Here is the final installment and most special of the Unleash the Flamenco Beast Series. You can read parts one (practice), two (listen), three (watch), and four (get strong) here.
You can have as much technique under your belt as possible, but it won’t mean ANYTHING unless you have aire.
Literally, aire is air. But in flamenco, when someone says a dancer has tons of aire it means that she has that special flamenco attitude, full of bravado.
This comes from having CONFIDENCE, being in your body and believing that you have something to share, and allowing yourself to be seen and being vulnerable.
I know, a lot. But this is why we all MUST do flamenco. We’re called to it for this very reason!
In order for you to build your own aire, you have to get your head in the right space to build your inner fire and let it rip!
“That sounds all well and good, Rina. But how do I do THAT?” I’m so glad you asked!
But let me back track first. Do you need perfect technique and compas to be confident in your dancing? It helps. But I’ve seen plenty of dancers that have more bravado than technique and they’re just mesmerizing. So, if you still struggle with the technical stuff, don’t sweat it. You want to work on being your authentic self, allowing yourself to be seen, and showing your inner vulnerability.
I think there’s a lot of personal introspection that comes with the question. I mean if you’re already an extrovert, you’re probably going to just shake your tail in flamenco just fine. But if you struggle with confidence in other areas of your life, that might also seep through in flamenco as well. Since I’m just a flamenco dancer and instructor and not a therapist, I’ll just tell you about ways to do this in the studio.
All right, now on to how to become a confident dancer.
The number #1 way to start to gain confidence in your dancing is to remember how flamenco makes YOU FEEL when you’re dancing. If it’s a personal cathartic release or an absolute joy, or both, remember and hold on to that feeling. You’ll need to dig in and bring that feeling back when it’s time to express yourself in front of others.
And what’s a good way to remember?
Look at yourself in front of a mirror!
I constantly tell my students to look at themselves in the mirror in class- not the floor, not the ceiling, but THEIR OWN EYES.
I know we want to look at our bodies to make sure we’re doing the move correctly. But if you look at your own face, especially while playing palmas during an entrada (entrance step) or doing a marking that doesn’t move across the floor, you gain more confidence in looking at yourself.
It allows you to reach for that fire inside so you can show it off to the world.
When you look into your own eyes, you connect with yourself, become grounded and ready to pounce!
It’s a constant process, so we have to be present along the journey and not get caught up in trying to be Carmen Amaya!
THIS is how you build your own personal aire! Toma que toma!
Thank you for reading!!
Hasta pronto! Rina
Photo credit: “La Pescailla”
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