Not really. It may be called Beginning. Or Advanced.

And that name might tell me about the pace of the class. Or about the type or amount of information and material that will be given.

But what does it really mean?

Is what I view as beginning the same as what you view as beginning?

Can I expect to find people all at the same skill level because the class is called intermediate?

Does the name of the class tell me where I belong?

No and not necessarily.

I have some thoughts on figuring out which class you "belong" in and some more thoughts about what to do should you find yourself in a class that feels like the wrong level.

But first a quick story

This is a story about two students at very different levels who happily danced together in the same classes on the flamenco trip to Jerez last fall. Two students who learned all kinds of things. And who both had a great time doing so.

This is the story of Jackie and Pat.

Jackie had been dancing flamenco for years. She was a flamenco teacher. She'd been to Spain before, and she knew how to do the flamenco thing. Pat, on the other hand, had never been to Spain. She had been dancing for less than a year. She had learned some basic stuff, but she was still most definitely a beginner. Though less of a beginner than when she began. If that makes sense.

The point is this. Jackie and Pat danced together in the same classes every day. And they both learned stuff every day. You could say they learned a lot of the same things. But they also each learned their own things...

Click here to see videos of Jackie and Pat telling their individual stories.

And back to levels

Here's the thing. Often times any level will do. Yes, you heard me correctly. Either level is often the correct level. (Which is one of the reasons why I like to take multiple levels when I attend workshops.)

Levels have their place, claro que sí, but I love multi-level learning environments. And, honestly, there's no such thing as a learning environment that isn't multi-level. We all know stuff and don't know stuff. We all have something to bring to the table.  We all have something to gain.

So how to know which level to take?

When choosing the level of class I want to enroll in I consider many things. There are the obvious things like...

my skills

my personal experience level

And then I also take into account

who will be teaching

But most importantly I think about

what I want out of a class

and how I feel like learning

Which may be different at different times.

And multiple levels can fit my various needs and wants.


Tomorrow I'll tell you how to turn whatever class you end up in into the perfect class for you.



Do you agree? Do you disagree? What do you make of levels? How do you feel about them? Let me know! You can leave a comment below.

A Flamenco Tour

If you want to do flamenco in Spain like Jackie and Pat did, come along with me next time.

Ricardo López

Not all of us can travel to Spain, but Spain can travel to us, and it will this month. Click here for more about the upcoming workshops in Portland with Ricardo.