As you know, one of my most favorite things when taking a workshop is the energy it provides.  (It is what led me to start this business.)

But the watching is wonderful too.

Because sure, as students we dance, (A LOT, I know, that's what we're there to do) but we are given little private performances as well.  I used to consider these performances a bonus, but now I realize they are part of the deal.

Sometimes I space out.  I get caught up watching and forget that I am in class and am supposed to be participating.  Because there is this incredible dancer right in front of me doing the most amazing things.  Giving mini-performances.  Many of them.  Like these...

The beginning of the workshop

When the teacher dances the most because he has so much to show.  Lots of demonstrating.  Lots of mini performances.

Ok, in all honesty, I also enjoy the beginning days of a workshop is because I give myself more permission to make mistakes, since it's all totally new.  (I'm working on giving myself this permission whenever I need it.)

The exercises

I love the technique exercises and body warm-ups where we follow along.  Then I get to watch and do.  Poco a poco the doing becomes easier, all while I'm witnessing a beautiful show...

The unexpected shows

I love when the class isn't getting something and the teacher stops us to do it by himself.  And I watch.  And I take lots of pictures in my mind.

Sometimes this happens when I'm least expecting it.  When I didn't know I needed a break but the teacher stops us.  Manolillo, who I like to call my best friend (I'll explain later) also known as Manuel Liñan, is one of my MOST favorite dancers to study with.  Much of that has to do with those unexpected moments.

These are the moments that give me chills during a workshop.  The moments when a smile takes over my face.  In fact, ha!  I have a smile right now just remembering.  And now I'm looking at my pictures.  Which leads me to...

The close-up shots

You see, when I take workshops I'm so close to the teacher, closer than I would normally get to be during an actual performance.  So I get to take up-close pictures.

I'll confess, the up-closeness kind of terrifies me as well.  Like when Manolillo walks around looking at our feet, to see if each tacón and planta falls the way it ought to.  Inevitably as soon as he comes by me any step that I kind-of sort-of had completely and suddenly disappears from my body vocabulary.

Katie talked about this feeling when Ricardo was here.  Ricardo could not relate.  He had no idea why we might be afraid of him...  My best friend seems to have some idea because his mantra, at least last year in Jerez, was sín miedo.

Anyway, back to the subject.

The up-closeness is único.

It affords us a chance to notice every detail, a chance to really see how a move is executed, to see what each and every finger is doing and where each and every movement originates from.  And it gives us a chance to enjoy the show.  (Even when it's not really a show.)

And now, Emilio is coming!  I can't wait.  Three whole days of personal shows (or workshops) however you choose to think of them.  Olé.

What do you think?  How does it feel to you to be so close to these fabulous dancers during workshops?  Do you ever get distracted like I do by their amazingness?  Do you feel nervioso when they walk by you?  Let me know.