JOMDC’s Flamenco Expansion!

by Marketing Intern Rachael Appold

Flamenco @JOMDC with Estela VelezAnyone with experience in shopping around for drop-in dance classes knows that some class styles are offered with more variety than others. Modern dance, for example, may be offered in varying techniques at a plethora of studios. Flamenco classes, however, tend to focus on just the movements and technique and oftentimes fail to address the additional topics needed to have a deeper better understanding of this dance style, and therefore, a richer experience. JOMDC teachers Estela Velez de Paredez, a renowned Flamenco dancer, choreographer, and Director of Furia Flamenca Dance Company, and Daniel Paredez, noticed this discrepancy and worked to expand on the Flamenco classes offered at Joy of Motion Dance Center! The newly expanded program is geared towards developing the flamenco artist. Due to flamenco’s complexity, a flamenco dancer’s educational journey requires learning which goes beyond dance technique and choreography. The focus of this new program format is to fill in all the additional topics needed for a flamenco dancer to become a well-rounded flamenco artist. Here is a roadmap to the classes suggested for anyone starting their flamenco journey and those who have already started their journey and want to enhance their flamenco education and experience. The suggested curriculum below is appropriate for anyone wanting to learn flamenco for fun as well as those who have higher aspirations of becoming flamenco performers.

 

Intro to Flamenco aims to allow new Flamenco dancers to get a taste of this dance style. This is a great class for the student to see what flamenco is all about and a great beginning to their flamenco journey. This class is part of JOMDC’s Intro to Dance series.

Sign up for this class here.

flamenco @JOMDCHistory/Theory of Flamenco & Shawls offers students an understanding of Flamenco that delves deeper than just learning the movements. This class is a must for anyone who wants to understand the “whats” and “hows” of flamenco dance. Flamenco’s history is vast and its musicality is complex. Knowledge and understanding of both is needed for a deeper interpretation of the dance style. During the first half of the semester the history and background of flamenco will be explained so the student understands the “why”. Also, the theory of some of the most commonly performed palos (rhythms) will be explained to include its background, compas (musical measure), cante (song), and choreographic structure. This will give the students the knowledge to understand the choreographies being taught in other classes (the “how”). In the latter part of the semester, the student will be introduced to the technique of one of the most popular flamenco complements/props, the manton (shawl). Flamenco dance incorporates many complements/props each with their own technique. This will be the first of a series of classes geared at introducing the flamenco dance student to the most commonly used complements, the technique for their use and a short choreography with it. This class is for anyone who wants a well-rounded Flamenco experience!

class_flamenco_027Sign up for this class here.

Beginning Flamenco is a great class to take if you are new to Flamenco but still want a fun class experience! This class focuses on familiarizing the dancer with all of the building blocks of flamenco technique including braceo (upper body work), zapateado (footwork), compas (musical measure), palmas (handclapping), and musicality all while learning a choreography. Students will get the chance to learn the percussive motions and gorgeously graceful upper body movements for which Flamenco is known.

Sign up for Estela Velez de Paredez’s beginning Flamenco class here or Daniel Paredez’s beginning Flamenco class here.

Beginning Castanets allows students to incorporate the use of castanets in Flamenco dances. Knowing how to play castanets and dance with them is a must for all flamenco dancer and should be included in the curriculum of all flamenco students. However, the class is not exclusive to flamenco dancers but is appropriate for anyone wanting to learn how to play this instrument. Students will learn basic castanet-playing techniques, as well as the history behind castanet use in Flamenco (hint: castanets were not originally associated with Flamenco at all), and some traditional and contemporary movements incorporating castanets..

Sign up for this class here.

IG_c_drop_12Cajon – Drop-in

Do you follow the beat of the drum? Learn how to play one too! We’re starting our first all levels drop-in Cajon class this fall! Drop-in anytime with your cajon 4:30-5:30PM every Saturday at Friendship Heights beginning September 17.

Beyond the classes above, the newly expanded flamenco program will continue to offer dance classes in levels from advanced beginner to advanced. The higher levels will now be an hour and a half long to allow for more time dedicated to the choreographies taught without sacrificing time needed to continue to work on technique. Also, keep an eye out for classes which will cover topics adequate for flamenco dancers and musicians alike all in an effort to build the best and most well-rounded flamenco program!

So what do you think? Are you ready to dive deep into JOMDC’s variety of Flamenco classes? You can sign up for all of them here.

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