WHAT IS FLAMENCO?
Flamenco originates from Andalucia (the large province in the South of Spain) and is over 200 years old. Flamenco is one of the most popular dances in the world to learn with over 9 million people around the world taking regular classes. The main centres for Flamenco in Spain are Madrid, Sevilla and Jerez but there are classes and “peñas” (local Flamenco clubs) all over Spain and throughout the world. The music is considered as important as the dance. Flamenco dance does not tell a story, nor to the movements signify anything. Flamenco is rarely improvised. Professional Flamenco dancers often begin learning in their early teens and it takes years to reach professional level, though of course you never stop learning and improving.
Flamenco choreographies can be created by the dancer but more usually, you learn original Flamenco dances from your teacher, who has created them for your class. Each “palo” or type of rhythm has its own style and dances are not traditional. Flamenco dance is continually evolving in style, steps, technique and content. Flamenco isn’t folk dance and none of the dances are handed down through generations. Flamenco dance is living, changing and constantly growing – which is probably why it’s so very popular to learn and to watch. It may be the only dance which is both lyrical and percussive, stunningly beautiful, yet full of fire and passion.