By Jana Buhlmann
January 27, 2015
I stepped away from flamenco for a year. It felt sacrilegious to do as such, but I could no longer hear myself. And that was a disservice to the words carved under my collarbones. Pecho Arriba. #ChestHigh
I worried for a while that flamenco would forget me. But every so often there were #RedLightPalmas. I downloaded music, listening repetitively as I moved about my house. Hands did dishes, not floreos. I watched my familia on social media, and realized that they truly Were. No one had forgotten me; there was space because they each stepped into their own. And I began to hear that I would put my shoes on again when it felt right. #PatientFlamenca
My return was softer than I expected. The body memory of a dancer feels different than riding a bike. And there is an easy joy to carrying again, all of the time and effort I put forward during my first three years with flamenco. The quiet fourth has shown me something most curious . . .
I hear the spaces in compas now, as well as the beats. I don’t want to rush. I want to – and do – step close to the speaker and put a finger in my left ear so that I can unapologetically listen. And it’s my quiet fourth year that is speaking . . .
Don’t be greedy or anxious for the beats.
Let the spaces have their say; appreciate them as much as you do the beats.
So appear, the anti-rhythms. And I am ready to stand just a little bit taller, and lean back just a little bit further.
It’s a ritual. A practice. A challenge. Joy. Community. Flamenco, it’s good to be back.