Ricardo is here, and I’m already disappointing him. He arrived on Tuesday, and it didn’t take long.

I’ll tell you about the desilusión and share three dance tips from his class last night. Three tips that are important to keep in mind at all times.

First, the disappointment

There’s really a lot of me feeling disappointed with myself going on.

Why didn’t I study before he came?

Why didn’t I make it a point to remember things he’d taught me in the past?

Why don’t I just pick things up quickly and do them well right away?

Why haven’t I been working on my technique more?

It started on Tuesday when he arrived.

We went to view the possible space for our possible show. Which we immediately loved and which quickly became the actual space for our now actual show, that would happen exactly one week from that moment.

In the space the ideas began to flow.

It asked us for certain things, this new space that we loved.

As we were leaving we started talking about the show.

We más o menos planned out the whole thing in the car.

We started to see a beautiful show.

We did this all the way to dinner.

I could see the beautiful show, and I felt excited about it, very much so.

But I also worried.

“Why can’t you come sometime and not want to do a show so that I can just relax and have fun while you’re here?” I said to Ricardo as we were getting into the car after dinner.

He just laughed.

But I wasn’t joking.

And we went home.

Where eventually we began to “rehearse” in the kitchen.

That’s when I started feeling that way

The I’m totally going to disappoint him and I already am disappointing him way.

And perhaps that’s when I started to feel disappointed in myself.

On Wednesday we went to rehearse with the musicians.

“Te voy a matar.”

“I’m going to kill you,” Ricardo said to me as we were getting out of the car to go to rehearsal. He was smiling when he said it but still …

“¿Por qué?” I asked.


Because if I had studied and remembered things he’d taught me in the past we could so easily use them for our show he told me.

I know.


I wonder what would happen if I started to believe that I was not disappointing him

… or myself.

I wonder what would happen if I chose not to disappoint him

… or myself.

I wonder.

... I’ll get back to you on that.

Some background

Ricardo wanted to do a show from the moment he decided to come to Portland.

I told him fine as long as I didn’t have to dance. Everybody ALWAYS wants to see him perform, and it’s not like we have flamenco dancers of his caliber around here every day, especially to do an intimate show like this.

But I would have to be in the show also he said.

So, I told him no, no show. We’ll only have one week to prepare! He kept bugging me about it. And I told him it was stressing me out. So he kind of let it go.

Then in Santa Barbara he somehow talked me into it. My nieces and sister had something to do with that as well. So when I got home I started looking for spaces …

… and here we are, going to have a show.

And now for those three tips,

which could be thought of as important reminders:

# 1: Aprieta la barriga - Engage the abs

We must engage the abdominals in order to control our bodies.  You notice it especially when doing puntas and turns and anything where you're having to balance on one leg. As soon as we engage, we have control.

# 2: Cuidar las líneas - Notice the lines

Use the mirror to pay attention to the lines your body is forming.

# 3: Trabajar los dos brazos - Use both arms

A common problem is to give attention to one arm, usually the front arm, while completely ignoring the other arm, letting it either hang there in unawareness or tensing it up and stopping the energy. Pay attention to both arms!


Stay tuned to find out more about Ricardo López and how he became interested in dancing and flamenco in particular, about his beginnings and about how it fits into his life today.

Photograph ©Christopher Germano. (Thanks, Chris!)

What is this show & when is it?

It’s called Antes + Después, and it’s next Tuesday, October 14 at 8pm at SomaSpace. 


How do you deal with feeling like you've disappointed someone?  Or yourself? What emotions come up for you when you're feeling the pressure to do something you're not sure you should do? Let me know, por favor. Leave a comment below.

You might also enjoy these posts:


What You Need to Know if You Want to Dance with the Bata & The Kitchen Sessions

Three Ways to Find Success in a Flamenco Workshop

Things to Remember Before a Performance

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