The following flamenco dance tips were born out of a longing to be back in class with Mercedes Ruíz. Because I love it there. I love how we learn, the focus on technique, the repetition, watching Mercedes move.
So here are eleven tips I’ve learned studying with her over the years. Each tip includes a brief exercise to help you apply it.
Here is an observation activity to help you understand bulerías more deeply along with a letra and a video from the Peña la Bulería caseta during the Feria de Jerez.
Here's a signature letra sung by El Chozas. Melchora Ortega sang it to us during our private show on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez.
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
Here’s a peek at what happened during week two of the Flamenco Tour to Jerez …
Here are the words to Rosa María along with a video of Rancapino Chico you do not want to miss…
Here’s a bulerías letra and a must-watch video of Pastora Galván.
Here is another bulerías de Cádiz …
Today enjoy a Bulerias de Cádiz letra along with a video of Fabiola Barba that I took during the last Flamenco Tour to Jerez.
Here’s a peek at what we’ve been up to so far on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez …
Bulerías is a fiesta-style dance from Jerez, Spain. It is the most improvisational form of flamenco and probably the silliest as well. The following video from a produce shop in Jerez gives you a picture of what bulerías is all about …
Here a letra and a video of Zorri dancing bulerías that will make your day.
Tengo un canasto …
An interview with flamenco dancer Mercedes Ruíz where she talks about her beginnings, challenges she faced on the road to becoming a professional flamenco dancer, how she comes from a non-flamenco family (and how most of her family members don't even like flamenco), how motherhood has affected her dancing, what it's like working with her husband, what she loves about teaching, who some of her favorite dancers are, how she thinks it's never too late to start dancing flamenco, and the funny ritual that she must perform before going on stage.
Here's a tangos estribillo that we danced to with Mercedes Ruíz during the last Flamenco Tour to Jerez. You can see a tiny snippet from that dance below along with a video of Claudia La Debla.
Y voy y voy
date la vuelta ligero
como se la da el rejoj
y voy y voy
que despacito pasaban
la manillas del rejoj
Here's one more bulerías for you. Zorri sang this to us one Flamenco Tour to Jerez during a meal we shared at José Luís and Maribel's (see pictures here). This was the perfect letra for the occasion:
Ahora sí que estoy a gusto
estoy comiendo y bebiendo
con personas de mi gusto
Usually about a week into the Flamenco Tour I start hearing bulerías in my head at random times. It lingers for awhile upon returning home which I guess is why I've been on such a bulerías kick ...
¿A quién le contaré yo?
yo le canto a mi niño*
que tengo la obligación
I heard today's letra a few weeks ago in Jerez during the Flamenco Tour (at the same show where I heard last week's letra). Juan Peña sang it por bulerías. Upon researching the verse, I discovered the following version por tangos sung by Flora who you'll see in the video below.
Si tuvieras tú vergüenza
como la tiene la gente
no pasaría por mi puerta
ni por la acera de enfrente
This past Flamenco Tour was the smallest on record with only three of us! We still had an amazing time. Below read highlights from week two of the Flamenco Tour to Jerez. (You can see highlights from week one here, and you can read day-by-day accounts here and here.)
Getting To Know One Another
One of my favorite aspects of the Flamenco Tour is how the group tends to turn into our own little flamenco family. People take care of each other; they even try to take care of me although I’m supposed to be taking care of them. It's so comforting to feel the support of the people you're with …
When we were in Jerez we spent a lot of time at Tabanco El Pasaje watching flamenco. You can see shows there just about every afternoon and night. Below you can see a video of Juan Loreto dancing soleá por bulerías.
Soleá por Bulerías
Qué pena tengo en el alma
se murió la madre mía
cuando se anunciaba el alba
What sorrow I feel in my soul
my mother died
when dawn came
I still remember that first evening
Sitting together in the courtyard, eating tapas, sharing stories.
It was the fall of 2012, and we were in Jerez. A group of foreigners together in Spain to learn and grow and have a good time. We danced and laughed, did flamenco, saw flamenco, heard flamenco, breathed flamenco. We walked about the town eating yummy food, drinking sherry and café con leche...
But, wait, let's back up for a moment.