One of the many fun things we get to do as flamenco dancers is work with various accessories and the fan or abanico is one of them. In this post I wanted to show you how to open your fan while you are dancing.
Like everything in flamenco you need to be able to control your fan so that you can dance with it and use it to mark compás. In effect it becomes and extension of your arm and should look and feel completely natural.
First of all you should be using a fan that is specifically made for performing. It will be light, comfortable to hold and easy to open and close. The trick to opening the fan is in the flick of your wrist. If you've already been practicing wrist exercises you will be gaining strength so this should be no problem. If you are just starting out, it's ok! Practicing with a fan will make your wrist stronger.
To start with you need to hold the fan correctly. As you can see in the photos above you hold the closed fan in the palm of your hand with your thumb lying along one side and your index finger providing support underneath. The rest of your fingers gently curve around the bottom. As I said at the beginning you open the fan by flicking your wrist and the fan back towards your body. Since its hard to really describe in words I made a short video....
Have a practice, like all new things its best to just try it out and you'll be super quick in no time. If you have any questions or comments remember you can send me an email - renae [at] flamencobites [dot] com