We studied bamberas with abanico with Mercedes during the Flamenco Tour.

Now that. was. fun.

After the letra you'll find a quick fan activity (a tongue twister for the brain kind of exercise) from our class that you can try at home.


Vamos niña pa la bamba
que te voy a columpiar
yo te daré despacito
no te vaya a marear

Let's go to the swing Girl
I'll swing you
I'll go slowly
so that you don't get dizzy

You can hear La Niña de Los Peines singing bamberas and find out more about this palo, its origins and evolution, here and learn even more about it here.

Pictures left to right: 1. Going across the floor is the thing I tend to enjoy the least in any dance class, but doing it with a fan in class with Mercedes was so much fun. 2. Focusing on the details. 3. Mercedes and Santi working it out. 'El es mi mano derecha,' 'He is my right hand,' Mercedes Ruíz says of her husband, Santiago Lara. 4. Breaking down the choreography.

An Activity for You

Often when we dance with abanico we keep the non-fan hand on the skirt. It can be challenging to move the wrist that's not holding the fan in a way that looks good (e.g. not insanely frenetic). Today's activity comes from an exercise we did in class while moving across the floor. It brings awareness to both wrists and adds an extra challenge. You can first practice this activity in place then later add movement to increase the level of challenge.

Materials needed: a flamenco fan

  1. Hold your fan in your right hand, (You can also do this without a fan.) and bring your right arm up. Hold your left arm in front at the level of your belly button (away from your body like you're holding a big beach ball.) 
  2. Keeping your arms in this position move your right wrist inward while moving your left wrist outward. So your fan is circling inward while your hand is circling outward. It will probably feel confusing at first because we're used to moving both wrists together in flamenco, either both out or both in. Pero, no problema. Simply do it very slowly until you get it.
  3. Once you've got it down switch the positioning of your arms.
  4. Now do it looking in the mirror.
  5. For additional challenge, add some movement. It doesn't matter what. You can simply mark in place or move across the floor. Play!

How Did It Go?

Often when we dance with abanico we keep the other hand on the skirt. This is a great activity to work on awareness and control. Was it challenging? How did it feel to be moving the wrist of the non-fan hand? How did it feel to move the wrists in different directions? How did it look in the mirror? Let me know in the comments below.

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