Inspiration through Flamenco Guitar

There was another guitarist whose piece touched me on a massive emotional level….

In August I went to see a Tablao performance that was just guitarists.

As much as I love flamenco, am passionate about it, and will dance it to the day I die, in shows in the past, if a guitarist had a solo within a show, for some odd reason I would be bored, and would use that time to shut my eyes and listen and wonder when it would be over. I must have gone through some kind of transformation during my rising from the ashes, because when I heard about this series of Tablaos in Toronto with the last one being 4 guitarists, I was like….well…I am going to go, and open myself up to this experience.

What came out of this?!?!? An AMAZING thing!

I was totally enthralled with each and every one of the four guitarists. Each had their own style, each played different Palos (styles of flamenco song), and in the end they did a group piece. The best part is that they only all got together fairly close to that performance to get ready.

 

They all played beautifully, and for the first time in my whole flamenco existence (19 years) I was not bored by just listening and watching flamenco guitar. Quite the contrary! I was fascinated by how each guitarist would sit in their chair and prop their guitar ever so slightly different from the next. I was fascinated by their facial expression and how their fingers moved so quickly with the guitar strings. I was fascinated by how the quality of sound varied from guitar to guitar and artist to artist.

There was one guitarist who I hadn’t seen in years, who was just on the verge of considering becoming professional at the same time I was about to get serious pushing to become professional in flamenco dance (except he pursued it and I took a break to pursue fitness as a career).  I was pleasantly surprised to see his development over the years.

There was another guitarist whose piece touched me on a massive emotional level….

This had never happened to me before. Even though I had never danced a solea, I knew of the Solea Palo. And I knew right away this was what he was playing. Deep feelings arose from inside of me, and I started to feel small tears well up in my eyes. I realized that everything I had experienced over the past 6-12 month or more was getting played about in this guitarist’s solea solo that night!

I knew immediately that I had to do a solea solo myself, and that I needed to tell this guitarist about the inspiration he was to me.

I am now working towards my solea solo and have surrounded myself with positive people who support me in this project. I CANNOT WAIT!!!!

My last comment is, that as far as flamenco music and dance, until this moment in time with the inspiration, I never really understood the slower flamenco Palos. I admired the dancers who performed this type of dance, but I didn’t understand them. I much preferred the Tangos, Rumbas, Alegrias, Bulerias, Tanguillos. But I have reached a turning point. Life has opened my heart up to the heavier darker flamenco palos, and I embrace it. Its the first time i will truly have to share emotion through flamenco with my audience. It freaks me out a little bit, because what if I truly go down the emotional rabbit hole???? What if i have a full choreography, but on the day of performance, I totally feel the emotions and i lose it???!! OMG!!!! OMG!!!! OMG!!!! Hopefully I know the compas (Rhythm) well enough to take myself through and dance something regardless of if I remember the choreography or not! HAHHAHA

 

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Fitness through Dance and Fitness to Support Dance

I have been studying different forms of dance since the age of 5 yrs old. Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Salsa, Hip Hop, Belly Dance and Flamenco. In the latter part of my dance training it has mostly been Belly Dance and Flamenco.

There was a time where I could do it and nothing phased me. Later I ever so slightly felt it draining me a little more than usual. I never really had injuries from dancing.  As I got older I realized running/jogging and dancing was not going to be what would help me to lose weight anymore. I started to train in the gym seriously with a trainer and then became a trainer.

Once I lost 15-20lbs I noticed differences in my dancing.  Not only was i lighter, but I had developed more muscle in my body. As a result, in bellydance, there were moves like undulations for example that I could execute with little effort, where I know I used to have to use more energy to create certain movements. They became more easy and fluid. With Flamenco, I noticed footwork became easier because i was lighter and also it was stronger because of the amount of muscle being put into it.

Now, what I am finding, and it has been brought to my attention by a friend in my flamenco world that dancers from about 35 yrs+ in age may be in need of more than just dance. There are dancers that lack a strong core, or good muscle development to support the impact created through footwork. Some surprisingly do not have a lot of body awareness and so are not aware of how to get the energy out from their core to their extremities to create energy into the arms, and hands. Because of this they can not create a full package. Because of certain muscle imbalances, injuries either related to dance or outside dance develop and then cause a dancer to have to take time off. (For a dancer to spend any time not dancing is never a good feeling!)

My Flamenco Dance Teacher also recognized there may be a need for some type of fitness class offered for flamenco dancers to increase their strength. Whether its a class or one on one training this is a specialized niche that seems to need some help.

Yes dance of any kind can have great fitness benefits, but sometimes the body requires more to support further improvements to advance to higher levels of proficiency. Or if someone wants to continue dancing for recreation, proper strengthening of the body can further allow a dancer to dance well into their later years.

If you are a dancer and are interested in learning more stay tuned. I will share more!

Alternatively, you can also contact me.

Transitions

I have not written here in a while. So much has been going on! There have been a lot of life changes over the past little while. Some good, some appearing not to be good. But really, sometimes things that don’t seem positive are just disguised that way.

I am super happy to be really busy with personal training again. It took me about 2 years to rebuild my clientele up to where it was before I left working for a large corporation. I am happy because I am now able to help a lot of people, and income is not a worry anymore. I do miss having a lot of spare time, but the good thing about being really busy is that, I stay way more organized. I am actually able to accomplish many more things on a daily and weekly basis as well.

In January I returned to flamenco dancing after what I was told about a 2.5 year break! Man, I am never taking that long a break from flamenco ever again. I have a show coming up in August! Excited, yet scared at the same time as i have not done a stage show/recital in either Flamenco or Belly Dance in years! That is ok…i will rock it man! hahaha

Been through some injuries as well…but I am finally getting my body back to normal which means I can train myself again, I can get back into muay thai hopefully full force again and I can keep dancing!

I now just need to find the moment for my next small, medium and large vacations! I need to get away!

As I sit at my desk typing this, i am listening to the sound of the rain falling outside my window and a bus going by. Just waiting to finish my laundry and then make dinner and meal prep for the next couple days.

I have some exciting things coming up!

  • Reunion Lunch with a group of girlfriends who were my very first serious bellydance students ever
  • Flamenco Juerga (Party) hosted by my flamenco dance teacher Carmen Romero
  • My mom’s 76th birthday

Until then…..