We all know that dancing flamenco takes consistency, dedication and lots and lots of practice if you truly want to reach a higher level of expertise. Before I had kids I had time to go to the studio and practice all the time! Even better, when I was first learning flamenco, I was a dance major and I had access to free studio time at the university. Now THAT was amazing.
But our lives evolve with kids, work or other commitments, and that sometimes gets in the way of us practicing the one thing that will soothe our souls and breath life into an otherwise hectic day.
I have my practice dance floor stashed underneath my couch in the living room AND my flamenco shoes sitting beside it. But still, it’s super hard for me to get motivated to practice AT ALL unless I’m working on an upcoming show.
What I’ve come to realize is that it can be an all or nothing proposition. If I can’t devote a full hour of sweaty and intense practice, then forget it! Who has time like that?
Does that sound like you?
It doesn’t have to be that way at all. We all say that we don’t have enough time or motivation for practice even though we all KNOW that our souls would sing afterwards. But how about 5 minutes? You MUST have 5 minutes!
I propose you commit to dance only 5 minutes a day for 5 five days in a row. Could you do that? Of course you can! And it doesn’t HAVE to be with your dance shoes on and your dance floor out.
Here are 5 ideas for you to create your own 5 minutes of flamenco a day for 5 days CHALLENGE.
- Pick your favorite flamenco song and practice ONLY your hand and arm movements. Watch a free video lesson of Basic Braceo (arm position) for some inspiration. It’s 11 minutes, but you can do only 5 minutes of it 😉
2. Watch your favorite flamenco video from YouTube and try to play palmas with it. Pick one that’s in tablao since there would be a cuadro with palmistas. Here is one for a Fin de Fiesta with the wonderful Las Turroneras. These girls will inspire all of us to dance with abandon and bravado! (Pay attention to the accents and the breaks of the palmas.)
3. Here, bring out your practice board and put on your shoes and commit to practice one footwork technique for a solid 5 minutes! Bonus points if you can either go faster as you go on or even play palmas for yourself while you do the footwork. Remember, it doesn’t count if it’s out of compás, so be sure to put on some Solo Compás to follow along. Need an idea on which technique to do? Watch this tutorial on the syncopated picado technique.
4. Work on identifying different palos (flamenco rhythms). Some of the basic palos that all flamenco dancers should learn are Alegrias, Solea por Bulerias, Tangos and Bulerias. Could you identify any one of these if you heard it? Do a search on YouTube for any one of these and see if you can “hear” what distinguishes it from the others. Hint: it’s the chords, melody, compás and tempo. Here are two videos to study. One is Tangos and the other is Bulerias. Can you tell which is which? 😉
5. And finally, the last idea for you would be to put on a piece of flamenco music and just DANCE! Don’t try to do anything fancy, just move and pay attention to the accents, transitions and breaths. Enjoy the music, enjoy the movement! Here’s a lovely Tangos by Pedro el Granaino to inspire you.
GRACIAS! Be sure to tell me which ones you use! And if you want to dance flamenco with your entire Mind, Body & Soul, then let me help you inside the Online Flamenco Studio. ¡OLE!
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