The gathering together. It lit me up at the first flamenco workshop I attended with a guest artist here in town when flamenco was still so new to me. It lit me up with the first workshop I set up with Ricardo in 2007 and with each one since. It lights me up with every Flamenco Tour to Spain.
The Flamenco Tour was born of my own struggles studying flamenco in Spain by myself and at the big festivals. The drive to do it was born of my longing to be there studying in an environment that felt safe and fun to me, amongst a small group of others interested in the same thing. Many of my past learning experiences in Spain did not feel (emotionally) safe, and very often the learning did not feel fun at all.
This was a problem.
Finally one day I admitted to myself that the way I was doing it wasn't working. (It took awhile for that to happen.) Oh stubborn Laura, está bien.
That this doing más o menos the same thing over and over again and telling myself that this was just the way it had to be was not so.
Finally one day I realized that I could have more control over my experiences learning in Spain.
I saw what I really wanted
I wanted to go with a group. I wanted us to experience our own classes, together. I wanted to have the option to walk the city streets by myself or with that group. To eat by myself or with that group. To know that there were always others there to accompany me to a show, to the store, to have a cafecito. I wanted people to lean on. I wanted a group.
Finally one day I admitted this to myself.
I accepted that there was nothing wrong with what I wanted. I realized that it was possible to get what I desired. I gave myself permission to make it happen.
And so, the Flamenco Tour evolved from my own desires, and the joy I feel in putting these trips to Spain together is indescribable...
Over the past few weeks I've been reposting some pictures from past Flamenco Tours on Instagram. I've been having a great time seeing alumni faces and remembering our times in Jerez,
The incredible women I meet on these trips,
The moments we share,
The laughter (mostly), the tears (some), the stories (lots).
Each woman inspires me in her own way, and I never could have anticipated the impact the students would have on me.
This, the community, is one of the things (if not the thing) that lights me up the most about the FlamencoTour.
My dream was to go to Jerez and experience flamenco in a safe and fun group.
Some days it still amazes me
that my dream actually came true, and keeps coming true over and over again.
What about You?
How do you prefer to learn flamenco? How do you prefer to travel? Have you studied flamenco in Spain? On your own? With a group? At a festival? Have you tried to pop in on ongoing classes? How did all of it feel? Let me know in the comments.
People Often Ask Me
People often ask me how much longer I'll run trips to Jerez. The honest answer is that I don't know. What I do know is that I'll do it as long as I continue to feel lit up by the process of organizing them and by the trips themselves. Because I've come to realize that being lit up by what I choose to do is key. Care to join me in Spain?