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Beginner Flamenco Class with Jorge Navarro

by Robert Abrams
October 30, 2005
440 Studios
440 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-0259

Beginner Flamenco Class with Jorge Navarro

Robert Abrams
October 30, 2005

Today I took my first Flamenco class. Jorge Navarro taught it at 440 Lafayette.

It was like entering a different world. There were two guys to about eight women, which is a bigger imbalance than is usually found in the partner dance classes I have taken. Measures are counted in 12s rather than in 8s. There are often multiple movements within many of the counts, whereas in partner dance at the most there are two movements within one count. There is much emphasis on proper motion of the arms and rotation of the wrists. We did very little movement that progressed across the floor; most of it was arm styling and stamping out rhythms in place. No recorded music was used. Shoes are made for making noise in Flamenco. I wore my LaDucas (ballroom shoes), which make noise when you strike them with the heel, but not so much when you strike them with the toe. There were many different stamping patterns which generally led up to a climax and a final one two to finish the phrase. That is one thing Flamenco and partner dance have in common: ideally phrases should be finished cleanly.

The atmosphere of the class was very welcoming. People introduced themselves and talked. Even though I was fumbling about for much of the class (a lot of the time my expectation that I should change weight every step got in the way so that I would end up on the wrong foot), people encouraged me to come back. I found that the slow arm movements where arms are held raised for extended periods of time used muscles I didn't know I had. Between that and the constant stamping, I got more of a workout than I expected.

Even though this is a beginner class, it is an on-going class, so a first-timer like myself has some catching up to do. I was able to be in sync with the class enough of the time to consider returning to give it another stamp.


The New York Center For Flamenco Performing Arts/ArtsFlamenco teaches beginners classes in Flamenco dance and Sevillanas. Learn all facets including rhythm, hand clapping, skirt handling, posture, head turns and of course, footwork.

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER CLASSES
Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Sunday afternoons from 1:00 - 2:30 pm
440 Lafayette Street, off of Astor Place, NYC
Trains: #6 to Astor Place; N, R or W to 8th Street

Monday evenings from 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 8:00 pm
The Spanish Dance Annex at Circulo Espanol de Nueva York, 41-01 Broadway, Astoria Queens
Trains: G or R to Steinway Street

ADVANCED BEGINNER CLASSES
Thursday evenings from 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Rod Rodgers Dance Studios, 62 East 4th Street (btw. 2nd Avenue and Bowery), NYC
Trains: F or V to Second Avenue

Saturday afternoons from 2:00 - 3:30 pm
The Spanish Dance Annex at Circulo Espanol de Nueva York, 41-01 Broadway, Astoria Queens
Trains: G or R to Steinway Street

Classes are $15 each, with a discount for a pre-purchased package of five or ten classes. Write to us at artsflamenco@msn.com or call 917-667-2695 for additional information. www.alegrias.com

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