What to do with your arms when learning flamenco footwork
When learning a new step it is normal to break it down into different layers of movement and slowly practice each part before you join everything together to move your whole body.
Most often when learning new footwork steps you would take your arms out of the equation until you have your feet under control.
However, just because you aren't using your arms it doesn't mean that you forget about them completely.
So what do you do?
Put your hands on your hips.
In flamenco dance we have a very specific way of having our hands on our hips.
It is an active position not a passive one, by that we mean that you don't just plonk your hands on your hips and let your upper body slouch.
Quite the opposite in fact.
The most important thing to remember when you have you hands on your hips is that your elbows should always point straight out to the side. You can see that in the picture above which has been illustrated with some arrows.
They should never fall or droop backwards. To keep your arms in this position you have to think about it and work on holding them there.
At the same time you actively lift your ribcage away from your hips, relax your shoulders and allow your shoulder blades to rest lightly on your rib cage. You don't need to force or push your shoulders down.
In the picture on the left you can see a rectangle that has been drawn between the shoulders and the hips.
When you practice you can think of having this imaginary rectangle drawn on your own body and try not to let it become distorted. That means, your shoulders should be over your hips (not too far forward or leaning back) and your torso shouldn't be rotated left or right.
Eventually you will come to move your arms and your torso in all sorts of fun ways but to begin with this is how you will start to develop your dance posture.
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