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trust

25 Reasons to Dance Flamenco

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25 Reasons to Dance Flamenco

Why dance flamenco? 

Flamenco offers all kinds of benefits: physical, emotional, intellectual, cognitive ... It is perfect for those who never considered themselves to be dancers and for those who have done other forms of dance. And the best part? You can start learning when you're seven or when you're seventy, (no joke)!

Here are twenty five reasons to do it,

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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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How to Use Bulerías to Strengthen Your Trust

Today in Part Two of the Trust & Flamenco Series I share with you how I use bulerías to strengthen my intuition. It's actually not all that difficult.

Because bulerías invites me to trust.

To trust me.

I don't always accept the invitation, but when I do bulerías becomes my teacher.

It teaches me to listen to and honor that instinct that talks to me. To follow it instead of questioning it. Questioning it gets me into trouble, I tend to question, but following it leads me to good and truth.

Trust is something I’ve been working on for quite some time.

And I’m not talking about trusting others,

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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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When Writing Gets in the Way

Writing saved me in Jerez, ... And then it got in the way.

Today I want to talk about how writing can become, well, detrimental in class.

Yes, detrimental

I'll begin with another excerpt from my notebook:

April 19, 2011

Mercedes scolded me once again in class this morning, calling me back out onto the dance floor. Clearly I was to be dancing, not writing.

Yes, once again, Laura and her book has come up.  It comes up a lot.  No one else writes anything down in Jerez.

They don't get me, I know, but I totally don't get them either!

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How to Navigate Transitions: Lessons Learned from the Transition That Almost Gave Me a Nervous Breakdown

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How to Navigate Transitions: Lessons Learned from the Transition That Almost Gave Me a Nervous Breakdown

My biggest issue with bulerías when I got to Jerez was transitions. Well, ok, that’s not really true, my biggest issue after fear. But the transitions.

It was like all of a sudden I couldn’t see them.

And I didn’t know what to do.

I've since learned how to approach difficult transitions more gracefully. (I'll tell you how in just a moment.) I'll also explain to you in detail the transition that almost gave me a nervous breakdown along with some things you might like to know about "counting" bulerías de Jerez.

But first, allow me to give you some background ...

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How I Overcame my Fear of Bulerías (and why I used to hate this dance)

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How I Overcame my Fear of Bulerías (and why I used to hate this dance)

My main obstacle to bulerías has always been fear.

Not trusting my instincts.

It's no different from my main obstacle in life

I know indecision well. 

No wonder bulerías has always been so hard for me,

Not enough trust.

In a moment I'll tell you how I've let go of a lot of my bulerías fears (and how you can do the same).

Because the truth is, now I kind of can't get enough of bulerías.

It is not that the fear has been eradicated, it's that the excitement and fun usually slide it over to the side now.  Gracias excitement and fun.

But before I get into any fear eradication techniques, let me give you a bit of background:

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Nine Things To Do Before You Perform

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Nine Things To Do Before You Perform

People are feeling nervous.

Nervous and anxious about the Student Showcase on Saturday.

I know this feeling.  Well.

So I thought I'd repost these tips today, performance tips.

Whether you're performing in front of your friends in class,

at a show in front of the public,

or even just in your own bedroom in front of your cat,

There are things we can do to ease our nerves ...

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11 Things I Accidentally Learned during rehearsal. Again

I was rehearsing with Kuma the other day  when I accidentally learned a bunch of lessons. All lessons that I'd learned before, as so often is the case.

He was playing cajón.  I was dancing.  And not long into things, the re-noticings started coming.  One after another.  I had to keep running over to my phone to write them down. Because I was so excited.  And because I didn't want to forget.

After awhile, on account of one of the noticings, I realized it was time to stop running away from our practice to write them down.

This was important.  

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Things to Remember Before a Performance

It's almost time to perform, and I'm worrying.  I've felt this way before... But I guess I needn't worry so much.  At least I don't have to get up in front of the whole audience to talk and start crying instead.

Anyway, so I decided to take myself for a walk to the farmer's market to get some fresh flowers.  Only there was no farmer's market because it's Saturday, not Sunday.  Oh yeah.  But it got me out walking.  And a walk is always good for me.   I walked and went through some steps in my head.

Now I'm giving myself encouragement.  I'll be there sharing the stage with people who are wonderful and supportive!

And I'm writing myself some notes, some reminders for tonight and tomorrow.

Here are some things to remember before (and during) a show...

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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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Flamenco Keeps Teaching Me About Life

Is this why I do it? You see, I’ve noticed that flamenco is always telling me things, important things that go waaaaaaay beyond the art form.  Sometimes I am able to hear, sometimes I am not.  So it tells me things again and again, just in case I need reminders... which I usually do.  Estoy muy agradecida, and I’m working on becoming a better listener.

Maybe you’re wondering just what kinds of things it tells me.  Here are some of the important ones…

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