Make mistakes, but don’t make the same mistake twice. 

This piece of advice comes from Ricardo López, one of our favorite guest artists who was here for two weeks last month. Find out how to make the most out of your mistakes, and see pictures from Ricardo's workshops and performances below.

Mistakes are essential. They are an inevitable part of learning, and they provide us with opportunities to grow. An absence of mistakes means we are not trying. However, repeating the same mistake over and over again means we are choosing not to improve.

It is up to us to learn from our mistakes.

If we want to advance, we have to do the work. Ready?

How To Learn From A Mistake

1. Notice it.

Don't ignore a mistake. Acknowledge it. It can feel easy to go on and pretend the mistake didn't happen, but this is only going to keep us stuck.

2. Embrace it.

Rather than getting upset about it, view the mistake as an opportunity to grow. (Because that's what it is.) Remember that mistakes must be present for learning to occur.

3. Figure out what went wrong.

What are you doing/did you do wrong? What led you to make this mistake?

4. Consider how to fix it.

Do you need clarification of a step? Do you just need to practice it slowly? Do you need to step back and watch someone else do it? Etc.

5. What did you learn?

Pay attention to how the mistake helped you grow. What will you do next time to prevent it from happening again? How can you set yourself up to succeed next time?

6. Try again.

With this new awareness, try (that part of the dance) again. And get ready, often times after we've corrected one mistake, we make a new mistake and are given another opportunity to improve.  

Life Learning

Obviously this concept goes beyond flamenco dance. Follow the above process to learn from any mistake, big or small in any area of your life.

Let me know how the process goes for you in the comments below. And remember what Ricardo says, "Don’t make the same mistake twice." What do you think about that? Do you make it a point to learn from your mistakes? What do you do to avoid repeating the same mistake over and over again? 

Learning With Ricardo

This is only one of the many things we learned from Ricardo. He taught us snazzy moves and how to execute them. And, as always, Ricardo reminded us to approach flamenco with a positive attitude. He showed us that learning (and performing) should be fun. Do the hard work, but have fun doing it. See pictures from our time with him below:

(The performance shots were taken by Salim Sanchez; Most of the other photos were taken by me.)

Here is what a few people had to say about their experiences with Ricardo

“Ricardo gives 110% in every class. His energy, attention to detail, and commitment to the students is amazing. He always teaches new techniques and special "ricardo moves" and he presents them in a way that we retain the material. And he is fun and sweet!  My favorite teacher!” - Stefani Miller

“I love having him here - he's like that missing brother we wish could stay put a bit longer…I was able to push and felt like he saw me desiring to improve and got me to really grow and feel confident in my body and not just trying to figure out the feet.” Seana Yee

“The caliber of guest artists you bring and the richness they provide is unquantifiable. I so enjoyed the last 10 days, peppered with technique and palmas, castanets, choreography, and performance. My brain is full with material to mine for months to come; my body is sated and my soul had a place to show itself. I am so grateful to you!” - Angela Jackson

“I had a great time learning, improving and re-igniting my love of flamenco under (Ricardo’s) instruction…I appreciate his patience in demonstrating and breaking down movements that are challenging for some of us, and his ability to spot and correct each one of us with his watchful eye when we need it (even when we are trying to hide in the back, lol). He seems as tireless as he is humble, again qualities that make for a good teacher. Good dancers don’t always make for good teachers and he is both, as well as (I suspect) just a cheerfully, nice man. No wonder you are good friends – birds of a feather… Finally, I loved the beautiful show that you put together; your duets were lovely and inspiring.” - Annie Galarosa

“We loved your Show - it was so creative and had so much energy…The chemistry and confidence you both had were really infectious. You danced so well together - like you had been doing these dances together for many years (instead such a short time). Everyone commented on that… And many thanks to Ricardo for being your friend and Mentor - and making you reach for your promise. You guys are just the best performing together.” Jackie Howard Kraybill 

Read more here.

The Flamenco Tour

The Flamenco Tour to Jerez is happening soon. Let's learn together with Mercedes Ruíz and Ana María López on a flamenco vacation to Spain. Find out more here.

For more tips from Ricardo, see these posts:

Three Ways to Find Success In A Flamenco Workshop 

How I Disappointed Ricardo & Three Important Dance Tips From Him

Four Ways To Improve Your Flamenco Class Experience

Three Easy Ways To Grow As A Dancer (Even When You Have No Time)

Stop Thinking And Dance

Five Castanet Technique Tips & A Confession