Another story from Jerez...

Somehow I convinced everyone to go to bulerías class with me

I told them how it terrified me.  I told them I was terrorized by it.  But they still wanted to go.

I took them there even before our first class with Mercedes.

I needed for them to see it.  I was hoping they would want to take it too.  I was worried they might think it was too much on top everything else.

Physically it is not demanding.  So, that would be no issue.

But mentally, well...

I had told them about it the night before

They were ready for certain things.

Like the smoking.

And the coming and going.

The confusion.

And the unexpected.

They were open.

Everyone wanted to go, at least to watch.  Only three were planning on taking it.  But we got there, and one by one they jumped on board.

Now, they’re all taking it, except for one.  Though that one recently told me that she wants to do it next time.

The Class

It's a place I’ve spent a lot of time freaking out in and a lot of time feeling absolutely joyful in.

I feel so exposed in there.

It is unlike any class anywhere.  Ever.

It takes place in a peña, a flamenco club.

It goes from 11:00am, más o menos, to 1:30, o un poquito más tarde.

Some people arrive at 11:00.  Some at 12:00.  Some at 1:00.  And at any time  in-between.  Some stay for an hour.  Some stay for the whole class.

There is always guitarra and cante.  And you dance.  Just you.  By yourself.  Unless you really don't want to.  You mess up and you try again.  And again.  And again.  You watch other people mess up, again and again and again.  You play palmas.  You give jaleos.  And you learn.  A lot.

Sometimes people cry.  Always people laugh.

Most people come to dance.  Some have been dancing for years and years.  Some have had no flamenco training whatsoever.

And all kinds of people stop by during class.  Some play guitar.  Some sing.  Some play palmas.  Others just pop in to say hello.  Occasionally even people like Joselito Méndez.

I don’t really know how to describe it.

But there is something about that class.

It still scares me.  But it makes me so happy.

This morning I wasn’t feeling so great

You could say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but I went to bulerías class anyway.

Hearing the music

Playing palmas

Seeing people dance

This put me in the moment

I was taken to the present.  And it felt good.


About the class...

It is with Ana Maria López.  Many people have studied with her.  So many people.  Famous people, like Mercedes.  And Jerezanos, like Jaime who was just in Portland for Sherry Fest.  All kinds of people.

For more experiences from bulerías class, take a peek at these posts:

What I Learned From Dancing on a Floor Tile


An email from Becky, Read it

A Nod to Jerez and Bulerías

A Green Banana

Viernes con una Letra | Still in Jerez


Tell me about an less than conventional class that you've attended.  How was it for you?  Perhaps you've been to class with Ani.  What was it like for you?  You can leave a comment below.

You can come too!

Find out more about the Flamenco Tour.