Flamenco a María Carbonell Dance Studios
This morning I had a Flamenco class at María Carbonell Dance studios. We had to look for external Flamenco classes as the only classes at the Conservatorio are advanced and for the students studying purely Spanish dance. The class was a very small beginners class which was comforting as everyone was at a similar level to us. We met the teacher Marta Sol, who was very friendly and helpful, trying to translate into english where she could. We learnt the arm movements and some footwork but we need to buy Flamenco shoes so will do more of this next lesson when we have our shoes!
We also learnt about the counts of Flamenco. Usually counts are 1-8 but in Flamenco they are 1-12 but counted
1UNO-2DOS-3TRES-4CUATRO-5CINCO-6SEIS-7SIETE-8OCHO-9NUEVE-10DIEZ-1UNO-2DOS and then repeated.
They have accents on the bold numbers and this counting repeats on a loop. Although it goes to 12 they don’t say ONCE-DOCE but repeat UNO-DOS. Although I know Spanish numbers very well I found this style of counting difficult as I kept getting confused by the repetition of the numbers 1 and 2 at the end of the phrase. However, this is something I can practise so it will hopefully become more natural.
I really enjoyed our first class today and got given some key feedback as well as some steps to practise for next week. One piece of feedback I was given was to forget the contemporary and ballet I had learned before because Flamenco style is so different. The torso remains quite central and the arms are strong. The walks are pedestrian and a lot of the movement in the feet comes from the legs and hips. There is a slight bend in the knee but on the footwork you try to keep the upper body quite still. I was also trying to learn the Spanish language for the movement rather than make up my own as Marta would shout out the name of the movement as we were doing it. This way I will learn the correct terminology, also helping me to learn more Spanish.
Here I add a photo I took of my Flamenco shoes which I bought a few days later