Flamenco makes use of many different arm positions mixed with variations in body alignment. To start with I would like to show you five basic positions for the arms which are based on the arm postions used in spanish dance.
During all of this work make sure that you keep good posture, figuring out where you need to be to have good alignment is different for everyone. I spend a lot of time thinking about posture in an effort to try to reduce injury, prolong my life and also to try to improve my dancing. It is an ongoing process of trying to gain awareness and then self correction. If you have never had someone like a physiotherapist, osteopath or qualified pilates instructor look at you body I highly recommend it. My aim is not for perfection but contiuous improvement, usually that means taking steps back before being able to go forward but I think that is just how life is and I'm ok with that.
Bearing in mind that everyone is different here are the things i think about when I am doing these movements.
- my knees are soft and not in a 'locked' position
- my abdominal muscles are engaged and lifted
- I'm trying to lift my upper body out of my hips
- my shoulder are over my hips, I'm not leaning to far back or forward
- my shoulders and neck are relaxed with the shoulder blades falling down my back
- I'm trying to lengthen through the back of my neck and not lift my chin (you'll see me lift my chin at one point in the video, its something I'm working on and creeps back in now and then)
On to the positions!
Primera (first) -the arms are rounded (like you are hugging a beach ball) and lifted to about the level of your belly button
Segunda (second) - from first position lengthen the arms to the side, the arms should still have a slight curve and be below the level of the shoulders
Tercera (third) - from second position lift either the left or right arm up above your head, your arm should be curved and the arm should not fall back behind your head
Cuarta (fourth) - bring the remaining arm from second position to the front of your body level with your belly button
Quinta (fifth) - bring the arm you just moved into fourth position up to meet the other arm already above your head