. I think the flamenco gods called out to me that night, because from that moment, I was hooked.
I researched flamenco dance classes and, to my surprise, found an excellent teacher just a few miles away. Who knew?! A few months later, I’d begin my flamenco journey.
But back to the beginning of this post. If I were someone’s wife or mother, I might not be doing this. I might not have the money or time, or I’d sacrifice so that my children could take dance classes, or karate, or whatever else kids get involved with. But for now, most fortunately, it’s all about me.