As you most likely already know, I LOVE being in class with Mercedes Ruíz. (In fact, the way I felt in her class was a major inspiration for the Flamenco Tour to Jerez.) When I’m in home in Portland, I always miss her class, especially the technique work. Although I don’t get to dance with her again until October, I can pretend I'm doing so right now,
And that’s what this challenge is all about,
Pretending we’re in class with Mercedes and continuing to grow as if we were while having fun practicing at home.
(Want to see Mercedes do her thing? Check out the video at the end of this post...)
How will the challenge work?
It will be structured similarly to the Dancing With David Challenge. Each day (for ten days) you will apply a specific idea (provided by me and inspired by the teachings of Mercedes Ruíz) to a flamenco dance move or combination of your choosing.
You will choose any flamenco move(s) or combination(s) to work with for a few minutes each day. I will provide you with a specific focus (based on things I’ve learned from Mercedes), give you instructions on how you can apply it, and explain why it will benefit you as a dancer.
You may choose to apply the daily focus to the same move or series of movements over the course of the week, or you may choose to vary your moves from day to day.
Either approach can benefit you...
Working with the same move(s) each day will:
- Keep it simple
- Free you from coming up with new material to dance each day so that you can more easily attune the daily focus
- Allow you to experience how each area of focus can improve/support the same move(s) in different ways
Varying your move(s) daily may:
- Make it more interesting and exciting
- Provide an opportunity to review more material over the course of the challenge
- Allow you to further challenge yourself by incorporating more material
It doesn’t need to be either/or.
You may choose to work with the same moves for a number of days and throw in some new ones on other days. I plan to work with the same moves at least for the first few days and possibly add to them as the challenge progresses. (I'll keep you posted.)
Choose a path, and see how it goes!
Why would I want to participate in this challenge?
- To improve your flamenco dancing
- To learn something new
- To have fun
- To get yourself ready for the Flamenco Tour to Jerez
How much time will it take? A few minutes to read the daily post, a few minutes to practice with an exercise or move, and perhaps a few minutes to reflect.
When is it happening? It officially starts tomorrow and continues for ten days. (Though there is a short question for you to ponder today to help prepare you to dance tomorrow.)
What do I need to participate?
- A bit of space to dance
- And mirror will be helpful
How do I participate? Click here to participate, and get the daily challenge delivered to your email each day.
What if I've never studied with Mercedes Ruíz? No pasa nada. I'll be providing you activities and explanations each day, so whether you’ve taken class with Mercedes before or not, you can do this challenge.
Let's do this. It’s doesn’t require a lot of time, and the lessons you learn can serve you well beyond the time period of this challenge. ¡Venga!
Let’s Begin With Why:
I’ve asked this question before, in preparation for the Dancing with David Challenge and here (and even here when I shared my story of how I became interested in flamenco and asked how you got started).
I'm asking again because regardless of whether or not you participate in the challenge, this is an important question to think about. So, in preparation for the official beginning of the challenge tomorrow, please take a moment to consider your intention.
Why do you study flamenco dance?
How does it make you feel?
Are you happy just dancing in class and on your own, or are you working toward a performance goal?
Do you do it as a hobby or do you dance professionally?
For example, if you dance flamenco as a hobby, do you want to perform? Do you want to be able to dance por fiesta at juergas with ease? Or do you want to keep your dancing in the studio, in class and at workshops?
Please share below in the comments. (And if you shared last year, share again. You may find that your why has shifted...)
I’ll be back tomorrow with the first activity of the challenge. Be sure to sign up here so that you don’t miss a thing.