Flamenco dancing: Family Friendly Show in Spain
Flamenco Dancing: Family Friendly Fun in Spain
When in Spain you have to see a flamenco show. Isn’t that a rule somewhere? We really wanted to see one, but we weren’t sure if the kids would be welcome…and if they would like it.
I like to prepare them before a trip so we read about flamenco and watched some videos. This gives the kids an idea of what to expect. A lot of people worry that showing a child ahead of time ‘ruins the surprise’ but when a child is prepared they actually enjoy things more. Remember, absolutely everything about a trip is new to a child and it can be overwhelming so preparation can really cut down on anxiety and melt downs!
When we arrived in Spain we saw a show. What an amazing site! It was even more dramatic in person than in videos. The passion in the dance is just astounding! We were all just frozen watching the show! The kids were enthralled and watched perfectly still. They loved it and so did we.
Lesson: You CAN take the kids to the experiences you want to see!
Flamenco Dancing: NOT Flamingo Dancing
Talk to the kids about how similar those words are….flamingo and flamenco. Lots of grown ups get them mixed up, too!
Ok so this is flamenco……
and this is flamingo!
To further confuse things the word ‘flamenco’ in Spanish actually means flamingo. LOL! Why is this amazing art form given the name flamingo? There is no firm answer here about the origin of the world flamenco.
Show the kids and they will forever be on the right side of the flamingo vs flamenco debate. I absolutely adore this explanation from Flamenco not Flamingocom.
Flamenco Dancing: Where did flamenco originate?
Flamenco dancing is born of many roots….gypsy mostly from the Middle East and northern Africa. When these people arrived in the kingdoms of Spain they were welcomed and many religions: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian all peacefully co-existed.
Then, after the Catholics conquered and united Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, religions other than Catholicism were not allowed. People were forced to convert or leave.
While in hiding, people sang and danced to give voice to their heartache. This is the heart of flamenco.
Flamenco Dancing: What is it all about?
The dances start out slowly to express pain, then speed up to express anger in a frenzy of speedy foot movements, and finally once the anger is released, the joy and hope can be expressed at the end of the dance. It is full of emotions and passion.
Flamenco Dancing: Will the kids enjoy?
It was the first time the chickadees and I had seen flamenco and I wasn’t sure how interesting they would find it. Even though we had seen dances on you tube before we left home, there is nothing like seeing it in person. I think this photo shows clearly how spellbound the kids were – utterly stunned and amazed.
The best way I could describe this style of dance is ‘violent tap dancing’. The stomping and vigor shown in these dances is just hard to describe! The dancers’ feet were often a blur they were moving so fast.
Flamenco Dancing: The Bailaora
The female dancer is called a bailaora. She often uses castanets as well as her shoes to make clicks and stomps. The noises that join the music to show passion and emotion.
Her dress is often has many ruffles and high heels with sturdy heels.
Of course I was anxious to see this performer dance in this lovely dress…the train is very long and looks heavy from the way it moved. She was a master at kicking it around to not step on it while her feet moved so quickly.
Flamenco Dancing: The bailaor
The male dancer is the bailer. He wears dark trousers with tuxedo shirts. It seems like a very warm outfit to wear for such a strenuous activity!
This guy was something to see. His feet moved so fast…incredible. He also worked up an incredible sweat and you could see it flying off his hair when he whipped his head around. Both fascinating and yech. 😉
The funniest thing about him was that moments…literally moments after the show he was outside, 2 doors down (all the buildings are stuck together so it was super close) at the bar, smoking a cigarette. How could some one who needs such cardio vascular strength smoke???
Of course when in Rome you must do as the Romans, right?!! Here we are doing our best to fill the flamenco dancer’s shoes!! Great photo op for the whole family at the theatre.
When you visit Spain keep the kids engaged and interested with The Adventure Series in Spain. Written for elementary school aged kids by The Educational Tourist. On sale now!
Spain is warm and welcoming for families! If you are headed to the wonderful Spain you’ll enjoy these related posts.
Natalie, The Educational Tourist