Valentines a la Flamenca

When I tell people I dance flamenco, they usually respond, “Oh, you dance flamingo?” “Haha, no, I dance flaMENCO.” That’s usually how conversations go when I share this passion of mine with others. Most people don’t know what flamenco is, so I wanted to share a bit about this dance form.

As I write this, my feet are recuperating from a full week of rehearsals for my company‘s big Valentine’s show tomorrow night that we put on every year here in St. Louis: Valentines a la Flamenca. For many years we have been performing in the Sheldon’s upstairs venue. It’s perfect: the ambiance, an amazing stage (the floor is perfect for footwork) and a cozy environment. What more could you want for a romantic night out for Valentine’s Day?

Dance has always been a part of my life (my mom was a dancer) and it truly runs in my veins. It’s extremely hard for me to not tap my foot to a beat when I hear one and I must say that I’m happiest when I’m dancing.

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Took me years to learn how to play the castanets.

I began ballet lessons at the age of nine, added flamenco eight years later and focused strictly on flamenco from the age of 21 to the present. So basically I’ve been dancing for around 20 years of my life…and it has done AMAZING things for my self-esteem and confidence.

Flamenco originates in Spain, specifically Andalucia, the southern region of the country. Read more about its history here.

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Each finger makes these two halves of the castanets click together until you get fast enough to “roll” them and create an endless sound.

I’ll go into my dance background and all the experiences I’ve had while dancing flamenco–and even my trip to Spain in 2007– at a later time, but I encourage you all to learn more about this extremely passionate and meaningful dance form!

In the meantime, happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

Ole!

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Flamenco shoes are unique since the sound they make is from the tiny nails hammered into the heel and toe.

Earnestly,

Emma

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