How did the slow practice go for you yesterday? 

Today, on our sixth day of the challenge, I'll share with you an activity to practice using the skirt with our non-dominant arm. (You'll also find a video below of Mercedes doing just that.)

Day 6

Mercedes in huge on using your skirt in class. Not twirling the skirt around as you dance or doing a million things with it but holding it, being aware of it.

During our beginning of class exercises the back arm is almost always holding the skirt. 

Yes, that back arm that we can tend to forget about. 

Holding the skirt inspires us to pay attention to the placement of that arm.

“Y tu falda, Laura?” I can’t tell you how many times I remember hearing Mercedes say this to me when I first studied with her. I was so focused on getting the front arm and hand to do the right thing and look good that I would unintentionally neglect the back arm. Ricardo had long been on me about this too. 

The truth is, it’s so easy to forget about the ‘other’ arm. The arm that is not in front. The arm that’s not ‘doing’ anything.

So we must train ourselves to remain aware of that arm, to keep the energy flowing.

Holding the skirt can help us do that.

Ready to practice?

Today’s challenge activity is as much about awareness as it is about using the skirt. 

Things You’ll Need:

  • a skirt
  • a mirror will also be helpful

An Activity For Skirt Awareness

  1. Watch the video below to see how Mercedes holds her skirt at her waist. (The video is set to begin where she does this, you can also see her do it from a different view 55 seconds into the video and many other places.)
  2. Grab your skirt and hold it at your waist with your elbows coming forward (being careful to keep your shoulders down.) Try with one arm at a time then with both arms together.
  3. Next, choose a move or combination to work with. 
  4. Do your move(s) looking in the mirror and paying attention to your back arm. Are there spots where it’s not doing anything, where the energy stops?
  5. In those places try grabbing your skirt and holding it near your waist as you practiced doing in Step 2.
  6. To get more skirt practice in, do your combination with the back arm holding the skirt the whole time.

I hope you enjoyed today’s activity. Let me know how it went for you in the comments below. 

I'll see you tomorrow for Day 7!

(By the way, the photo above is of Mercedes during our private show on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez. She is holding her skirt the way we want to in our challenge activity.)

Missed Any Days of the Challenge? 

You can catch up here:

Preparation

Day 1: Improve Your Breathing, Improve Your Dancing

Day 2: Keep Your Shoulders Down

Day 3: The Importance of the Plié

Day 4: Hand & Finger Movements

Day 5: Three Reasons to Practice Slowly 

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