My parents crashed the first Flamenco Tour back in fall of 2012. I'm actually glad they did.

I'll tell you why in a moment.

This is how it came about,

I declared that I was going to organize a flamenco trip to Jerez for students interested in studying in Spain with a small group.

There were some chuckles.

And then they realized I wasn’t joking. And they told me they wanted to join.

My parents wanted to join my flamenco tour.

I should tell you that my parents do not dance flamenco. They do not dance at all. (Okay, I saw them dance one time at my sister's wedding, but that's it.)

I explained that this was a trip that entailed dancing.

Meaning, one had to come with a desire to dance flamenco. (They did not have that desire.) I figured once I explained this they’d no longer want to come.

I was wrong.

They still wanted to come.

What about the dancing?

"We’re not going to dance," they told me, "But we’ll go on the sherry tour."


I believe they were secretly afraid that nobody would sign up for my trip. That they didn't want me to be there all alone with shattered hopes and dreams. (I also think they wanted to go to Spain, so why not go with their daughter?)

And that is what they did.

I found a comfortable hotel for them to stay in, and they joined us in España.

Us meaning the Flamenco Tour students and myself because, yes, as it turns out, people did sign up. Ten people to be exact.

And my parents got to meet them.

We had dinner together. They joined our tour of the sherry bodega. They came to our private show hosted by Mercedes, my dad met us at a peña show in Santiago . . . He even came to bulerías class with Ani (to watch) and to class with Mercedes where she got him to play castanets with us.

They had fun.

And I'm glad they came. Because they enjoyed themselves and because it felt good having them there. I felt supported. I was a little worried at first, wondering how I would run the tour and be there for my parents at the same time. But it all worked out.

So my dad brought a gift to Jerez for me

It was a gift from home.

He had burned me a CD from one of his records, Spain, by Stanley Black and his orchestra. Never mind that I wasn't able to listen to it until I got back home,

My dad is CUTE!

“I have a little something for you,” he said with a smile one night when I was visiting them at their hotel. “I made it.” Smiling once again, he presented it to me.

I recognized the cover immediately. I had seen it over and over again growing up, looking through my parents’ record collection. It was one of my favorites to look at, mostly because of the excess of hot pink, though I’m pretty sure I found the clothes of the torero pretty enticing as well.

It had flamenco rhythms on it. Bulerías, sevillanas . . .

Anyway, he had made a color copy of the album cover on cardboard, shrunk it down, and put together a sleeve for the CD.

So sweet.

I don't think my parents will be joining me on any future Flamenco Tours, though you never know, my mom and her friend along with my sister and nieces came to check out the Spring 2014 tour. But perhaps you would like to join me (and dance with Mercedes Ruíz or David Romero.) You can find all of the details about the upcoming trips to Jerez and Barcelona here.

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