Friday, 16 January 2009


Our Flamenco class resumed today. Far from having forgotten the moves we learned pre-Christmas I like to think that I cut a rather dapper dash in the dancehall this afternoon. I fear that the ladies may have thought otherwise. Fabienne, our teacher and all-round Flamenco professional, was kind enough to start half an hour earlier for those of us who wanted a little extra practice before the more accomplished dancers arrived. Again I was the only chap present so had the pick of partners (Maria refuses to dance with me!). After our 30 minute warm-up we were ready for the main event.

The small dark hall is mirrored on one side and lit by visible rays of sunshine that flood through the semi-glazed windows. Once the guitars start up the scene is set. Two rows of eight dancers stand facing one another, chins and hands held high, clapping quickly in time with the music. At the cry of Fabienne we set forth on our moves, a succession of stamping, intricate stepping and turning. The more confident amongst us weave our arms and wrists as we pass one another, the rest of us hold our hands on our hips as we move in unity (or something that passes as unity).

After an hour (on top of the initial practice) we retire to a local cafe to enjoy refreshment and idle banter. It really is a fantastic way to work off the excesses of the week and to experience another more traditional aspect of Basque life. I am still not comfortable enough to post photos of myself yet, perhaps in time and with more practice...

Basque of the day:- music :: musika