It’s the final day of the year, so let’s take some time to reflect before ringing in the new year. What moments stood out in your flamenco life this year?

Below you can see some of my favorite flamenco memories from 2018 (in chronological order). I feel extremely grateful for the wonderful experiences this year delivered. One of the things I most love is how each event pictured below offered a new opportunity to join with flamenco lovers from across the country (and the world in some cases) to enjoy this incredible art form together.

Here are my top seven flamenco memories of the year (I’d love for you to add yours at the end of the post):

1. Flamenco Retreat at the Oregon Coast

We escaped for the weekend to Lincoln City, Oregon, met new flamenco friends, danced, did palmas, chatted over meals together, and enjoyed the beach. (I can’t wait for it to happen again in February…)

2. Jesús Carmona Workshops & Show

Not only did we get to enjoy four intensive days of study with Jesús where he pushed us to our limits in the best possible way but we got to witness (and be a part of) Ensayo de Una Vida, a show he created and debuted right here in Portland in a matter of days. This guy’s creativity is off the charts and his energy as a teacher is phenomenal. It was a truly amazing time.

3. Spring Flamenco Tour to Jerez

During this (smallest on record) Flamenco Tour, we enjoyed daily classes with Mercedes Ruíz (who will be here in Portland this May!), bulerías with Ana María López and Estefania Aranada, shows at the tabancos and peñas (highlights were seeing Juana La del Pipa and Saray García), tasting sherry, touring the town, shopping, visiting Sanlúcar, seeing the procession returning home from El Rocío, sharing meals, practicing on the rooftop, escaping to the Hammam. You can see more of what we were up to here and here.

4. Summer Flamenco Workshops

We had a series of weekend flamenco intensives over the summer where we danced the days away with bulerías, tangos, sevillanas, abanico, and castanets. I’m already looking forward to next summer’s workshops.

5. Fall Flamenco Tour to Jerez

Again Jerez became our home for two weeks. We danced it up in our classes with Mercedes, Ani, and Esther who consistently gave us their all, we hung out on the rooftop, enjoyed meals around town, shopped, and relaxed at the spa. We also visited two sherry bodegas, loved our private show (and the numerous other shows), saw our neighborhood transformed for the return of the Cristo de la Expiración… You can get all the details of our trip here and here.

6. Emilio Ochando Workshops & Work-in-Progress Showings

Mantón, castañuelas, técnica, Emilio managed to squeeze it all in for us and kept us laughing and learning for four days straight! We also got a sneak peek at his latest work-in-progress, Clásica Tradición. After dancing his heart out for us in two different settings,, he sat and answered audience questions about the work, his creative process, and flamenco in general. It was magical, and I can’t wait to see what becomes of this piece that we had the privilege of previewing right here in Portland!

7. Portland Area Flamenco Classes

This year end wrap-up wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the weekly classes. These classes keep me going. I love dancing with awesome flamencos every week, laughing and learning together and seeing the progression throughout the year.

Y se acabó.

Okay, so you can see that 2018 was filled with flamenco wonderment, but of course I experienced flamenco struggles during the year as well which I won’t neglect to reflect upon and attempt to learn from. I’ll be doing that soon, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’m celebrating all that went well and looking forward to more flamenco adventures in the coming year. (Starting with new classes January 2nd!)

Thank you for being here. I wish you a Happy New Year filled with lots of flamenco.

Feliz Año Nuevo

What about You?

It’s time to celebrate what went well and take a moment to reflect upon why we do this thing called flamenco. What flamenco moments kept you going this year? What inspired you? It could be something as seemingly simple as watching flamenco videos online or as involved as taking a trip to Spain. Let me know in the comments below.

What was your favorite flamenco memory from this past year?

What was your favorite flamenco memory from this past year?