Golpe: The Resounding Beat
Golpe, which translates to “strike” or “hit” in Spanish, is the most thunderous percussive sound a flamenco dancer can produce with one foot. This technique involves a dramatic drop of the lower leg, causing the entire shoe to strike the floor with power.
Consider the dedication of a musician to their instrument; as flamenco dancers, we are akin to percussionists, tirelessly practicing to create captivating rhythms with our feet, much like a drummer hones their craft.
To produce these sounds and movements – “the planta,” “the tacón,” and “the golpe” – effectively, proper flamenco shoes make a big difference. This is especially true for “La Planta” due to the presence of nails on the shoe’s front section. For further insights on flamenco footwear, consult our Beginner’s Shoe Guide.
Uncover the mysteries of flamenco dance through our concise and immersive tutorials. Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of rhythmic footwork. Embark on your journey today!
Flamenco Shoes are a dancer’s percussion instrument.https://youtu.be/2xMoZ2VvZmo
Check out my flamenco shoe guide
Beginner Flamenco Dance Terminology
- Compás: the rhythm of a flamenco song
- Contratiempo: offbeat
- Falseta: guitar melody
- Letra: verse (as in the lyrics of a flamenco song)
- Palma: handclap
- Zapateo: footwork
- Planta, tacón, golpe: ball, heel, strike – percussive footwork sounds
Translates as hand clapping. The palmas provide the backbone of flamenco music and dance. Dancers use them often in choreography. Practising palmas will help deepen your understanding of flamenco rhythm. There are two kinds of palmas
Palmas sordas or cerradas (muffled or closed) create a muffled sound achieved by cupping the palms of your hands.
Palmas claras or abiertas (clear, high or open) create a crisp, loud sound achieved by hitting the flattened fingers of the right hand on the palm of the left hand.
Marcaje which translates to ‘marking’ are steps used by the dancer to mark the rhythmic patterns (the compás) of the music . These steps are used particularly when the singer is singing and involve very little to no footwork. They are mainly used during the parts of a song that contains singing. Flamenco dancers refer to a marcaje as a group of steps that form a pattern, and to marcajes as a group of various marcaje patterns.
Marcajes de salida: to start the dance (walking in compas)
Marcajes de espera (on the spot, we are waiting for the singer to start, or we choose to keep a holding pattern through a letra (verse of a song) or falseta (guitar melody)
Marcajes de baile: more elaborate, include movement, more action, more arms
MORE FREE VIDEO TUTORIALS
La Planta and El Tacón
“La Planta” refers to the ball of the foot, while “El Tacón” signifies the heel of the shoe. In flamenco, “La Planta” represents the sound and motion created when the ball of the foot makes contact with the floor, while “El Tacón” pertains to the distinctive heel sound.
On this video:
If you are serious about flamenco, you will eventually need flamenco shoes.
The Hands (Las Manos)
Coordinating hand movements with footwork, turning, and body motion is one of the more challenging aspects to master in flamenco. The approach to teaching hand movements varies considerably among instructors, often influenced by personal preferences and aesthetics.
Historically, female dancers employed more intricate and ornate hand gestures, while male dancers favored straighter lines with less finger curling. Today, these distinctions have become less rigid, allowing dancers to express their personal preferences in shaping their hand movements.
On this video:
00:21 Wrist exercise to adquire full range of movement (adentro, inwards)
00:46 Wrist exercise to adquire full range of movement (afuera, outwards)
1:07 Moving the wrist with the arms in 1st position
1:34 Finger movement right hand (mano derecha)
2:40 Finger movement left hand (mano izquierda)
Welcome to our beginner’s flamenco dance tutorial. Here, you’ll discover essential flamenco dance fundamentals. These mini-tutorials serve as the building blocks of your learning journey and include short exercises that reinforce your skills through repetition.
Flamenco Footwork Essentials
Flamenco footwork, known as “taconeo” or “zapateado,” is a dynamic fusion of sounds and rhythms created by dancers. These sounds are produced by utilizing different parts of the shoe, including planta, tacón, golpe, punta, and latiguillo.