I was a junior in college. I was studying Spanish. Class was a struggle for me to say the least. The professor spoke only in Spanish, and I usually felt like a Charlie Brown adult was mwoah mwoah mwoahing at me all of the time. I can't even remember her name, the teacher's. I just remember she was eccentric, as they say, and that we went to her house once and she made us all mole. She was not Mexican but totally and completely obsessed. The mole was good enough. Anyway every day we would watch this "educational" novela and then answer questions about and "discuss" it. I rarely knew what was going on in class or with Raquel and El Padre Hidalgo on the TV set. Just one word sticks out in my mind, excavación. The whole novela had to do with some big excavation. So, why am I telling you all of this? Because a really good thing happened on account of that class with Señora Something-or-Other...
I became interested in flamenco.
Since we were studying mostly Mexican Spanish, the teacher wanted us to be exposed to some Spanish from Spain to hear how it was different. We were instructed to go to the language library and watch a 10 minute video from España, or maybe it was a 5 minute video. I don't know. We were given a list of the subjects, instructed to choose one, watch that video, then report to the class about it. I perused the list and saw flamenco. I don't remember any of the other choices. Just that one word.
And that's what I signed up for.
I went to the library, checked out the video, and watched. I have a vague memory of working with a partner, someone else who'd signed up for the same thing. But I don't really recall. I just remember seeing this intense (and short) Spanish man pounding a bastón to the beat...or was he doing palmas? No me acuerdo. I didn't even know what either was. A line of young women with black skirts on were stomping their feet and moving their hands and fingers as he yelled various things at them, things I didn't understand. Reminders I suppose. They all looked so serious, and passionate, and focused. I was intrigued. I was captivated. I was scared. Immediately I knew I had to do this someday.
That day came two and a half years later.
So, now, flamenco people, I want to know about you! Students, aficionados, dancers, singers, guitarists, whoever you may be, por favor, help me build a page about YOU! Perhaps you're here in Portland, perhaps you're in a land far away. It doesn't matter. Below, as a comment, tell us anything about your flamenco self.
Why do you do flamenco?
How did you become interested in it?
What keeps you in it?
How does it make you feel?
You get the idea, anything you would like to tell us about your relationship to flamenco. Long, short, it's up to you. It need not be anything like what I have written above. In fact it shouldn't be. You might want to tell us why you do it now, not why you began. You might want to write about both, or something completely different. Maybe you write one sentence, maybe a list, or just a word, or tal vez three paragraphs. ¿Quién sabe? Todo vale. Leave your "bio" as a comment. Later I hope to compile them to form a page about all of us, about the community.
Let's learn each other's flamenco stories. Estoy bien curiosa.