Non-flamenco Flamenco Lesson

Drawing inspiration from all areas of the arts is an integral part of my flamenco education. So is supporting my fellow artists in their pursuits. Because by keeping that creative current flowing among friends, there’s a constant circle of energy feeding everyone’s growth; support others, and they’ll support you.

So Tuesday I took the night off from class (sorry, teacher!) to support my friend at her voice recital — for the record, she fought traffic and an awful parking situation and then stood alone in a crowded restaurant back in May to see my first flamenco solo (now that’s love!). Now, she’s a much more experienced singer than I am a dancer, but she’s been studying with a renowned vocal coach and was ready to show off her enhanced pipes. And as I expected, she delivered a stellar performance. Clean and pure, that voice effortlessly reached every note and shared a story, not just words over a melody. Beautiful.

But it was more than well-sung songs. Like flamenco or anything else, vocal performance is as much about performance as it is about technique. It’s what separates good singers from great singers; those you simply hear and those you remember. Have you ever seen a performer whose nerves are so visible that they make you nervous? Yeah, my friend had none of that going on. She was very poised and confident, even while speaking to the audience between songs. She worked that stage like a seasoned pro who’s up there night after night. And it didn’t hurt that she was wearing the most awesome pair of heels. Sparkly!

I have a great appreciation for musical talent (musicians, singers, dancers), maybe more than anything else. I guess that’s one reason I love flamenco so much, because it’s always about all three of those; one can’t exist without the others. Anyway, I love the feeling I get after watching a great performance; that bursting sense of built-up joy, sadness, inspiration, etc. that makes you want to jump out of your seat. I love it even more when the performer is a good friend I’ve watched work and grow over the years. When it’s someone close to me, I feel I’m somehow a part of it. And it serves as encouragement that I, too, could someday be just as good at what I do.


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