What is Flamenco Exactly?
A true Flamenco performance is made up of a number of parts, the Baile, Toque, Cante and the Palmas. Each one of these parts plays a crucial role in a traditional and authentic Flamenco performance. The Baile is the familiar dance, the Toque is the Flamenco guitar, the Cante is the singing and the Palmas is the distinctive clapping. The best Flamenco performances display mastery in all of these areas!
Learning the Baile – A Step in the Right Direction
The most familiar and prominent area of a Flamenco performance is of course the distinctive dancing style. Whilst there are a few professional Flamenco performers out there, the majority of dancers take up Flamenco as a hobby which soon develops into a passion. If you’re interested in learning to Flamenco dance there are a whole host of options available to the beginner.
Online or Offline
The internet is a vast resource, packed full of guides and how-to articles and videos. Of course there are some specialist Flamenco websites as well as a number of YouTube videos there to teach you in bite size chunks. Find a website or YouTube channel that you like and can get on with and follow through. Eventually you may wish to branch out and perfect your technique my meeting other people who are learning.
It’s possible that you may want to go directly to a Flamenco dance class. Dance classes are not only a great way of picking up a dance quickly, but help is also on hand as there’s a dance tutor present too. Not only this but dance classes are excellent ways to meet new people and make friends.
There are many real-world dance classes available. A quick internet search will yield those closest to your location. An internet search for my area revealed this gem, Escuela de Baile, the UK’s largest Flamenco dance school. They are a great example of the sort of dance school that you may find, they offer Flamenco classes for all skill levels and not only that but all commitment levels too.
Another offline option to learn Flamenco dance or to improve and build on what you may already know is to use a specialist DVD and CD collection. You can purchase these offline from specialist Flamenco shops like El Mundo Flamenco online or locally.
Kit Yourself Out
After a few dance lessons you may decide that Flamenco is definitely for you. At this point you will most likely want to start kitting yourself out with Flamenco gear whether it’s for your dance classes or for performances and there is a lot of specialist Flamenco equipment out there for you to choose from. Unsurprisingly Flamenco is no different to many other dance styles in that it has its own style of footwear to be used during the dance. You can of course buy authentic footwear, Spanish attire and accessories online from retailers such as El Mundo Flamenco but it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s a great idea to pop into a store if you can and try things on in person.