As you may know, I was on my high school’s dance team (or pom squad depending on where you’re from) in high school. I love to dance. However, I have never really taken a dance class other than a half-hearted attempt at jazz dance when I was in elementary school. Yet, I’ve always been intrigued by Flamenco dancing so when I saw an Amazon Local deal for a six week beginner course at Flamenco Chicago I grabbed it right up.
I’m sure you are all envisioning this:
Sadly, it turns out that there’s a reason I didn’t keep doing the dance team once I got to college. All that spinning? Yeah, I can’t pirouette to save my life without getting dizzy. No matter how many times I’m told to keep my head still and only whip it around at the last second I spend the rest of the day in a weird haze after all the turning. I ended up going to four of my six classes and calling that good enough.
The hand motions (called “flores” by the way)? Not too difficult. The foot movements? A bit more challenging if you’re not particularly coordinated or if you get distracted easily. Practicing all of these things until they become embedded in your muscle memory is the key to mastering the hand and foot movements.
But that spin. I just can’t get it. Additionally, I felt as though even though the class was small (less than 10 of us) I wasn’t getting any personalized instruction from the instructor. I know dance teachers have a rep of being harsh and demanding and I wouldn’t say the instructor at Flamenco Chicago was either of those things, particularly, but her teaching style and my learning style didn’t exactly mesh. It was definitely a case of someone who has been doing it for YEARS trying to bring it down to a level she barely remembers.
However, if you have more natural dance talent than me, Flamenco Chicago might be right up your alley. It’s not a physical workout by any means. Definitely more of a mental one. Although, your arms and upper back will get tired!
Oh, and be sure to get a pair of character shoes. I didn’t still have mine from high school theater and was the only person in my class without them. They’ll tell you they’re optional but you feel kind of silly in sneakers.