4 week compás challenge - week 4

We're now in week 4 of the compás challenge. I don't know about you but the last 3 weeks have flown by. If you don't make appointments to work on what you want to achieve the time will keep passing and you will still be planning to improve your technique.

Small practice sessions every day over a month will add up to a significant amount of practice very quickly.

Remember I am also teaching a live class every sunday to complement the compás challenge. Last week we started learning a llamada for soleá and some marcaje.

Day 22

10 minute body warm up - Spend some time to get your body moving (*if you have a foam roller it would be a good time to roll out your legs and back before you start each session)

  • roll your shoulders forwards and backwards
  • circle your head slowly to the right and then the left
  • lift your arms above your head and reach for the ceiling, let your tailbone be heavy as you separate your ribcage from your hips
  • roll down your spine down and back up again nice and slowly

30 minute practice

  • walk in compás  (10 min) -  choose a slow and faster compás - walk forward (and try walking backwards) in each and compare the feeling between the two. What to you need to do to control your body posture for each compás?
  • basic marcaje (10 min) - return to the basic marcaje and see if you notice any difference in the control you have of the movement. After 5 minutes progress to the same step with a change of weight.
  •  take some time to work on your chosen step (10 min)

Day 23

  • Pick a song from your chosen compás and listen to it a few times. Once you can hear the rhythm practice accompanying the song with palmas. 

Day 24

10 minute body warm up (see above)

30 minute practice

  • walk in compás  (10 min) -  practice walking as if you are walking out on to a stage and you need to command the attention of the musicians and the audience. Walk with confidence and sin miedo ( be fearless).
  • golpe tacón tacón (10 min) - walk up your legs with this step, beginners stick to single time - more advanced students can play with double and triple time. Transition to golpe punta tacón combination after about 5 minutes.
  • take some time to work on your chosen step (10 min)
  • contratiempo practice (5 min) - practice contratiempo with palmas (against a song) or against your feet.

Day 25

  • sing a rhythm - work out a way to sing the rhythm of a step that you have never attempted before. 

Day 26

Rest Day

Day 27

10 minute body warm up (see above)

35 minute practice

  • walk in compás  (10 min) -  based on the practice you have done earlier in the week choose something you tried that worked and see if you can make some improvements. Remember walking is not just walking, you are setting the tone for the rest of your performance when you walk out on to the stage.
  • marcaje por soleá (5 min) take this marcaje slowly and aim to be very accurate with your palmas and feet.
  • marcaje por tangos (10 min) - change up the compás and work through each stage of this marcaje por tangos with José
  • take some time to work on your chosen step (10 min)

Day 28

This is the last day - instead of resting (plenty of time for that tomorrow!) choose your favourite exercises and put together your own practice.  Don't forget to record yourself doing the step you've been working on so you can see the difference between the beginning and end of the 4 weeks.  If you'd like to share a video of yourself on instagram (we're @flamencobites) use the hashtag #FBcompás so we can find you and offer some support!

If you have been doing the compás challenge we'd love to know how you got on. Let us know in the comments below.