Vueltas Flamencas | 3 different types of flamenco turn

Vueltas Flamencas | 3 different types of flamenco turn

How is your turn technique?

We all love watching the dancer who can turn on a pin. Especially in flamenco dance. But how many of us as adult students feel comfortable turning?

This topic came up in a discussion in our facebook group last week. Since we haven’t written about turning before we thought it would be fun to take a look at it.

Today we are going to look at three different types of turns that commonly appear in flamenco dance.

As always this list is not exhaustive. There are as many variations as there are dancers. This list contains the turns that have a clear technique and classification within the genre of danza espanola.

Before we get started let's go over some of the Spanish words that are used when talking about turns and turning.

 
vuelta : turn (noun)
giro : turn (noun)
girar : to turn (verb)
pecho : chest (noun)
quebrada : broken (noun)
 

Onwards!

Let's have a look at some turns.

1.  Vuelta de pecho

Using the glossary above you can see that this translates to 'turn of the chest'. This is one of the most common turns that you will see used in flamenco dance but don't let that fool you. This is a turn is extremely technically demanding.

The main characteristics of the vuelta de pecho are as follows..

The turn uses quiebro posture of the torso which is maintained throughout the turn.

One leg is crossed in front of the other, the turn begins with weight shared between two feet and then is transferred to one foot to finish.

The direction of the turn is toward the supporting leg. So if the right leg crosses over left then you turn to the left.

If you click play on the video below you will see a vuelta de pecho.

Watch the women dancing on the left of the screen. As a group they perform the turn. Straight after Sara Baras performs a different type of turn which what we will talk about next.

 

2. Vuelta quebrada

Once again using our glossary this translates to 'broken turn'.

This turn is similar to the vuelta de pecho in that the turn makes use of the quiebro postures.

The main characteristics of the vuelta quebrada are..

The turn uses quiebro posture of the torso which is maintained throughout the turn.

One leg is crossed behind the other, the turn begins with weight shared between two feet and then is transferred to one foot to finish.

The direction of the turn is away from the supporting leg. So if the right leg crosses behind left leg then you turn to the right.

The vuelta quebrada is the turn the Sara Baras performed in the video above after the group of women did their vuelta de pecho.

Here are some more examples.

First we have a video of Merche Esmerelda dancing por Seguiriya

And here is Adela Campallo dancing por Soleá


3. Vuelta de tacón


We all know what ‘tacon’ means, it is ‘heel’. So this is a turn of the heel.

This turn is slightly more masculine in style and unlike the first two turns it is traditionally performed completely upright.

This turn takes it’s name from the fact that when the turn is performed the dancer is using the heel of one foot (combined with the ball of the other foot) to balance on.

Like the vuelta quebrada the turn is away from the supporting leg. So if you take the right leg behind the left you turn to the right.

This turn is very sharp and staccato.

Let look at some examples.

 

Sara Baras once again! This time dancing a Bulería por Soleá.

And finally Mario Maya dancing a Furruca..


To sum up.

Turns are an important part of flamenco dance. They require a great amount of technical expertise and discipline.

We have shared three examples of traditional flamenco turns (although there are many, many more) the vuelta de pecho, vuelta quebrada and the vuelta de tacón.

We going to leave you with another video to enjoy today.

The dancers are Antonio (also known as Antonio el bailarin) and Rosario.