Greetings from Sevilla!
My job is at the Fundacion Cristina Heeren for Flamenco. This is an art studio which features cante, baile and la guitarra which work together to create a type of music that cannot be compared to any other. While the work I do at my job is interesting and fun, I would not say that it is a challenging job. This is easy for me to say considering my last job was working full time in a cave in the middle of Hawaii, but the tasks I do here are minimal. Organizing, calling people, cleaning….there isn’t much stress on the flamenco aspect. Since the classes are so small and most of the students have been studying flamenco for at least one year, it is hard to sit in on them as well. Because of this, all of what I learn about Flamenco happens at night. Until recently when I got private baile classes, everything I learned about flamenco was at the nighttime performances down dark alleyways in little penas. The shows would be incredible and there are countless shows going on all the time. My cousin is a very well-known guitarrista in Andalusia and through meeting his friends I have been able to really dive into the flamenco scene here.
I practice my contratiempo every step I take. If there’s a song on the radio, I immediately start to practice my ritmo for buleria or seguiriya along with it. The dances I’ve learned require practice every single free moment I have. Sometimes, I will return from work so tired I will try to take a siesta, but as soon as I lie down I immediately want to practice- I’ve reached the point where dancing revives me more than sleeping does! The dances require intricate steps focusing on the feet, direction of the body, arms, wrists, fingers, head, and face. Sometimes everything is pointed in the same direction, but mostly it differs. I’ll spend hours trying to get something right and then figure out my feet are pointed in the wrong direction. How frustrating! Recently, I’ve been practicing the dances I’ve learned to more alternative songs, sometimes even techno! It makes for an incredible dance and I am excited to show it to the Antioch Community when I return!