A 'subida' meaning 'ascent' is a step that is primarily known in flamenco dance as a tool to increase the speed of the dance.
It also increases the volume of the footwork and the music played by the guitarist and increases the energy and intensity of the performance.
It is generally followed by some form of desplante which is performed at the new speed, volume and intensity.
There are many different steps that can be used as a subida, below are two videos. The first is for a typical subida which can be used for a 12 beat rhythm. The second is for an 8 or 4 beat rhythm like tientos or tangos.
Subida - 12 beat compás
The subida starts of count 12 and marks all of the accents of the compás.
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
The trick to doing this step is that each accent is a golpe and they are always on the same leg.
So if you start the step on the left then counts 3, 6, 8 and 10 will be a golpe on the left. Use this accent to keep yourself steady, it is also what will help the people doing palmas for you and the guitarist playing for you stay with you and rise at the same time.
At the beginning of the video I demonstrate the subida with a simple desplante at the end. I did this because it is hard not to keep going once you have been through the subida, you need to go somewhere and stopping dead in your tracks just feels strange.
While you are practicing though you don't need to do this. Just practice the step slowly to get used to it then try to take up the speed.
Subida - 8 beat compás
Here is a subida that you can use for an 8 beat compás.
In this case the step starts on count 1 and the accents are marked once again by the golpes.
Be careful because this step is different to the one we used for the 12 beat compás. It is probably a good idea not to try and practice them both on the same day so you don't get confused.
This step goes over 2 compás of 8 beats. The numbers in bold are where the accented golpes occur.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8