Learning Flamenco

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Taking a short break from the travel tales to bring you a glimpse of the activities taking place during the Flamenco Biennial in Seville.

Last Sunday, my flat-mate and I headed to the Torre de los Perdigones for a free flamenco class. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but we thought it sounded like fun and we’d go and give it a go. So, at 12 o’clock we turned up to find a good crowd had gathered in front of the stage, waiting for the event to start.

Having spent a lot of time over the years trying to persuade people in England that Spain is about so much more than flamenco, here I was about to have a go at one of Seville’s most famous traditions.

I’ve always liked the idea of dancing but I’d never really got around to learning any  dance form properly. Which is why flamenco didn’t really feel like the easiest place to start. I was feeling up for the challenge, though, and went to find a space to join in.

Soon guitar music filled the air, hands were clapping away and shoes were busy with the familiar rhythms of the zapateado.

Chloé Brûlé was on stage and her partner Marco Vargas danced below, among the people, to help guide the crowd through some steps. It was easy enough at first. We started with a slow warm up and then moved on to the dancing.

After a while though, I came to a point I couldn’t really keep up. It would appear most of the class had done this before and were thoroughly enjoying themselves as they followed Brûlé’s lead. I was enjoying myself also, but I felt a complete novice in a crowd of pros, mixing up the steps in the wrong order and obviously missing some basic concepts  that go with this art form.

I decided I needed a bit more paractice and that perhaps with a little  more time and concentration, I would be able to, if not master the complicated art of flamenco, at least follow along with the steps.

Nevertheless, it was an interesting experience, a side of the culture I’d never really delved into before now, mostly because I’d been trying all my life to steer people beyond the sterotypes of the country I live in. Yet while flamenco is nowhere near as popular in the area I grew up in, it is a big part of life in Andalucía and also a strong tourism attraction. It’s rhythm flows through the city and especially fills the steets during this particular celebration of flamenco.

We were told that there would be another class this week. It’s happening on Sunday 25th September at Plaza Muñoz Kirri, in Polígono San Pablo at 12:00. So, if your up for a bit of fun and flamenco, head over there tomorrow and make sure you check out all the other great events and activities taking place throughout the city.

How about you? Fancy having a go at flamenco dancing?

Photo and video: ©SpanishBerry

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