Top 10 Things About Learning Flamenco Dance in 2011

A hectic first half of December followed by a glorious two-week Caribbean vacation kept me from posting this in 2011, but better late than never, no?

Can you tell how much fun I have in class?

10. It’s still a great distraction from dumb boys. I’m a little embarrassed to admit how long it’s been since I’ve been on a date. But what’s crazy is, I’m not as upset about it as you might think. It’s like I’ve been too preoccupied with the the dance to realize I’m alone. I think that’s sort of cool.

9. I’m generally more confident these days. Sure, I get frustrated with the dance sometimes but overall, feeling physically stronger and seeing myself progress each day makes me feel pretty darn good about myself. So much so that I might even be inspired to get out there and mingle a bit more this year … we’ll just have to see…

8. I’m in better shape now than I’ve ever been. Enough said.

7. I can hold a note. My dance conditioning has even helped me to become a better chorister. I don’t have to sneak as many breaths as I used to because singing doesn’t drain my air like it did in my pre-flamenco days. It’s amazing. Don’t you love those unexpected benefits?

6. My training is apparently evident outside my flamenco circle. In my square dancing class recently, a couple of classmates complimented my technique and called me “graceful.” Me? Graceful?! What a lovely thing to say. What’s more, I didn’t know one could be graceful while square dancing. Who knew?

5. I burn so many calories that I can continue to enjoy my beloved fast food with some frequency without gaining weight. Yeah, I said it. What?

4. I’m becoming what I’m meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But I don’t know how I ended up working in an office. Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to be a performer — specifically, in something like theater or live sketch comedy. (Really! And some of you think I’m quiet, huh?!) But flamenco is like those things in many ways, which is partly why I’m drawn to it. I don’t perform often as a student, but the promise of being on stage a couple times a year is enough to make me happy and make me feel I’m fulfilling a dream.

3. My Facebook friends list keeps growing. In three years I’ve met a ton of folks who share my love of flamenco — dancers, musicians, aficionados — and they support me by either cheering me on or giving me advice. It really is a cool little community.

2. Best. Teacher. Ever. Rina is pretty phenomenal. She’s a very clear, thorough, patient teacher, and she has a way of seeing what’s strong or unique about my style and helping me to develop it. I’m so grateful to have her as a teacher.

1. My friends, my sisters. I’ve become quite tight with my classmates (teacher included!) over the last three years. We share a passion for this dance, but we’re all so different, too. We complement each other. We support each other. We crack each other up. I can’t imagine being without them. Yes, these are my people.

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