Every flamenco dancer is different. Underneath the common steps, sequences and structure breeds an individual reflecting their unique personality. One of the things I think about often is how my personal flamenco style seems to be unraveling.
When I dance, I feel on fire. I feel alive. I feel powerful and forceful. However, that does not always come across visually in the same way I am internalizing it. It goes back to that same old dream-state where I do the most amazing moves in my head, but what sometimes comes out is a different story.
I am eager to get to the point in my learning curve where my insides match my outside; simple and soulful. I want to get to a place where I can reach deep within myself and express honesty. I want to be organic and spontaneous.
That said, the yearning to put my own spin on my dancing comes with an understanding. The confidence needed to emit my own style will develop and reflect my flamenco evolution over time. A matured emotionalism comes from first being fluent and proficient in the fundamentals of the technique. I must be patient and I will evolve. But, I am getting there!
Flamenco Louisville had a juerga last weekend and one of the highlights of my night was the last thing I expected or have encountered before. It was nearing the end of the evening, people had come and gone, food had been put away and tables moved. All that existed was dim lighting, musicians, and a few dancers seated in a circle around the dance floor. Pure juerga! This is the part of the night I like best. It seems the closest to an authentic juerga setting and this is also the time that true blue sponteniety reveals itself. To that end, one of my teachers announces a challenge to me and a few other dancers. She wants us to get up and totally and completely improvise an alegria! I have not really learned this yet so was naturally a wee bit hesitant. But, I thought to myself, this is what flamenco is. This is what a juerga is. This is what emerging from your comfort zone is. So, I stood first to tackle the alegria. To my surprise, things just started pouring out of me. I am not sure they were the “right” things, but, eh, es la vida. I just listened and opened myself. It was an amazing feeling.
So…I will keep on learning, having fun, challenging myself, and cultivating my personal style. Each day that passes brings me closer to discovering my flamenco voice. It is an articulation that can only come from me. One thing is for certain, no matter how I develop as a flamenco dancer, how much of myself I give to it, I receive back so much more.