Today's tutorial is an excerpt from our class 'The Art of the Flamenco Skirt'.
This class is all about how to use the flamenco skirt correctly when you dance. It is a great class suitable for all levels of dancer and has proved very popular with everyone that has taken the class so far.
If you like this tutorial you can access the whole class if you become a 'danza estudio Flamenco Bites' subscriber. It's only $35 a month and you get access to all of our premium classes.
If you are a lady and you have been learning flamenco dance for a while chances are that you will have a skirt that you use specifically for dancing.
It is great to wear the skirt whenever you practice because you need to get used to the feeling of it on your body but do you actually know how to make the most of it?
The technique of the skirt is just as important as every other technique that you will study and it is a great introduction to working with something that has a mind of its own.
If you plan to go on and learn how to use the abanico, bata de cola or mantón then you will need to be prepared to be able to go with the flow.
Anything can happen, anything.
As far as a skirt is concerned that could be the skirt getting caught in your shoe, you stepping on it and losing your balance oryou might try and pick it up and it'll just miss your hand completely.
Things like this happen to all of us and it's a good idea to get used to the idea now so you don't make a habit of getting stressed out while you're dancing.
How to pick up a flamenco skirt
In today's video José is going to explain how to pick up your skirt.
There are a million different ways to do it as José explains in the video but the way we are going to show you is a great method to start with.
Lifting the knee
Before you actually grab hold of the skirt you need to bring the material close enough to your hand so that you can catch it.
You will do that by lifting your knee straight up without leaning forward in your torso.
The knee shoots straight up.
The body does not come forward to meet the knee.
The pincer is the shape that the thumb and the first two fingers make that you will use to pick up your skirt.
After you lift the knee you'll use 'the pincer' to pick up the skirt from your knee.
It feels a little awkward at first but with practice you'll get used to it very quickly.
José will explain everything to you in the video below. If you don't speak Spanish the video has english subtitles which should come on automatically.
This is just one of the techniques José explains in this class.
He also explains
- The different styles of skirt available and which is best to use when you're learning
- How high you should lift the skirt
- An example of using the skirt with footwork
- An example of using the skirt with marcaje
- The importance of the ability to improvise and react in the moment
- The spaces in-between catching and releasing the skirt (how to keep dancing)
- Braceo (the position and lines of the arms) while using the skirt
- How to change the skirt from one hand to the other
- An example of how to use the legs to make the skirt fly
- His advice for studying further on your own and things to keep in mind
This class is available on demand to all members of danza estudio Flamenco Bites.