Always Be Dancing Expressive Arts

Yoga and Flamenco for Every(body)

“It’s Dancing, Ainoa” : Behind the mask is the heart of a flamenco dancer

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Behind the mask is the heart of a flamenco dancer!

Things that clutter your brain…random song lyrics, swears in foreign languages, snippets from #SNL…there was one with #JamesFranco. He was inside someone’s brain clearing out the clutter…well another such snippet that sticks with me is #JohnLovitz #thegreatestactor #masterthespian #Itsacting. Well that’s where today’s blog title comes from…I spent today working with Ainoa to pull out her emotions, her duende, her inner dancer. To as we say, “Wear her heart on her sleeve and to allow her guts to spill on the floor.” Her movement needs elasticity and breath of movement so while she was dancing I kept up the mantras: “First full Inhale…now, long exhale through the nose”; “Allow the movement to fill you with breath and when you land in the pose, allow your breath to settle before you move on”; “Take a breath before you move, so you can build up the dynamic tension within the silences”; “The final pose is not what you are going for, but instead, allow for your breath to carry you between motions, so each one blends into the next. Know where your periods are and where you need commas,, semicolons and exclamation points!” These phrases are true for both flamenco and yoga…the final pose is not the out come, it is the journey to the poses that is the yoga…um the flamenco… um both….

Somewhere in between the dancing, we learned about grammar, inflection and mindfulness.

We started class today with footwork exercises to build foot strength before moving on to her actual zapteado section for her dance: single golpe, doubles, redoboles, how to accent the first beat and to set a rolling rhythm. I wanted her to understand how her shoulder should lie on her back while her hands were at her hips-she was tending to squeeze her shoulder blades together, but I wanted them to lay flat, almost wider than the chest, so that the expanded and lifted chest could rest right into and be supported by the upper back.

flamenco armsI had her lay on the floor, on her back, with her knees bent and feet flat on the floor-active resting pose. From there, I had her rest her arms on the floor, in a low “V” shape (sides of pinky and back tip of the elbow on the floor, so palms are gently turned towards the body.) This is to simulate mountain pose. Here she could feel her shoulder blades spread out on the floor easily.. Keeping the shoulder blades wide and the shoulders un-hunched, I had her slide her arms along the floor, pinky and back of elbow on the floor, palms are facing sightly down here, into a “T” position, once again noting the spread of the back, recreating the feeling that the back is spreading to hold the ever expanding and lifting chest; thirdly, she brought her arms up to a high “V” shape, noticing still the open shoulders. Lastly, I had her bring her hands to her hips and to one again recreate the shoulder, elbow, pinky alignment.

After this I had her stand and then remembering the sensation of the shoulder blades spreading by use of the floor, I had her hold her body and once again went through w ith the her the flamenco body (see Always be dancing blog posts: https://alwaysbedancing.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/cultivate-your-flamenco-body/ and https://alwaysbedancing.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/flamenco-arms/)

Teaching mindful movement, teaching each individual to find their inner dancer…that is my journey…one dancer at a time!

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Author: alwaysbedancing

Always Be Dancing Accessible Yoga and Flamenco for Every(body). I am committed to inclusion. I bring inclusion to school communities, fitness professionals, Pt's/OT's, yoga studios and every(body) in between through classes, workshops, professional development seminars, public speaking, and guest blogging. I can create a program specific to your needs.

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