Archive for May, 2017



Carpe Diem


Flamenco Dance

palmasI had enrolled in the Beginner’s class, and found out that there are things we needed to learn first. She taught us about Compás, which are the rhythms used in each palo or style. She started with Alegrias for us beginners, teaching us the rhythm with clapping hands. In the Spanish expression, sometimes the teacher or director will initiate the people with palmas, which is another way of calling the palm of your hands to start the compás for the guitarist, percussion and singer to start. The calling of palmas tells people to be together and assist in the song. A sense of community is prevalent in flamenco, where the gypsy families work together in unison for the greater good.

When Elba our teacher says, “vamos, palmas” we all know she means a call to us to unite as one; a group of people coming together for…

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Flamenco Dance

The second thing we learn in flamenco is about the cante. Cante is one of the three main components of flamenco, along with toque (playing the guitar) and baile (dance). Because the dancer is front and center in a flamenco performance, foreigners often assume the dance is the most important aspect of the art form – but in fact, it is the cante which is the heart and soul of the genre.

Cante – Singing, also used to describe the different styles of flamenco when used in context such as: cante chico, cante grande or jondo, and cante intermedio.

Our teacher is not going to teach us how to sing, although she teaches us how to maintain ourselves in the compas, which is very important for everyone in flamenco. Therefore, it is important as a dancer to know the different styles of cante in order to…

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Flamenco Dance

Word to learn before you read on:

Palos=styles of flamenco (palo really means stick or branch; in flamenco it is explained as the branches of a tree).


When I found out how many styles of flamenco exist, I flipped back and wanted to instead just stick with the popular Macarena dance. Knowing that it was not necessary to learn them all it gave me a relief because flamenco  started to look like a never ending experience, something that for an inpatient person like me it was daunting. This is one of the reasons why flamenco can teach anyone that anything is possible, to never give up, and that is a tool that helps anyone achieve their highest potential. For this reason of so many palos or styles, some people concentrate in mastering only one or maximum three or four.

Flamenco includes dozens of different palos (styles of flamenco)…

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Flamenco Dance

430297_10151551713434041_1423908910_n Me in search of my Duende, down a cobbled road in Spain.

In my travels around Spain, I have heard about Duende. For me Duende means an elf. Understanding how folklore and ancient superstition is prevalent in Spain and elsewhere, it didn’t surprise me such a notion of the belief that everyone should be careful with a Duende or an elf. Suddenly, I started to listen some flamenco dancers and even singers in tapas bars express some comments about “she has el Duende” or, “he surely has Duende”, and as time passed, I became intrigued and needed to ask the bartender: “So, what is this thing about Duende?” To which he answered: “just watch the show and you will see it.” So here I was, intently watching this flamenco show, trying to see if any elf would jump into the scene and scare everybody or start dancing too.

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Flamenco Dance

I wanted to share certain tools of the trade that every flamenco student should have. Some are completely necessary, and will be listed first on the list, and others can be added on with time according to your practice needs and your continuation on your flamenco studies.

The first thing must be shoes; the experts say that if you plan to dedicate yourself to flamenco, then purchase the most durable and best shoes you can find. If you are doing it just for a small length of time, then purchase something simple and less expensive, but comfortable. Some flamenco shoe stores sell them in categories: amateur, semi-professional, professional, and elite


  1. Flamenco shoes

The shoes must be of good quality, well made, and fit perfect for your feet to feel comfortable, and not be damaged. In flamenco there will be an increase on your stumping the floor strength, and your shoes…

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