A Lesson in Coraje

How I Learned to Love – and then Miss – Morning Flamenco

By Michelle Harding
April 1, 2012

I am a flamenca.  I perform regularly and keep unconventional hours.  When Kasandra proposed teaching a flamenco dance class at 10:30 on Monday mornings I have to admit that I had misgivings.  Having to be somewhere (alert!) at 10:30 AM was akin to waking up at the crack of dawn in my world.

Worse yet, this followed close on the heels of my decision to give up coffee.  I could not imagine what it would be like to wake up before noon without it.

Well, as it turns out, morning flamenco can be a very fine substitute for morning coffee.

Here’s how:
Assemble together, in the cold grey morning hours of any given Monday in February, a group of dedicated and enthusiastic dancers and you have the most important ingredients for making this concept work.

Take these dancers from all levels of experience.

Then make all of them open-minded, open-hearted and hard-working.  Guaranteed success!

Last month (February 2012) I had the privilege of working with a group of people just like that. In 4 weeks, they learned a lot: estilo, technique and a letra por solea as well as a choreography por bulerias excessively loaded with remates.  They worked hard, sweated hard, and as they learned the steps and techniques they also learned from each other.

Doing flamenco in the morning forced me to draw on reserves of dedication and mental power that I wasn’t sure I had without the support of caffeine.  Morning flamenco is not for the faint of heart.  These students have real coraje, the “true grit” of the flamenco world.

Almost a month has gone by since our last morning class and I miss it.  I may have substituted one addiction for another but it was worth getting up early for morning flamenco.  It was better than coffee.

Now I’m excited about another fresh 4 weeks of Monday morning flamenco classes in April.  There’s no hesitation this time.

Morning flamenco.  Try it.  You might just find it addictive.

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