You can’t do flamenco and not do jaleos. You just can’t. It can feel awkward at first, I know. No te preocupes. I have some ideas on how to become more comfortable with this whole jaleos thing.
First, a few and how to pronounce them:
como es eso [coh-moh eh eh-so]
vamos allá [vah-moh ah-yah]
que toma toma toma toma toma [kay toh-mah...]
Here is a list of some common (& simpler) ones, along with some embarrassing admissions of accidentally giving them in English. Oops.
I used to be afraid to give jaleos
I thought I would sound stupid. I thought people would laugh at me. But mostly, it just felt so unnatural.
But not anymore.
In fact, now I can't not give jaleos. They just happen. Naturally.
And it's a good thing because flamenco is a conversation, and jaleos are a huge part. The dancer needs my jaleos. The singer needs my jaleos. The guitarist needs my jaleos. I need my jaleos. Plus they're so much fun to say.
So, how do we get there?
Poco a poco. The more you give them and are around others doing the same, the more comfortable you’ll feel. I promise.
Choose one jaleo to try out this week
Say it in class, when watching a flamenco video, by yourself while you're cooking. Say it when you don't think you should. Say it to your mom. Say it to your friend. Just say it a lot. Experiment. Play. Mess up!
Then, let me know how it felt here in the comments. (Feel free to leave any other thoughts on jaleos there as well.)
If you want to know More... This month bulerías class is all about jaleos. We started last Saturday, but you can still join in.
And to really get it down... I've learned a lot about how to give jaleos in Jerez. If you'd like to join me there in May, you can get all of the info here.