Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Over the years, our students have done African dance, ballroom dancing and tapping for the Expo. This year, I wanted to expand their world view and their dance experience. That expansion came in the form of Flamenco. This was a new style of dance for them. Many of them had not heard of or had seen flamenco done before. It was completely new to them.

We began the cycle with reading about the origin of flamenco dance in Spain, how the gypsies influence the dance form and how it grew into the style that is performed today. We watched a documentary about a flamenco dancer who was well-known in Boston, Omayra. She shared stories of her famous grandmother, with the same name, and how she help to change how women danced flamenco along with the movies that she was featured in. It was a moving documentary that really showcased the time, talent and even, difficulty with producing and cultivating dance.

Students begin learning Spanish terms used in flamenco. Palmas means hands. Floreo means movement of the hands. Planta and punta means the sole and toe of foot, respectively. With some of those terms, we began constructing a flamenco dance. Each group learned the basic Sevillanas step. It is a 6 count step that switches from side to side by using the feet and hands in coordination. The Middle School Group was the only group who was able to learn and use fans in their presentation. They were magnificent! Those girls were twirling, opening and closing those fans with such ease and grace. It was a joy to see it all choreographed into their dance.

All of the flamenco skirts and tops where specially sewn by Lexter Braxton. She has constructed many of the costumes for the children's performances.

Get into the performance!

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