There's always something rather exciting about beginning a new academic year. It's never just "the same old thing" - it's always full of new possibilities, new students, new ventures and new classes.
This September there's also a new studio! Until July our Oxford classes were based in Headington, but with the closure of that studio we have moved our dance home in Oxford to the new Rose Hill (Iffley Road) dance studio, part of the multi-million pound community centre. All the teachers have visited the studio, but we haven't taught any classes there yet, so our new class for adult beginners starting on Friday 9 September will be the first and we're really looking forward to it!
So what's new for September 2016 and what's the same?
Carrying on with the theme of "new", apart from the adult dance classes at the Rose Hill studio Oxford (Beginners and Intermediate/Elementary on Friday evenings and Technique on Tuesday evenings) we're also running a 2 week workshop on Thursday 8 and Thursday 15 September at the lovely dance studio in Cornerstone Arts, Didcot. There are full details of this on our website. If the numbers of people attending are good we hope to run more of these workshops, perhaps every other month.
Also new, but for you to watch rather than join in with, we're launching our first Spanish Night South. Our Spanish Nights in the North of Oxfordshire, at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury have been running for 6 years and have done incredibly well. Mostly by word of mouth and audience recommendations, we are now at the stage where we sell these nights out well in advance and in fact we have another one coming up in Banbury on Saturday 24 September. The show for this night is by Tormenta Flamenca and they’re bringing their new production of “Tablao” to perform for the first time. Last week we had only 20 tickets left for the show and probably now have less, so if you’re hoping to go, don’t wait to buy your tickets.
So as you can imagine, through the years we’ve had lots of people come up to us and ask us if we’d like to run the same nights, but further south in Oxfordshire and as we do appreciate that it’s a really long way for someone based between say Reading and Abingdon to travel, we’ve been looking for a suitable venue. We were delighted when Cornerstone Arts offered to host our first Spanish Night South, and tickets are already on sale for the show on Saturday 1 October. If sales go well and the show is popular, they’ll be offering us a regular slot there and so they’ll be a choice of 2 different Spanish Nights for people to go to!
What’s really exciting about this for us is that it means Oxfordshire will be one of the few places outside London where it’s possible to see really good Flamenco dance and music on a regular basis.
On a similar theme, we’re in the middle of making arrangements for our first “Juerga Night” which is more of an information Flamenco gathering, very typical in Spain, where dancers of all levels can join in, dance, drink and eat and everyone has a really good, really Flamenco evening. It’s all part of our drive to re-create a whole Flamenco culture for our students and for the people of Oxfordshire. Who needs to go to Spain – we’re going to have it right here! (Can’t promise the Spanish weather, but it does rain a lot in Spain in the winter…….)
Things that have remained the same for this new year are our every popular children’s classes at Cornerstone Arts, Didcot. This year we move the classes up to the lovely, bright dance studio on the 2nd floor, which we know all the children are going to love – so a bit of new there too! We always welcome new children to come along and try out our classes and often we find that children, who really love the idea of dancing but find ballet classes a bit too restrictive, thrive in our classes. We’re still hoping to launch children’s classes in Oxford too, but before we take this further and run some classes we want to find out how many people are interested in bringing their children along. So if you would be interested in your child starting classes at Rose Hill on Tuesday afternoons after school, let us know. We’re putting together a list of interested parents now.
Apart from that, as you can imagine, here at Camino HQ we’re also working hard on lots of new dance choreographies. In any given year I can be teaching up to 18 different choreographies and all dances taught by Camino del Flamenco are original and created by the teachers. For September I’m creating a Tanguillo de Cadiz, a few letras of Fandangos de Huelva, an Alegrias, some Bulerias, a Tangos and a Tientos – and that’s just for the adults!
So, we’re really excited about our new term and new year beginning – we hope that you will be too and that you’ll be joining us for this journey, this Camino del Flamenco!