Flamenco dancing may be a new or different modality for many people, but in fact it has a lot of history and strong cultural roots. A new darling of dance academies, Flamenco involves body movements, tap dancing, use of objects and singing in an intense and very sensual art.
Flamenco is not just a dance, but a whole culture that began with singing, expanded to music with instruments and only later incorporated dance. Dance teacher Tatiana Bittencourt, a partner at the Flamenca Art Studio, in Rio de Janeiro, says that Flamenco was born from the mixture of several peoples, who met in the Iberian Peninsula, around the 16th century.
She adds that, in general, the Flamenco culture is linked to the people who were persecuted and who took refuge in southern Spain: “Gypsies, Moors and Jews met to share their laments and their pain in the form of singing, which it was the first form of manifestation of this art”.
Despite being an ancient art, Flamenco only spread more intensively from the 1970s onwards and recently, in 2010, it won the title of Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
In Brazil, the activity has increasingly approached the public, bringing a greater number of people interested in learning and researching dance and its aspects. The academies have also been expanding the options and it is increasingly easier to find the modality in dance schools.
Who can dance Flamenco?
Everyone can dance Flamenco and has the ability to internalize the dance in their own way. According to Tatiana, there are no restrictions of any kind: “It is a very democratic type of dance, there is no age, weight or anything limit. Each one finds within himself where this art touches him”.
I fell in love in the first class and never stopped.
Historian Maria Cristina Martins has been taking Flamenco classes for eight years and tells how much she fell in love with dance at first sight: “I looked for dance when I was almost 30 years old and didn’t do any physical activity. I never liked the gym, I went in and out. I was gaining weight and starting to feel pain. I fell in love in the first class and never stopped. It is very good for the body, soul and self-esteem. It’s really good to move the body with live music, beautiful, strong, vibrant. And when we manage to do that step that we weren’t able to do, when we realize that the body is less stiff, responding to practice… It’s very good.”
9 benefits of Flamenco for the body and well-being
It is not news that dances of different styles are good for the body and mind. Flamenco, in addition to being a physical activity that works on various body aspects, has enormous power over emotional and self-esteem, seeking self-knowledge and musical and body perception.
Check out some of the main benefits of this beautiful art:
1. Enhances musicality
Flamenco refines musicality and musical perception, working with rhythm, marking, singing, clapping and melodies. Music interacts with dance inseparably, expressed in choreography, steps, clapping and expressions.
2. Corrects posture
Dance requires an upright position and can help correct posture problems, gradually strengthening the abdominal and back muscles.
3. Improves motor coordination
The counting of steps in the rhythm and the time requirements of the music, in addition to the choreography, stimulate motor coordination, being a great exercise for body perception.
4. Strengthens the body
The movements required in dance intensely strengthen the muscles of the legs and arms. In tap dancing, thighs and glutes are exercised. In addition to the flexibility and elasticity required in the choreography.
5. Improves concentration
“Flamenco is an art that is very much integrated with music and it is essential that we are always listening and attentive to the beat”, explains Tatiana Bittencourt.
6. Works on the emotional
“Because we have a very wide range of rhythms and musical styles, we can express a large repertoire of emotions, such as sadness, joy and pain”.
7. Emphasizes body expression
The attention to the movements of various parts of the body, the required facial expressions, the posture, the interiorization of the music expressed in choreographies. All of this contributes to an exercise in body awareness and can help you get to know your body’s possibilities better.
8. Improves self-esteem
Flamenco dancing is an intense and beautiful show. The firm and elegant steps and the choreography together with the music give this art a mesmerizing beauty. In addition, there are still the clothes, accessories and makeup, extravagant and sensual. All this quest for beauty and perfection will easily influence your self-esteem.
With so much exercise and perspiration, in addition to increasing self-esteem, exercising your body and mind, Flamenco dancing still helps you burn fat: about 300 calories per class.
How is the Flamenco class?
In the Flamenco class you learn to dance in different rhythms using the whole body. The student learns tap dancing, clapping in different rhythms, in addition to dance paraphernalia such as castanets, fan and manton (a type of shawl).
Even more especially, teacher Tatiana Bittencourt adds that “the Flamenco class helps us find our expression within each song and choreography”.
Check out in some videos what Flamenco dance classes are like, and get inspired by this beautiful dance:
Flamenco Rumba Class – Prof. Izabel Moratti
In this class, teacher Izabel Moratti teaches a choreography of Rumba Flamenca. This is one of the primary styles of dance, which encompasses slow, graceful movements, arms, clapping and a bit of tap dancing.
Tango Lesson with Guitar – Prof. Izabel Moratti
It is common for some Flamenco classes to take place with the accompaniment of live music, especially the guitar. They help in the perception of rhythm and in the interpretation of the dance, making it even more visceral. In the tango class, the movements are accompanied by tap dancing and the choreography is more intense.
Choreography with Fan – Prof. Izabel Moratti
In the video you can check out a flamenco performance using the fan, one of the objects used in the dance. A beautiful choreography that involves a lot of tap dancing and, once again, live music.
Choreography Class (Carmen Habanera) – Prof. Izabel Moratti
In this video you can see how a flamenco dance class works. Teacher Izabel Moratti teaches a step-by-step choreography, with tap dancing, arm and leg movements.
If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to consult a dance school and don’t be afraid: throw yourself into this art that is good for the mind and for your health.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
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