Many great questions keep coming up during teoria class. It is exciting. I love questions. Sooooo, one that came up yesterday evening while looking at different circumstances in a por fiesta setting was …
"What if I just get up and do the clapping and walking part then sit back down?"
In other words,
Can one do only the salida and let that be that?
And the answer is...
I understand wanting to do just that. I completely get it. Wanting to do the bits that we're comfortable with.
We hear the cante. We feel inspired. We want to get up. We want to dance.
But do an entire dance…uh, no, gracias. Not ready for that.
This makes me think of my drawing classes in college.
We had this model come in, Roxanna. I sketched lots of Roxannas. So many Roxannas. But the poor dears were all headless. ¡Pobrecitas! Drawing her head was just too hard. Actually, it was her face that really got me. Whenever I would attempt, it looked bad and ugly and nothing like a real face. Nothing like Roxanna's.
So I skipped that part, almost always.
But, eventually, Roxanna would be needing a head. Confession. She never got one. And I never became a visual artist.
Now, back to flamenco.
For the purposes of practicing, sure, we can just do the salida. We do it and do it and do it until it's ours. Until we're really dancing it. Until the body just feels it, no thinking necessary.
But, like Roxanna, eventually our baile will be needing the rest of its parts.
Because it couldn't be complete without them.
Just doing the salida would be kind of like giving someone two slices of bread with nothing in-between and calling it a sandwich.
It would be like a book with no words.
It would be like going on a road trip (or a trip to Spain perhaps?) without ever leaving the driveway.
Perhaps those aren't the best examples, but I think you know what I mean.
The salida is our greeting.
It is how we introduce ourselves.
It is just the beginning. Without the middle and end, it can't really exist.
And in case you're wondering
We address all of the components of a baile por fiesta and the roles of everyone involved in Teoría and in the Wednesday Baile classes. (New sessions begin next Wednesday by the way.) Oh, and we'll be dealing with stuff like this in Bulerías next month too... So, if you're looking to dance por fiesta style, August is your month!
And, we'll definitely be seeing this in action A LOT in Jerez this fall.
I'd love to hear what you think. Which part is your favorite to dance? How about another metaphor for what it would be like to go out and do only the salida? Leave a comment.