My love for flamenco started when I was 19. At the time, I was an exchange student in a tiny town in the the South of ... Germany. (I bet you expected 'Spain' there.)
I'd always loved dancing, so when I saw a poster announcing flamenco lessons, I didn't hesitate and joined.
My first teacher was a German girl, Suzanne, who'd been an exchange student herself in Seville, Spain. She taught us - 10 girls and 3 guys - Sevillanas, a flamenco-style folk dance that is often danced at fiestas and ferias.
We had so much fun with our little group. After a few months, we started performing on the streets and at Spanish-themed parties. We were awful, but our enthusiasm more than made up for our lack of skill.
Back in Belgium, I continued taking classes until, after a few years, I got back problems. So I stopped and took up belly dancing instead, which was fun, but it didn't call to my soul like flamenco had.
I returned to flamenco several times, taking classes with different teachers, but the pain just got worse. I guess I will have to accept that - unless a miracle happens - I will never be a flamenco dancer (again).
And yes, every time I watch a show, my heart rejoices and bleeds. Of course that doesn't stop me from going.
For the letter 'F', and to celebrate what might have been, I wanted to share this clip with you, in which one of my favourite dancers, Eva 'la Yerbabuena', dances beautiful fandangos granaínos. Enjoy!
(Music & dance start at 00:50.)
Did you ever give up an activity you really loved?
Photo 'Eva la Yerbabuena' by Alexander Nitzsche available under a creative commons license. © 2007, Alexander Nitzsche.