How do I Become a Flamenco Dancer?
If a person wishes to become a flamenco dancer, it is important to first find a school that offers a flamenco class. Flamenco is a form of dance that originated from Spain and is characterized by intricate movements of the feet and arms. Flamenco dancers wear special heeled shoes that make audible sounds with each step made.
Finding a dance school that teaches this passionate art form can be difficult if a person lives in an area that is not exposed to the Hispanic culture. Despite this fact, more cities throughout the U.S. are beginning to offer classes devoted to this distinctly Spanish dance. To find a dance school that teaches flamenco, contact local universities, dance academies, and Hispanic cultural organizations.
Many larger universities offer dance programs that feature dance forms from different cultures. Hispanic cultural agencies may know of local flamenco dance schools or teachers that provide classes to the public. Some dance academies may even offer classes on flamenco in addition to classes featuring ballet, tap, and jazz.
All shapes, sizes, and ages can learn flamenco. Many people decide to learn flamenco dancing when they are older adults. Unlike ballet which requires a great deal of flexibility, flamenco can be mastered by people of any body type. It's possible for someone to become a flamenco dancer even if he or she does not have the traditional dancer's shape.
Look for a dance school that has small classes as this will provide students with one-on-one attention from the flamenco teacher. Since flamenco is such a complex dance requiring intricate taps and stomps of the feet combined with continuous movements of the arms, the teacher should break down the steps slowly. This will enable all students to understand how the steps are executed. The steps should be repeated throughout the class and sped up as the students gain more confidence in the movements. Learning the basics of the movements provides a firm foundation for more advanced flamenco work.
When a person decides to become a flamenco dancer, it's important to find a teacher that provides translations of the Spanish words used in flamenco. This will help non-Spanish speakers understand how and when to execute a particular step as the teacher provides the instruction. Understanding the meaning of the words helps the student gain a deeper appreciation for Spanish culture and the art form that is derived from it.
In beginning classes, the student will need to wear the appropriate clothing for a flamenco class. Sturdy shoes should be worn so that the flamenco student can make the appropriate percussion sounds with the feet. Once a person realizes he or she wishes to continue with classes, it's necessary to invest in a pair of flamenco shoes.
Flamenco shoes are basically character shoes with nails driven into the underside of the toes and heels. Prices vary and can often be purchased in local dance shops or dance studios. If necessary, a fledgling flamenco dancer can purchase footwear online.
Basic workout clothing can be worn in a flamenco class, but most dance teachers prefer that female students wear a leotard and a long full skirt as the skirt is an important part of a female flamenco dancer's performance. Later on, a female dancer can purchase a student flamenco skirt which will make her feel even more like a professional. Male flamenco dancers can wear loose-fitting clothing that allows them to move freely.
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