It was 8 YEARS ago that I opened the doors to the Online Flamenco Studio with a handful of videos to a handful of dancers.
Now there are over 55 courses with over 500 videos for dancers from all over the world!
Teaching online has PROFOUNDLY changed me and how I am as a flamenco dancer and instructor! This is has affected how I perform on stage, teach locally, and how to build a community online.
So, in no particular order, here are the top 5 things I learned about myself, teaching, performing and flamenco from my 8 years of the Online Flamenco Studio.
1) HOW TO KISS 💋💋💋💋 Although I’ve been teaching flamenco for 20 years, it’s from teaching online that I’ve learned my most valuable lesson…. how to kiss like a flamenco! Or actually- K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple and Strong!
Flamenco is one complicated art form- from the compás to the structure of the dance and all the different palos…. and never mind the actual dance technique!! Dancers (myself included) can get all hung up in trying to do the crazy moves with the crazy compás. But unless you’re really practicing a lot and making it come out super strong and confident, it just looks like a jumbled, bland mess!
2) COURAGE. With all the flamenco drama, old school teachers that belittle their students and the overall 💩 messages we get from society of how a woman should behave or look like as she gets older, we all need courage! We need it to take up space, stand up and be seen, have the courage to allow ourselves to express what’s inside and feel strong and confident in our skin.
3) COMPAS. I know this would seem quite obvious because I’ve been dancing for over 25 years and have been teaching for 20— but really, people, the compás is EVERYTHING in flamenco! And this goes back to keeping it strong and simple. But if you take the time to *really* focus on it and understand how the movement fits into it, then you will unlock so many possibilities of expression.
Instead I see dancers who take a bunch of flamenco dance classes and focus on learning complicated material that they can’t pull off because they don’t quite have the technique and absolutely don’t understand the compás that matches it.
4) CORAZON. Our ultimate goal as dancers is to be able to dance with aire, achieve the state of duende, dance with expressiveness and confidence. THIS is dancing with your heart. We must connect with our heart and remember why we love this art form so much. Remember how it stirs our soul.
Dancing from the heart starts with getting in touch with how we want to FEEL while dancing and how we want to feel about ourselves as dancers. Then it extends to the aire or the attitude of the particular palo (rhythm) we’re dancing.
5) MIND, BODY, SOUL. Flamenco isn’t just learning choreographies and it isn’t just learning technique. It’s a whole mind, body & soul experience. Your mind helps you understand the structure 1000% (well, maybe 90%) and recognize the differences of the palos. Your body works with actual technique, upper body, footwork, turns, strength, coordination, stamina. Finally, it’s your soul that make the difference between a highly trained yet spiritless dancer vs. a dancer with less finesse but is absolutely captivating.
I look forward to many more years of connecting with you all in person and online as we dance together as a community.