Dance can be enjoyed and practised at any level. Finding the right fit for you is key to your development and overall enjoyment.
Level 1 – Entry Level / Beginner
I have never danced flamenco or ballet before.
I want to refresh the basics after a long absence from dance.
I only took a couple of months of flamenco classes.
Level 2 – Beginner Level
I have attended classes once a week for about 2 years or longer or used to dance a few years ago and want to get back into dance.
Flamenco: I continue familiarizing myself with arm movements, the break-down of rhythms (compás) and coordination and some terminology, such as a marcaje or llamada.
I know the basic footwork technique (planta, tacón and golpe) and the basic arm movements. I continue to work on developing my footwork and overall skills.
I am familiar with tangos flamencos and/or rumbas and sevillanas. I have learned short choreographic sequences.
Ballet: I know terminology such as fondu, rond de jambe, jeté, port de bras, en dehors, pas de beurre and some centre exercises such as adage, valse, small jumps. Currently this ballet level is available on demand only.
Level 3 – Intermediate
I have taken dance once or twice a week for over 5 years or equivalent.
Flamenco: I love flamenco and understand how much there is to it! I can coordinate arms, hands, feet and head simultaneously in easy steps. I can execute a footwork (zapateado) sequence (alegrías or tangos). I can follow the rhythm of the beat set in class without feeling like I am out of rhythm. I have or are interested in starting to learn elements such as bata de cola and the shawl.
Ballet: I am familiar with various centre exercises, I know the terminology and structure of a ballet barre.
Level 4 – Advanced Flamenco Level
I can coordinate feet, hands, arms, and skirt fluently in easy steps. I can pay attention to the aesthetics of movement and interpretation. I have some performance experience and have learned choreographies in various palos over the years. I understand compás and the structure of flamenco choreography. I have studied with other teachers or taken workshops in Spain. I have some improvisational skills and can adjust choreographies to my liking. I can use various “complementos”, such as the fan, shawl, bata de cola or castanets.
Open Level Flamenco (levels 2 and 3)
Our open level flamenco dance courses are designed for beginner and intermediate level students wishing to improve their skills or take an additional class to work on specific elements of flamenco that require extra dedication, however they can also be taken as a stand-alone class.
In these classes footwork and rhythms, which are the greatest level dividers in flamenco, are not the focus and will remain simple, so that students can focus on other areas. Examples of Open Level Courses are:
• Upper Body Technique Classes: arm-hand coordination, expression, sequencing
• Compás Classes: clapping, understanding rhythm, codigos flamencos.
• Technique Classes: marcajes, turns
• Flamenco elements such as the fan, shawl, bata de cola, or castanets.
• Choreographies using flamenco elements
Open Level Ballet Class
I know the theory and terminology of ballet. I know how to self-correct my posture and I know the structure of a class. I can do a simple en dehors and en dedans pirouette, some across the floor combinations and some jumps such as glissade, assemble and jeté.
Much like an open level class, these classes are designed as additional classes and cover all levels. Footwork, turns and choreographic sequences are kept to a minimum. These classes generally include lots of drills and repetition to develop muscle memory. Students of higher levels can focus on details, such as expression, aesthetics and nuances of the movement, while lower level students will work on a much broader concept of the steps and movement.
If you are new to flamenco, it is recommended you also take an entry level class in addition to a multilevel class.
Examples of Multilevel Classes are:
• Flamenco Essence: expression, intention of the movement, understanding the essence of flamenco
• Compás Classes: clapping, understanding rhythm, always good to practise at any level.
• Upper Body Technique Classes: arm-hand coordination, expression
Class List by Level (1-4)
A Note on Flamenco Footwork
Flamenco footwork or “zapateado” can be intimidating. Landing in a class where everyone seems to follow the steps and you don’t is not a fun experience. The thing is though, that footwork is foot percussion and you will be surprised realize how quickly footwork and musicality skills develop with practise and repetition, and of course, the right technique.