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presence

Fifty Life Lessons from Flamenco

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Fifty Life Lessons from Flamenco

During last weekend's Flamenco Retreat at the Oregon Coast (which I'm still on a high from by the way and which you can see pictures of below) we all agreed that flamenco teaches us about life and about ourselves

So, today I share with you fifty life lessons I've gleaned from flamenco.

Fifty Lessons:

(This list is full of links in case you'd like to dive deeper into some of the lessons.)

  1. Listen to your intuition, and trust your instincts.
  2. Express your true feelings
  3. Be present.
  4. Stand beautifully in your power.
  5. Prepare. (Really prepare.)
  6. Take risks.
  7. Focus.
  8. Act with intention.
  9. The answers are in the mirror, so look.
  10. Show up.

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Four Ways To Improve Your Flamenco Class Experience

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Four Ways To Improve Your Flamenco Class Experience

There's going to class. And then there's going to class and getting the most out of it. Today I'm going to talk about the latter, about how to get the most out of your flamenco class (or workshop) experience.

Ricardo López is constantly giving us tips when he comes in town for workshops. Perhaps just as helpful are little phrases I hear him say over and over again in class. He doesn't really intend them as tips. They are reactions, spoken in the moment. But, oh, these little comments have a lot to tell us.

So, here you go, four comments from Ricardo and four pieces of advice gleaned from them:

ONE

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Day 3: How to Up Your Flamenco Game From the Comfort of Your Own Home

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Day 3: How to Up Your Flamenco Game From the Comfort of Your Own Home

Woo-hoo, you’ve made it to day three of the Dancing with David Even Though We’re Not With David Challenge! Today's task won't take long, so read on to find a new exercise to help you become a better dancer from home . . .

Learning by observation is one of my favorite ways to learn, and I've learned quite a bit from observing David Romero, noticing both how he dances and how he approaches dancing and teaching.

Today we're going to focus on the approach.

Presence

David gives 100% (if not more) when teaching.

He, the teacher, is there with you, the student, completely.

Which inspires you to be there with him. And to give all that you have to give during those moments.

Sooooo, when you’re in the studio,

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Four Steps to Following Your Intuition (Learned from Flamenco)

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Four Steps to Following Your Intuition (Learned from Flamenco)

I've talked before about how much I learn from flamenco. And I don't mean how much I learn about flamenco. Naturally I learn a lot about flamenco. But I'm talking about other things. Like trust for instance.

Trust

I have some issues when it comes to following my intuition.

I want to hear it. I want to trust it. I want to act on it.

If only it were that easy.

Fortunately flamenco has a lot to tell me about that.

Bulerías especially. Because with bulerías there are certain things I need to do. And as it turns out, these things also assist me in learning to go with my gut...

Four steps to following my intuition that I learned from flamenco:

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Day 3: Dance As If You Were in Class with Mercedes Holiday Challenge

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Day 3: Dance As If You Were in Class with Mercedes Holiday Challenge

I want to talk about how to get more out of your "time" with Mercedes during this challenge. Because I know it can be hard to squeeze in flamenco activities right now as many of us are busy with family, holiday stuff, and what not.

But before I get to that, a brief snippet from today ~

I decided to take the challenge on the road today while hiking with the family.

So Margot and I listened to Mercedes as we walked.

As it turns out many of her reminders were just as helpful to hiking as to flamenco,

'Respira, despacio, pompi dentro...'

Take 'pompi dentro' for instance:

Making a point not to let your bottom stick out forces you to engage your core which is most helpful in maintaining stability on the rocky and sometimes slippery trail.

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How to turn the Wrong Class into the Right Class

Ok, so here's the part two to yesterday's post that I promised you.  Where I tell you how to turn any class into an ideal class for you. Because sometimes class feels too easy.  And other times it feels too hard.

I've been in both situations.

And here's what I've discovered

When class feels too easy, it's usually because I've got my lazy pants on. No seas floja, Laura.

When class feels too difficult, it's usually because hard-on-myself me has taken over. Tranquila, chiquilla. 

We can get a lot or a little out of class

And it's really up to us.  I mean it.

Basically there are two main concepts we need to understand, one to make class harder and another to make it easier.  But before we get to those, some specific ideas on how to make the most out of whatever class you find yourself in.

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Intuition and How Flamenco Makes it Stronger

I've told you before about how much I learn from flamenco. And I don't mean how much I learn about flamenco. Naturally I learn a lot about flamenco. But I'm talking about other things. Flamenco has kind of become one of my mentors.

Sí, un mentor para mí.

Trust

I have some issues when it comes to following my intuition.

I want to hear it. I want to trust it. I want to act on it.

If only it were that easy.

Fortunately flamenco has a lot to tell me about that.

Bulerías especially. Because with bulerías there are certain things I need to do. And as it turns out, these things also assist me in going with my gut.

Be there completely

Focus and attune to what is happening with the palmas, guitar, cante, jaleos. Be there, truly be there.

Be Present

Listen a lot

To the compás. To the guitar. To the palmas. To the cante. When I'm dancing and when I'm not. Listen and really get to know it.

Listen

Allow what needs to happen to happen

I must let myself feel the music. And let myself feel whatever I'm feeling.

Allow

Respond to what I hear in a way that feels right to me

Follow what's happening with the music. Respond to the signals I pick up on. When the singer resolves, let my body reflect that.

Act

Flamenco requires trust. If I don't trust while dancing, well, then, I’m only kind of sort of doing it.  And, by the way, I still find myself there often. But, it's okay. Because each time I do and notice and reflect on it, I learn something about myself.

Your thoughts? I'd love to hear them. You can leave a comment.

The next bulerías series begins this Saturday.  All of the info is here.

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