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  • Writer's pictureYumi La Blanca

My Case of Flamenco Lockdown

Nowhere else to go...

Let’s face it - flamenco has never been lucky with dance studios. Unless it‘s intended for flamenco use, many studio owners would frown at the ‘f-word’. Our hard work potentially damages the floor, our fierce noise could disturb the peaceful Yoga or Pilates classes in the same building…

But we never imagined such an extreme that all dance studios would shut their doors, being forced to do so beyond their control.

Counting down the days to the end of lockdown (hopefully), I'd like to share how I’ve confined myself for training at home.

Confined in a home flamenco cave

I could have:

  • signed up for an online flamenco class through Zoom or Youtube

  • enjoyed learning new, cool, exciting steps from famous professional dancers through the Internet

  • practised footwork but worried about distressing the neighbours

Actually, I didn't do any of them…

Studying with an inspiring teacher and classmates is fun, but I genuinely love practising alone in a studio like a weirdo, whether I have a gig or not. With the studio closure, I just moved my solo training venue to our tiny flat where our over-filled bookshelves are my audience instead of a mirror.

I actually have a small wooden board but haven't used it much due to noise hazard. In my home ‘flamenco cave’, I rather wanted to focus on inner muscle training, on bare feet, as there was sadly no show to come up for a while...

My home training menu includes: strengthening the feet, engaging the core muscle, studying anatomy, practising turns, some Pilates, planking, playing castanets half-muted with kitchen paper (optionally disturbing my poor-suffering husband’s sleep), etc.

I also dusted off my long-forgotten guitar to practise every day, while my cajon nearly turned to be a dinner stool or drink table...

Getting ready?

The common anxiety caused by the pandemic, missing friends and family, heart-breaking news, uncertainty about the future… Despite these things, working alone in my home flamenco cave wasn't that bad, as my body awareness has actually improved by the training (I think), and I’m fortunate to have the company of my husband.

Receiving a message about ‘PUENTE de SEVILLANAS’ (*see the link below) was however a wake-up call to end the isolation. The uplifting energy of this project literally pushed me out of my comfort zone. Still being a bit of a flamenco hermit, I felt I’d be ready to reconnect to the world, with a refreshed mind.

If there was any positive side to the lockdown, it has given us a chance to re-appreciate our lives, relationships and arts. We’re still not entirely sure how our flamenco dancing life can resume in off-line social settings, but I have a hope to meet my friends again in ´normal´ events or workshops sooner than expected.

*What is ‘PUENTE de SEVILLANAS 2020’?


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