Happy flamenco memories
I was really excited to find this website which is for all lovers of Flamenco in Hawaii. I have loved Flamenco ever since I saw a flamenco show when I was twenty and was so inspired by the dancing that I left home for Madrid so that I could study this wonderful dance form.
That was many, many years ago and I had some wonderful teachers. Estampio who was famous for his brilliant footwork. By the time I studied with him, he was a very old man. He had no teeth and so it was quite difficult to understand his strong Seville Spanish. He wore soft house slippers and didn't get up to show me the steps, but remained seated and just shuffled his feet, so it was also quite difficult to follow his complicated foot movements (zapateados). He was quite a grumpy old man and was always quarreling with his guitarist. In fact the only time he ever actually rose from his chair was to go and hit the guitarist over the head. In spite of all this, I felt very privileged to learn from him. His choreography was brilliant and I learned a lot.
Another teacher was La Quica, who was a wonderful performer as well as a teacher. She had a great stage presence and a lot of attitude which is a necessary part of Flamenco dance. I was also very privileged to know Antonio, El Bailarin, regarded as the greatest Spanish dancer of all time, and when he wasn't on tour somewhere in the world and was at home in Madrid, he would hold a Juerga (dance party) at his home and which I often attended. Everyone was supposed to get up in turn and go into the center of the circle in which we were sitting and dance a solo. This terrified me as most of the others were professional Flamenco dancers, but sometimes I couldn't avoid it. Those were the days!
Many years passed, I married and had children and lived in many countries but never found any Flamenco classes anywhere. Even when we moved to Hawaii there were no classes to be found. Not until much later when a few teachers came and went. Now there is only one, but the classes are authentic and enjoyable and I have been fortunate enough to have met several Flamenco sisters to share my love of the dance with. Viva flamenco. Ole, ole!!