I get asked by my students what they can do to get to the next level.
But it’s a trick question because they know all the physical things to do: practice intentionally in compás in the studio, listen to flamenco music, go to flamenco shows, etc.
So, it’s really a question of your flamenco mindset. “How do I think and feel like the dancer I want to be?”
This question happens because the dancer is impatient with her progress or has plateaued. Of course we want to be able to dance with passion and abandon like Carmen Amaya, like, yesterday! But of course, we are all on our own path.
Sometimes a dancer that started later in life and has a busy schedule with work and family feels so frustrated about not being able to devote enough time to her practice.
Or she has devoted years of classes but still doesn’t feel like she’s quite there.
She’s learned choreographies but can’t improvise.
She’s taken years of classes but still doesn’t understand the structure of a dance.
She wants to perform but has no idea how to communicate with musicians.
She spends too much time comparing herself to others.
The list goes on.
I get it. Been there. Done that. Still go through it. All.the.time. But then I remember my own teachings!
To become the dancer you want to be, you need to start feeling like her now.
Flamenco is a journey, a continuous practice. We can only move forward if we take consistent and intentional action. Don’t focus on the end result. Instead focus on the next step.
When you’re practicing whichever movement or choreography, you need to remember what is important now? What is the essence of what I’m trying to dance now? How do you want to feel doing it?
Example: Your next level move to is learn an Alegrias. What is the aire of Alegrias? Happy. So when you’re practicing the choreography, you want to feel happy or express happiness. Really feel it rather than paste on a fake smile.
Your next level move could be to learn a complicated escobilla. How do you want to feel dancing it? Strong, in control, powerful. How can you feel that now as you practice? Get in touch with that feeling, then start slow so you can keep the movements clean and articulated.
I’m not saying that you’ll reach your ultimate goal right away with trying to feel like the dancer you want to be. But it will help to keep you grounded, focused, in the moment and appreciative of the progress that you’re making.
In the end, you need to remember the reason why you love flamenco so much. It’s the feeling it invokes in you when you watch it. So tap into that feeling as you yourself are dancing. Once you feel like the dancer you want to be, then you become her.
Want to work with me on becoming the dancer you want to be? Check out my Online Flamenco Studio and you can dance with me anytime, anywhere.