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workshop

Five Things Jesús Carmona Says You Must Include in Your Flamenco Dance Practice (With Videos)

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Five Things Jesús Carmona Says You Must Include in Your Flamenco Dance Practice (With Videos)

What should you do if if you have just 15-20 minutes a day to practice?

That’s what a student asked me to find out when I interviewed Jesús Carmona last month.

Here are the five recommendations he shared along with videos to help you get started on your own at home. (Some of what he advises might surprise you.)

1. Abdominal Exercises

The first thing Jesús mentioned was the need to strengthen our abs. Don't know where to start? Try this:

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How To Get The Most Out of A Flamenco Dance Workshop

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How To Get The Most Out of A Flamenco Dance Workshop

Does the thought of taking a flamenco workshop with a master artist from Spain fill you with excitement or fear? 

If you're anything like me you feel a little bit of both.

Here are some steps you can take before, during, and after a workshop to help manage any overwhelm that comes up:

Before the workshop

1. Decide what you want to get out of it

Set a workshop goal.

Do you want to master the choreography? Improve upon a specific technique? Get inspired? Become a better learner? Implement the teacher's personal styling? Simply have a fun experience?

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I Have Been Going Crazy All This Time... Impressions of a Workshop

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I Have Been Going Crazy All This Time... Impressions of a Workshop

We had FUN with Ricardo.  (If you missed him this time, don't cry, he'll be back...)

What one student had to say

(It really moved me...)

"Thank YOU so much!  I had an amazing time this weekend with you, Ricardo, and everyone at your studio.  I am really just blown away, in so many ways.

Laura I have not danced in at least 4 years.  No exercise, no dancing, nada.  I have been going crazy all this time, with this love inside me, trying to channel it through cante occasionally but most of the time having no outlet.

I have been scared I couldn't make it,

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How to Survive a Flamenco Festival

As most of you know I went to Albuquerque earlier this month to Flamenco Festival Internacional.  Festivals are intense.  Intense can be good, but it can also be, well, fuerte.  Preparation can help. So...

1. Choose a festival hosting artists you want to see and learn from.

Artists I admire = inspiration and motivation.  Sure, I get a bit nervous at the thought of studying with these most amazing artists, but it usually goes away after awhile.

2. Go with a group of people.

You may know them before.  You may not.  You may travel with them.  You may meet up there.  Either way, having a small community within the bigger festival community offers support.  Plus it's just so much more fun with other people.  Think laughter, lots of laughter, therapeutic laughter.

3. Choose your learning tools.

There are many available.... An audio recording device to help you recall the sounds. A notebook for notes and reflections on class. Going over the choreography or tricky steps with another student after or before class. Getting centered and staying present.

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4 Simple Tips to Becoming Better at Flamenco

Ricardo was here this spring...in case you hadn't heard.  He was constantly giving us tips during the workshops.  Many great tips.  I've shared some of them and I'll surely share more.

But perhaps just as helpful were the little phrases I heard him say over and over again.

He didn't really intend them as tips.  They were not things that he carefully considered before sharing with us.  They were more just reactions, spoken in the moment.

And, oh, these little comments had a lot to tell me.

So I want to keep hearing them.

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Before, During, and After

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Before, During, and After

A lot of things go through my head around workshop time, which can drive me kind of crazy. So, to help deal with overwhelm that comes about before, during & after a workshop with a fabulously amazing artist I try to remember that there are certain things I can do to make it easier...

Antes

Think about what I want to get from it.

Remind myself that the teacher is just a regular person, and, if it's someone I'm bringing, that this person is nice. Being nice...a requirement for giving a workshop here. Phew.

Remind myself that this is an amazing and once in a lifetime experience.

Get in flamenco form. [Go to class, practice, stuff like that...]

Durante

Focus on what I'm doing, instead of on how fast others are getting it.

Be there, as fully as I possibly can.

Go through parts that I remember in some way after class. [In my mind, actually doing it, just marking the steps, going over it with a friend...]

Run the steps right before class begins with a friend of by myself.  [All, tricky ones, whichever ones I/we can recall]

Jot down notes to help me during the workshop or to serve as reminders afterit is over. [using words, pictures, numbers]

When I get frustrated, remind myself of why I am doing this.  And that it is about having fun.

Laugh.  

And Breathe.

Y Después

Reflect on what I learned & notice how I grew, what I got from it.

Hold on to what I want to... [The choreography, the essence, one specific move.]

Practice with a friend.

Practice on my own, perhaps with a video.

Palmas workshop with Ricardo López

Palmas workshop with Ricardo López

I don't necessarily do all of the above.  But I know that there are ways to ease the situation.  I know that I have options.  I know that I can pick and choose.

And you, how do you prepare for a workshop?  What do you do afterward?  Let's discuss this, leave a comment.

And, speaking of workshops, Emilio is on his way.  Oléeeee!  And there is still a spot for YOU!

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A Show That Isn't a Show

As you know, one of my most favorite things when taking a workshop is the energy it provides.  It is what led me to start this business.

But the watching is wonderful too.

Because sure, as students we dance, (A LOT, I know, that's what we're there to do) but we are given little private performances as well.  I used to consider these performances a bonus, but now I realize they are part of the deal.

Sometimes I space out.  I get caught up watching and forget that I am in class and am supposed to be participating.  Because there is this incredible dancer right in front of me doing the most amazing things.  Giving mini-performances.  Many of them.  Like these...

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Some things About Ricardo

I want to tell you a good story about Ricardo, in honor of the fact that the schedule for the Immersion is up.  , it's up!

There are many stories running through my brain

But I don't feel like writing any of them right now.

So, I'll just tell you some of the things I enjoy about him being here:

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