When is it too late to start learning flamenco? Find out below and watch a video of Mercedes Ruíz dancing as a little girl along with a bulerías clip from Carlos Saura's Flamenco Flamenco.
According to Mercedes Ruíz, "It's never too late do what you want to do." Sure, she began dancing flamenco at the age of four, but that doesn't mean the rest of us are doomed.
I began dancing flamenco at the age of twenty three, or was it twenty two? Pat began when she was sixty nine. Becky began when she was forty four. Many of the dancers I know began in their thirties, forties, fifties, and even sixties. Many danced at a young age then stopped for various reasons only to come back to it years later.
We can begin dancing flamenco at any age
And there is no 'retirement age' for flamenco dancing. We can leave it and come back. And we can continue dancing flamenco as long as we want to. This is something that I absolutely love about flamenco.
It is a dance for all ages.
Older flamenco dancers are in fact respected and honored. This is part of the flamenco culture. (See video clips below.)
A younger dancer may have different goals than an older dancer. And one's desires as a dancer may change over time, just as desires around all things in life will evolve.
But the bottom line is this,
Today I want to show you a video of Becky and Aida from the rooftop of our apartment in the Barrio San Miguel, an important flamenco neighborhood in Jerez.
They describe their time in Jerez together.
They talk about being in bulerías class, In the words of Becky,
"You soon realize that you have the support of everybody in the room. Not only your fellow travelers, but everybody else who’s there. Everything is there. The music. The singing. The jaleos. The palmas. You can really have some amazing breakthroughs."
And they talk about the togetherness of the group,
"We were on the same page, everybody," Aida says.
They talk about other things too. Hear what they have to say in the video below.
I've been in Jerez for about a month now. Kind of immersed in bulerías. They're everywhere. And I love them more and more each day. Really.
So here begins a little series. A nod to Jerez as I get ready to go. I'm leaving for Madrid in a few hours...
Un saludo a Jerez como ya me voy.
Because bulerías doesn’t exist anywhere as it does here. And if it did, it wouldn’t be what it is.
It’s just its own thing here.
And that's that.
I'm not saying you have to be in Jerez to do bulerías or anything like that. No, no. I’ll keep dancing them in Portland, of course, because there's no way I can stop. And we have a lot of fun doing bulerías in Portland, even though it's not the same.
Ok, so I told you that I might share some bulerías tesoros directly from the mouth of Ana María López with you today or tomorrow. Well, it's not happening today because I just got this great email from Becky. Becky is a student. She came on the Spain Tour.
Below you'll find an email that she sent to her husband.
She passed it along to me. and I asked her if I could post it. She was sending it to me for me, but she very graciously agreed.
I read it as a series of snapshots showing how life has been going here in Jerez, which is why I wanted to share it with all of you. So, here you go, from Becky...