According to Mercedes Ruíz, "It's never too late do what you want to do." Sure, she began dancing flamenco at the age of four, but that doesn't mean the rest of us are doomed.
I began dancing flamenco at the age of twenty three, or was it twenty two? Pat began when she was sixty nine. Becky began when she was forty four. Many of the dancers I know began in their thirties, forties, fifties, and even sixties. Many danced at a young age then stopped for various reasons only to come back to it years later.
We can begin dancing flamenco at any age
And there is no 'retirement age' for flamenco dancing. We can leave it and come back. And we can continue dancing flamenco as long as we want to. This is something that I absolutely love about flamenco.
It is a dance for all ages.
Older flamenco dancers are in fact respected and honored. This is part of the flamenco culture. (See video clips below.)
A younger dancer may have different goals than an older dancer. And one's desires as a dancer may change over time, just as desires around all things in life will evolve.
But the bottom line is this,
We can dance flamenco for as long as we want to, and it's never too late (or too early) to begin.
On that note,
I have a few videos to share with you today. One is an ABSOLUTE must-watch of Mercedes Ruíz dancing when she was little. Another is a large gathering of many flamenco families where you'll see dancers of varying ages doing bulerías together. And finally a snippet of a peña show from the last Flamenco Tour . . .
First, watch Mercedes dancing bulerías as a little girl. (She told me she was nine or ten in this clip.) And speaking of our teachers on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez, you'll see Ani, Ana María López, playing palmas. Yes, Mercedes used to study with her just as we do.
Now, watch many greats from Jerez joined together doing bulerías in this clip from Carlos Saura's Flamenco, Flamenco:
And finally here’s one more that I took on the last Flamenco Tour at a show at Peña La Bulería:
What About YOU?
How did you feel the first time you set foot in a flamenco class? Let me know in the comments below.