10. Reaching a milestone of five years of flamenco. I wouldn’t have believed in 2008 that I’d be this invested in this five years later. And despite my public absence over the last couple of months, I assure you this flamenca is still in the game.
9. New dress, y’all! Made by my favorite designer/seamstress, Maria, of course! I swear, her dresses make me a better dancer.
8. My improved relationship with my bata. It’s still difficult dancing with that thing, but I feel much stronger at it than I was a year ago. I might even love it a little bit.
7. A better understanding of cante structure. If my Spanish weren’t so lacking, I think I might be able to sing a little for my friends in class. So feel free to send me words to some simple letras with accompanying audio for reference, will ya?
6. Watching incredible performances in Albuquerque: Karime Amaya, Ivan Vargas, Marco Flores, Israel Galvan and their companies. Watching dancers of their caliber in person is both moving and motivating.
5. Meeting my Canadian friends face to face, finally!! Flamenco brings people together; I’d have never met the very awesome Cyrena & Elvira without it. **Oh gosh! And as a late addition, I MUST add the homegirl Catherine, who is not Canadian, but who I was so happy to meet and who was a HUGE part of my experience! How could I forget? Good God, I’m old. Sorry, C. Will you please friend me on Facebook so that I can see you every day like my Canadian friends? Geez!**
4. Having a very special guy in the audience cheering me on at our show and always listening as I blather on and on about my flamenco adventures/misadventures.
3. Having a phenomenal teacher who after 5 years, continues to amaze me with her skill, patience and ability to turn once-scared, awkward students (some of us are/were, anyway) into strong dancers.
2. Being in class with amazing ladies who continue to crack me up and are more like sisters than classmates.
1. Experiencing my second Albuquerque flamenco festival with my brother, who is both my best friend and my biggest supporter, and maybe even a future dancer. I love that he wanted to share this with me, and that he has developed an interest in and respect for the art form I love so much. Watching him take his first flamenco steps was the highlight of my year.