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Should you worry if you can't remember flamenco routines?

This is a question we often receive from students 'How do I remember the choreography or movement sequences?'

Is it something you should worry about?

It depends. What are your goals? What do you want to learn? This is something you should take a moment to think about before you put yourself through a lot of stress.

In the beginning I think it doesn't matter terribly much. If you are unfamiliar with the patterns of flamenco movement you will find it difficult to pick up the combinations quickly.

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GeneralFlamenco Bites
How can you improve your balance for flamenco dance?

This is a question that we were asked recently and I thought it might be an interesting blog post because I'm sure that many of us struggle with balance and it is something I am currently making an effort to improve and understand in my own body. 

What is balance?

From the dictionary (one of my favourite books!) balance is the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling. 

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GeneralRenae
5 tips for learning and remembering choreography

Many dance students have written in saying that something they really struggle with is remembering choreography or combinations of movements. 

It can be a real challenge if you are not used to remembering movement especially combinations of movements that don't have codified names like they do in ballet for example.

Although there are some basic tools that you can use, every dancer will be different and need to use different methods to remember the steps. Make sure you experiment and find what works for you.

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Should you try to look (or dance) like any other flamenco dancer?

When you begin learning any art form it is very exciting to discover all the masters of the craft and become inspired by them. It is a great idea to study the artists that are working now as well as those who contributed their work in years gone by.

But how much inspiration should you take? In the case of flamenco dance, should you try to look like another flamenco dancer?

One of the greatest things about flamenco is that allows (and asks for) each person to find their own sense of expression. Two people dancing the same step can look completely different from each other with different bodies, different training and different feelings about the choreography for example.

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5 ways you can practice flamenco dance at home today

Finding time to practice when we are all so busy can be pretty hard. If you are working, looking after a family or studying how do you fit in time to practice? It is enough just to find time to get to class sometimes. 

We put our thinking caps on and came up with 5 ways you can practice at home today. You don't need to do all of them of course, pick and choose to suit the time and space you have available.

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GeneralRenae
How to be 'confident' when you dance

We're digging into the mail bag again today. A question that comes up often is how to find your confidence when you dance. Gaining confidence as a dancer takes time and patience.

For me confidence in flamenco dance comes from.. 

Mastery of technique.

When you learn any dance style you are in fact learning a language of movement. This language is learnt through the study of technique. Technique is the skill that will give you control over various movements, steps and positions. With this new language you have the tools to communicate your ideas and emotions to an audience. 

Practice of good technique will also enable you to understand how your body moves and what your strengths and weaknesses are so you can work to strengthen and improve.

How long should you practice technique for? Until you have no choice but to do a movement or step the right way.

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GeneralFlamenco Bites
5 ways to improve your compás

Unless you were listening to flamenco from within the womb having and keeping good compás is a constant challenge. 

What is compás?

It is the rhythmic cycle of a flamenco palo.  To flamenco, compás is absolutely fundamental.

As flamenco dancers we do not follow the music we hear like we would do in other dance styles or if you were dancing to a recording. 

We are responsible for controlling the rhythm (compás) with our bodies which guitarists and other musicians follow. 

When the singer is involved we defer to their leading of the compás and need great understanding of the compás as well as the cante in order to accompany the singer and offer a physical interpretation of the song.

So how do you get good compás?

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GeneralFlamenco Bites
Don't leave before the magic happens

When you start learning anything new it is easy to become overwhelmed.

There is so much new information to take in and if things don't click straight away you might think about giving up and moving on to something else.

If you try something and you know instantly that it is not for you, I get it, you just know.

But, it you are here reading this blog post then you are probably a little bit taken with flamenco and you are looking for help/inspiration on how to continue.

Flamenco is challenging, the amount there is to learn is almost infinite. At least that is how it seems to me at times!

'Don't leave before the magic happens.'

Stay for just one more class, and then another.

Before you know it you will have a few more pieces of the puzzle and some things will start to make sense.

You will dance (really dance) you will feel joy (that's the magic) and you will come back for more.

It takes hard work to find the magic but when you do it will change you.

Hopefully you will remember that feeling when things start getting hard again.

If you stop dancing we will never get to see and experience your unique gift.

Wouldn't that be a shame.

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