What Is Flamenco?
Flamenco is a Southern Spanish dance. It is made up of 3 parts; the songs, the dance, and the guitar playing. It has upbeat singing, swift dances, acoustic guitar playing, and rhythmic hand clapping.
Flamenco is presented on stages throughout the world, even though it is not commonly known to many people. There are many dance studios across the world that can teach you the art of Flamenco, even if you are a child!
Flamenco is an Andalusian creation and a melting pot of cultures from around the world. Flamenco is often referred to as a “Gypsy Dance.” Flamenco will continue to evolve over the years.
The History of Flamenco
In the early 1500’s, Flamenco originated in Andalusia. A warrior crossed a narrow strait that was separating Africa and Europe. He conquered Spain along with his army and brought Arabian influence on Andalusia’s culture.
In Andalusia, many people would praise their gods. One way of doing so was to sing songs to their gods. This began the singing incorporated in Flamenco.
The gypsies arrived in Andalusia in the 15th century. In Andalusia, they brought emotion to Andalusia’s local music; their dancing. They began the dancing incorporated in Flamenco.
All of these “pieces” combined to create an exhilarating dance that has been presented to many countries around the world.
Flamenco dancers wear bright, vivid costumes that represent flamingoes. As you can see, flamenco sounds like flamingo. They often wear a bright dress or top and bottom, a colored fan, a flower for their hair, flamenco shoes (basically a dress shoe), and occasionally castanets for fast, rhythmic songs.
Flamenco’s music perfectly matches the dancing. The music sounds mostly like salsa music. The music is normally fast paced, but based on the dancing, it can be slow paced. It’s made up of acoustic guitar, singing, chanting, and clapping.
Omayra Amaya is probably one of the most achieved Flamenco dancers. She was born to dance! Her mother danced before Omayra’s birth and continued on dancing after her birth. Her father was also a very accomplished dancer.
When she was about 3, Omayra would dance on stage after her parents show, appareled in full costume and make-up. Omayra didn’t just decide one day that she was going to dance for her vocation. It was only that she couldn’t imagine her life without dancing or music. She always knew that dancing was for her.
Omayra Amaya is very inspired by her aunt, Carmen Amaya. Carmen had her own style and her own school for Flamenco. When Omayra’s mother was only 15 years old, she began working for Carmen. Omayra’s dad was only 12 when he began to work for Carmen. Carmen didn’t copy anyone. She was unique in her style.