“So, what’s flamenco, anyway?”

Some of you have asked, “So, what’s flamenco, anyway? What’s it like? Do you have a partner? Do you wear fruit on your head? (Seriously!) And what’s this bulerías you’re always complaining about?” All you know about it, thanks to me, is that it ain’t easy to learn. My bad. Continue reading ““So, what’s flamenco, anyway?””

Something else to get wrapped up in

Someday I hope to have more grace than this guy. ©Disney

My right wing is killing me.

Saturday I had my first experience with the mantón, or the large shawl worn or wielded by dancers. Such a lovely, elegant prop when handled by the right flamenca. In this beginner’s hands, not so much. Continue reading “Something else to get wrapped up in”

Bulerías y Bach

Sing out loud, sing out strong.
Before I was a dancer, I was a singer. I’ve been singing anything and everything since I could speak. I have mainly my mom to thank for this; there was always music in the house, all kinds. Mostly oldies of the ’50s and ’60s, and the ’70s is still my favorite decade for music probably because it’s my first memory of current music on the radio. And in the ’80s and ’90s, I went through my Madonna phase, the new wave phase, hip-hop, gangster rap, grunge, punk, alternative/goth (which mom called my “forces of darkness” phase) latin, a little metal, you name it. As much as I hate to admit it, I even like some old school country. I rarely discriminate when it comes to music and I can never listen to just one kind in one sitting. Call it Musical ADD, if you will. Take a look at my iPod and you’ll see what I mean. Continue reading “Bulerías y Bach”

On Time

It’s 11:05 p.m. and I decided to write a new post instead of going to bed where I belong. I’m having a hard time getting myself on schedule like I had planned. In fact, just before this, I got up off the couch at 10:15 because I suddenly wanted to practice bulerias in front of the TV. I can’t help it — late night is when I get my burst of energy and creativity.

Friday night I saw a flamenco show at a nearby restaurant and the dancer was amazing. She was also much younger than me and has been dancing since she was just a little thing. Every time I see a show, I leave with the same feelings: joy, inspiration, excitement, motivation … with a sprinkling of frustratiion, regret, defeat. I hate that I started this at 34 1/2 and not 4 1/2 or at least in my 20s. I have so much catching up to do.

I seem to remember my mom many years ago telling me I should look into flamenco, but I didn’t really know what it was. Actually, I don’t think she really understood what it was, either. I think she was thinking of classical Spanish dance — which is beautiful, but not really my thing. Had I seen a flamenco show when I was a teenager, I’d have traded my Doc Martens for Gallardos in a heartbeat. It would have been a fantastic outlet for my teen angst. I imagine I’d have been pretty awesome by now if I had started out back then …

Or maybe not. Maybe I’d have been sidetracked by high school then college and parties and stupid boys. Ugh, stupid boys! Maybe I needed to get past those things before I could commit fully to the dance. Yes. I’m going with that theory. I truly do believe that you find who or what is right for you at just the right moment in your life. And when I think about how things have played out up to now, I couldn’t have found the dance at a better time.

Sexy Thang

Tonight in class, one of my compañeras said to me, “You lost a lot of weight, huh?…You look good!” I was totally caught off guard — in a good way!

While I have increased my flamenco practice time in the last few months, I’ve probably only lost about 5 lbs. I hadn’t realized I was thinner until friends noticed — which, if you think about it, is kind of funny when you realize that other people remember your ass used to be bigger. Continue reading “Sexy Thang”

Shame, a Dance Nazi and a New Game Plan

I was so uncoordinated tonight. Not that I expect to get every step immediately, especially in this advanced class. But I felt so off kilter, like I couldn’t even tell right from left. I think part of it was pure brain fog from lack of sleep. I’ve slept maybe three hours each night this week. Every so often I go through a bout of insomnia, so it seems it’s that time again. Continue reading “Shame, a Dance Nazi and a New Game Plan”

OCFD: Obsessive-Compulsive Flamenca Disorder

I remember reading somewhere, perhaps someone else’s blog, that flamenco dancers are the craziest people out there. Why? Because you have to be completely neurotic and obsessive, not to mention super passionate, to stick with it. Me? Crazy?? Well, maybe. Continue reading “OCFD: Obsessive-Compulsive Flamenca Disorder”