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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Arising from the Ashes : Flamenco

Arising from the ashes back in July, really ruffled a lot of “feathers” in me as a woman reaching mid-life. Perhaps you could even say I experienced a serious mid-life crisis! Doesn’t matter to me what you call it…hahah!

Fact is, I went down a dark path, somehow I found my way out even though i got very lost in a world i didn’t know, and because it all happened I am new and improved!

I have found a new zest for life, new found artistic creativity, and am open to all the positive energy that wants to surround me. When you are open to different energies it is what you attract. No more darkness for me…perhaps at that point in my life, I welcomed the unknown darkness because its something I never experienced before and as someone said to me recently,

Flamenco Juerga

maybe i felt guilt for something else I had done and felt it necessary to punish myself. When they said that to me, in my head I was like OMG!! They could be SOOOO right!

SOMETIMES actions we take are totally subconscious.

I am always willing to be open to new experiences…but there is a point when enough is enough and you have to know when to get out or you truly will be lead astray.  I had a moment like that, I was like….

Whoa….this just happened and this was scary…. i can’t let anything affect my ability to dance! %$%&@&$%@ THIS @@%$%@&&&!!!!

For the longest while, still being in “the darkness” was affecting my ability to concentrate in flamenco dance, it was affecting my willingness to push and create a short bit of choreography for a solo in the recital in June, and i hated this feeling. I didn’t know what to do. But I still kept going to class.

Once I put an end to “the darkness”, all of a sudden the light shone! And i mean did it ever shine!!!!

I decided to put any further energy whether positive or negative into the remainder of my flamenco classes in the last couple weeks leading up to our student recital!

And oh boy…..the light and the fire went WHOOSH inside of me ….and emanated out. My red dress…the yellow shawl….. it was the best performance I ever had. It was only the beginning of more!

 

Sequel to Arising from the Ashes

I don’t want just anything marking my body. If i get something, its going to my grave or my cremation with me….. 

My how time flies!

It seems like just yesterday I posted about how I had been to hell and back, and its actually been about 2 months since that post!

For years I have been thinking about getting a tattoo. But it wasn’t something I wanted to jump into lightly. I remember one time being on vacation in Mexico and deciding to get a henna tattoo of a tiger on my back because i like cats both domestic and wild. I thought, I would get it to see what it was like to have something on my body. I liked it, and at the time (probably over 5 years ago now) i thought, Ok, so….I want to get a tattoo….but what will it be?

I had no direction for one, no meaning for one. So i thought, maybe I will try designing one myself out of all the things i am passionate about it life. (Music, Song, Dance, Movement etc.)…. but i was like, this is too hard…forget it. If I am meant to get a tattoo, there will be a reason for it and a story and a meaning behind it. If I never have a reason, I just won’t do anything.

I don’t want just anything marking my body. If i get something, its going to my grave or my cremation with me…..

It was after my last post about arising from the ashes that I realized what the tattoo should be. Next I was like, well…. where should i put it?! I looked at pictures of all the different places on the body people put this particular tattoo. I still didn’t know, but I did know that I didn’t want it to go on any body part of which i really like to see my muscle. (so no tattoo on the back, the arms, shoulders or the abs). I also figure, although I am very fit, I don’t know what my body will be like when I am 80. What does a fit 80 year old woman look like? What does a fit 90 year old woman look like? What does a fit 100 year old woman look like? …. Uh… yes… I plan to live that long! 😉

Someone said to me, now that you know what your tattoo is, at some point something will happen and you will know where on the body it should be. Something did happen (I can’t remember what now…hahaha) and i decided on the right calf. I also narrowed down my tattoo from 70 + different designs (style, size, colour/black) to 5 of the same style, and then chose one.

Then one day, i was sitting on a patio with a friend of mine, and she told me she was thinking about getting a tattoo! I got so excited!

Then she told me that a member of a band we know in Toronto got her Tattoos done with Merlina Tattoo (a travelling tattoo artist currently residing in Toronto http://merlinatattoo.com/ ) As we were sitting there listening to Jazz and eating and drinking sangria..I looked at the website and said, “I have to book a consultation now! I am going to email Merlina!”

My friend and I talked more about what we were thinking about for tattoos. I showed her my thought and she showed me hers. At that point we both agreed, she would come with me to my consultation and when I get my tattoo done, and I would do the same for her. Moral support with the pain factor and all! lmao

Yesterday I looked at the Facebook Page for Merlina Tattoo, and I saw that I can only get it done up until October 15th, then I would have to wait again until April 2019!! I was like, I am getting it this fall! Oh, and now I am debating a small to medium one on the calf vs a large one up my entire right leg! We’ll see what comes of my consultation tonight! I am SOOOOOOOOO Excited!

When I actually get it, and its healed I will take a picture, and write a blog about the meaning behind it… it may even be grounds for a novel ….hmmmmm

arisefromashes

Know your Limits

My post today comes from seeing an old Facebook Post in my history which I think is so important to learning how to live a balanced life. Its the picture that is the Featured Image.

I think this might be useful to many people, as it seems it is a common problem.

Have you ever found yourself being approached by different co-workers, friends, family etc. to help them out or asking if you want to go out to a special event or any endless list of requests? I am thinking as its just the nature of humans most of us would answer YES to my question.

How do you answer when approached? Do you say yes to them every single time? Do you find as a result that your own projects, hobbies, or “me” time have been put on the back burner? How does this make you feel?

Sometimes saying yes can be exciting, and very positive to our growth, but not always.

If there are any negative thoughts, resentment, or stress associated with the extra you just put onto your own plate and timetable it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities. Stop and try to recognize when it is realistic to add something else into your life that has been requested from someone else. Know your limits and know when its time to start answering no.

For a long time I had to cut back on many things. I slowly started adding my own interests back into my life. Now that I have developed a flow to everything I do, I am feeling a sense of balance.  When approached I can say, this could be a possibility, but not at a high frequency per month (for example).

But I do feel that because I am opening up my mind to new possibilities and directions for my passions and interests, there will be a time again where I will have to cut things off again and say no to anything else new while I try to contribute my best to the projects at hand.

More is not always better. Sometimes it is best to stick to a small number of things and do your best at them. As the saying goes – Quality over Quantity!

What is your experience with this?

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.

Self Awareness = Self Control

How aware are you of whether you are full at a meal or not?

How aware are you of whether you really want that dessert, need that dessert, crave that dessert or just need something to do?

Having been in the fitness industry acting as a role model for other people and having been through my own transformation in the past I have a very good handle on this now.

One of the most interesting things to me was my latest vacation to Cuba for the New Year.

In the past I would go to all inclusive resorts and eat more than one plate of food at every meal and go crazy on dessert….If you think about it, All inclusive is kind of like going to an all you can eat buffet …..except now, its all the alcohol you can drink, all the food you can eat. One can take it to the extreme…haha.

This time around, I think because i was in a much more relaxed state (I only used my phone to text maybe 2 days out of 8, and the rest of the time I took pictures), I slowed everything down.

I literally sauntered everywhere. I sat and didn’t rush my meals. I slowed down how often my fork touched my mouth. I slowed down to talk, I slowed down to say hello to the resident cats. Then when my plate was empty I drank my coffee/juice and waited. Sometimes I got up for a little extra, sometimes I didn’t. It was a choice made solely on if I was really still hungry or if I was satisfied or not. I didn’t just blindly get up to get another plate because its already paid for in my all inclusive.

Only 2 out of 7 nights I ate dessert. All the other days I didn’t really care to have anything. One of the desserts was at the a la carte meal, the other was a night when the desserts looked especially special. Otherwise I was able to look at them, by pass them and move on.

I think the main thing is, here at home, we are always going, sometimes on high speed. If your lifestyle is high speed, it would make it very hard to be self aware and demonstrate self control. Take some time to slow down even if its not a vacation. Take some “me” time and start to tune in and see what you can learn about yourself, and see if that helps you to make some lifestyle changes for the better.

Stepping Back

Sometimes we get caught up in our own lives, our own drama. When that happens, everything and everyone else around us seems to be more annoying….and then we fail to see that someone else actually may need help (more help than we need ourselves).

I stepped back a little last night, and instead of getting angry about a situation I realized that this was actually a moment to reach out and help a colleague (this was a sign that they needed guidance and optimism that there would be a turning point for the positive).

When is the last time you were able to do this (I cant get my question mark to work…hence no question mark after my questions right now).

Yes…everything is not always about you…sometimes we all need to step back to realize this. Its easy to get caught up in trivial things, or things we do not necessarily have control over.

Being able to do this type of thing will decrease your stress, and believe it or not, help you stay focused. This in turn helps you achieve all your goals whether health and fitness based, career based, or other.

Have a great day!