Friday, April 22, 2011

S is For Shoes

Posting for the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. Today is S. My theme is Flamenco

S is For Shoes

If a Flamenco dancer wants to do footwork, she needs proper shoes. Not always the sexiest or most attractive shoes, they are definitely the sturdiest. Flamenco shoes are made in Spain. If you look at the above photo, you see the bottom of a shoe displaying a thin piece of rubber on the sole so you can stop quickly and avoid sliding. Little nails are driven into the toe tip and the whole heel, making it solid little nail heads. This produces a slight noise but it isn't sharp like a tap.

Until a beginning student is positive that Flamenco dancing is for her, my advice is to wear cowboy boots (all Montana people have them) and not rush into buying Flamenco shoes. Cowboy boots give the needed support and if you notice, men dancers wear a snug fitting dress boot. When a student purchases Flamenco shoes, I know she's hooked. Ole

Carmen Amaya. Notice her use of Pitos (finger snapping) and her lightening footwork.


  1. I wouldn't mind having a pair of Flamenco shoes anyway. They fit the bill for me--sturdy and safe. If I wore them, I might break into a flamenco at any given moment. that sounds like fun.

  2. I might have a problem in the shoe department: 11W Despite that I love those shoes. They speak of elegant purpose.

  3. Hop'pin by from 'Follow Friday - 40 and Over'. I'm following your blog now, wont you please come and follow me back?? ~KM

    Krafty Max Originals

  4. Are those your Flamenco shoes?.... I love them.

    I would also love seeing you do the flamenco.

  5. As in most things, the right tool for the job.

  6. OK...I KNEW that you would do "Shoes" for the "S" favorite article of clothing!

    I really like the look... not the least bit unattractive to me! Now, if I can find a nice purse to go with...

  7. The style of the flamenco shoe to me is like a work of art, quite apart from its function. Thanks for the continuing education into this wonderful dance form.

  8. So glad you showed the shoes. I was curious. When I noticed heels on the lady dancers, I thought that flamenco would be brutal on the feet. Good to see so much toe room.

  9. Wow!!!

    Now that's something new I've learned today!! Start with cowboy boots before proper flamenco shoes!! Yay!

    Take care

  10. interesting to see flamenco done by a woman in pants rather than the long flowing skirt. i like it!

  11. Su-sieee : If you had the shoes, you could dance and use your snappers. Ole.(How do you get that accent sign over the e?)
    Teresa : My dear, you describe F. shoes so eloquently. Thank you.
    Krafty Max Originals : Thank you for stopping and showing your beautiful jewelry. I'll be by.
    Terry : I have far too many pair of F. shoes. But they are so sturdy, I'd love to wear them all the time.
    My baby John : You hit it. The only way to do this job :)
    Clare : You always put a smile on my face .... I remember... you did let me know you were a shoe person and I asked if you were a Pisces because Pisces rules the feet. I'm a Pisces. You should see my shoe closet. Although not so much so, any more.
    Elizabeth : Thanks. I've always thought of the design as not only functional but from that period of shoes like from the 30's. I like that look.
    Patti : The shoes are really sturdy. Only a Spanish shoe maker can make Flamenco shoes. I've never heard of Americans trying. Mexicans come close and make some shoes but still can't hold a candle to the Spanish shoes.
    Kitty : It's just to save them money at first. If they don't like Flamenco, buying the shoes would be a waste. I try to help the struggling young. I don't charge for lessons. If someone insists on paying, I have a charity can and it goes to the animal shelters.
    Jules : If you got the boots, you're halfway there. Happy to see you back !!

  12. Is this a rehearsed dance? Or is she just doin' it as the music moves her? Who comes up with choreography if any?

    Who needs aerobics-what a workout this would be! I have NO dance skills what so ever. My ballet teacher told my mom that I should "seek other activities".

    I have rhythm, and can keep a beat, but I'm about as graceful as a hippo.

  13. I have cowboy boots, but no rhythm! Even so, I find these Flamenco posts absolutely riveting.--Inger

  14. Texwisgirl : She, Carmen Amaya, was the first woman to wear pants. She had the fastest footwork of any dancer and pants fit the job better.
    Irene : Usually only beginners use choreography. Flamenco is raw emotion and you can't let out the emotion if you're thinking steps. It would be like doing the "hokey pokey." " You put your L foot in, you put your ....." you get the idea. You can't think when you dance flamenco. And when there are a lot of dancers doing the same thing it has to be choreographed but not true Flamenco.... just entertainment.
    My dear, you are most likely not as bad as you say. I bet I could find something meaningful and full of grace in your dancing.
    Inger :Hey girl.... Whaa Hoo If you got the boots, baby, you're ready. I bet you would have fun at it. I got the address you sent me. I'll write soon. Thanks.

    Love to all on this beautiful Friday, even if we did get another what? at least 7 to 8 inches of snow. But we are used to that. Good moisture and we love our Montana. Peace, my friends. Manzanita

  15. Now those are some very cool shoes.

  16. I think these are beautiful shoes. My singing group, Sugartime, is having the hardest time finding silver shoes to wear when we perform. We ordered online, but they were flimsy and crappy. Our local dance store can't get the shoe we want till July. Sigh!

  17. Wow again on that finger snapping! As for the shoes, I wondered if they had "taps" on them, now I know. And, they look very similar to tap shoes which I found very comfortable when I was taking tap.

  18. Wow. The video was awesome. Thanks. I love your header photo, too :)

  19. All I can say is WOW!!!!! Unbelievable footwork!

  20. This is great. What a wonderful workout this dance provides. Honestly, I think I could watch this all day.

  21. Re: "How do you get that accent sign over the e?"

    On my machine, I first press "option + e", then press "e". Olé!

    By the way, I did a bit of flamenco-ing around the kitchen this a.m. as I waited for the microwave to ding. The husband seemed to enjoy the performance. : -)

  22. So when do we see a video of you dancing flameno? Please put that on your to do list. Love your posts. It's so nice to continue learning things. I never want to stop.

  23. Love your blog!
    Hiya! Newest follower from Follow Friday Over 40 Hop-- please stop by and say hello! Would love if ya followed back!
    The Purple Goddess

  24. Manzi: Even your shoes are cool! You're like Elvis. Some people have it, and some don't. You can't fake cool.

  25. Angela : Shoes are tools of the trade.

    Karen : I think that's so neat that you have a good singing voice and are taking advantage of it. I'd love to see one of performances. Shoes can be a problem. Have you tried the ballroom cataloges for shoes. I also do ballroom and order all my shoes online as they sure don't sell ballroom in Montana.

    Bish :So you are a tapper too. I used to tap but the teacher kept telling me to lighten it but I was so used to Flamenco and you know what they say about old dogs. So I gave it up....

    Carol :
    Thanks Carol.Hope your vacation was wonderful.

    Fishducky: It's so nice of you to follow flamenco. Thank you.

    Bobbi: I'm happy you stopped. Hope Graci is OK

    Su-sieee : Do you have a Mac? I'll try what you said, thanks. So I've got you dancing for the husband. He better be careful. You know those Flamenco dancers are pretty wild !!!!

    Cherie: I appreciate your asking but no one wants to see an old Broad dancing when they can see the vids of the young girls. On "W" I'm putting up a warm-up vid of me with a student. Warm-ups are really boring to watch.

    Cyn: It's nice to meet you. I'll be over to visit your blog. I wish you and your family a lovely weekend.

    Thank you for the comments. Manzanita

  26. JJ: Fake cool? No, I wouldn't even give that a try :)

  27. Nice to know I don't have to run out and buy a pair of fancy Flamenco dancing shoes right away (I've got boots :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  28. Oh i love this !! So much ! Love the shoes ! I think they are beautiful !
    Come follow me back ! Happy Easter !

  29. I think the shoes look really nice.

  30. What an amazing dance. Carmen is brilliant. I like the colour of the shoes. thank you for your comment :) It's lovely to meet you.

  31. I am looking forward to your warm-up video and you are soooo wrong, I would love to see you dance.
    To me age is a number and being in the "golden years" I am hanging on to that thought.

    Have a wonderful weekend. I am off to chase a cow!! ;0)

  32. Proper shoes are so important with any dance style. They look similar to cruise ship dancers shoes, which I suppose helps them keep their step when the ship sways.

  33. Miriam: Thanks for stopping. If you got the boots, Let's go.!!! Ha

    Le Chateau des Fleurs: Happy to meet you. Thanks for visiting

    Murees: Thanks for stopping and commenting

    Niki: It's nice to meet you. Will see you again soon.

    Cherie: You are so funny. Are you stalking cow pictures now??? Bet they'll be wonderful.

    Laura: It sounds like you've danced on cruise ships. That would be difficult to keep your balance. ha


  34. So she has to know and understand pretty well the music. The guys are just playing away and can't worry about what she's doing, right? How are they staying in sync with eachother? I just find it all fascinating.

  35. What an interesting blog concept. a-z Well Now have a lovely Easter weekend.

  36. Irene: Flamenco is the most difficult dance to learn. Ditto for the guitarist. It's a life-time study and I mean that with sincerity. Beginner's don't have a clue to what they are doing for at least 5-10 years. Gypsies grow up with it and it's easy for them like swing is for Americans. Dancers know the music, I mean the melody of each dance and the number of beats. Since I learned from Gypsies, they teach (not by numbers) but by singing the melody to yourself. But Americans usually can't learn like that so I teach by numbers until a student is advanced. The guitarists know all the music, of course. It's even difficult to explain..... here's a for instance. The dance is the Allegrias. The major sections of the allegrias are 1. Entrada 2. Pasada 3. Silencio 4. Castellana 5 Escovilla 6 Bulerias. The song is 12 counts but each section has it's own characteristics. If the dancer is dancing.... say, the castellana and wants to now dance the escovilla, she gives the signal (a llamada or pasada) to the guitarist that a change is coming and he gets ready to play the escovilla. They both know it's 12 counts but she may walk around and clap how fast she wants him to play. She begins and he follows. Each song is different and both dancer and guitarist have to know the characteristics of all songs.
    There are certain steps peculiar to each dance that the dancer has ready at her command. She can grab at any of them during performance and that makes for free form as opposed to choreography.
    Until a dancer knows the music, dances need to be choreographed and as I said, when more dancers are doing the same steps. Every solo dancer is striving for "duende" and that's another ball of wax.
    Does this clear it up a little for you?? I've been doing it for 60 years and it's still complicated.

  37. I would want to wear the shoes just to make the sounds with my feet.