Allow me to tell you a bit about Akiko, one of the many inspiring people I've met during my time here in Jerez. Not too long ago Akiko began taking classes in Japan from Harumi, an incredibly graceful flamenco dancer from Osaka who básicamente seems to have mastered las Bulerías de Jerez...she even co-teaches with Ana María López in la Peña los Cernícalos when she is in town. But back to Akiko. She had been studying flamenco for a few years before she encountered Harumi. That is when things took a turn for her, flamenco things that is. She began learning about the cante and how it related to the dance, about how to do palmas and about las Bulerías de Jerez. She was exposed to a flamenco that went far beyond just choreography. She was introduced to an essence, and she was intrigued. Harumi went to Jerez for an extended period of time leaving Akiko without a teacher. Golden Week, the big holiday in Japan was coming up. The Friday before her vacation began it quite suddenly occurred to Akiko to go to Jerez as well, so she got online to investigate plane tickets. By the time she'd logged off, she had purchased an e-ticket to Spain, set to leave in just four days! Then it hit her, "What in the world did I just do?" Harumi was shocked when Akiko contacted her saying she would be there on Tuesday. Her family thought she was nuts, but somehow Akiko knew it was what she needed.
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