“The body says what words cannot.” – Martha Graham
I started dancing when I was 4 years old. Flamenco dancing has been my life ever since. I may not be the best, but it’s something I go to find my escape. If I’m having personal or school problems or any stress, that is what I do. When I’m excited I start doing footwork. Even when I’m mad or upset I put my headphones on and tap my feet. No it is not Tap dance, not stomping my feet, not throwing my arms around, for people who say that I would like to see them try Flamenco. I guess the best way to wrap up the history of Flamenco dancing would be between 800-900 AD nomads traveled through out Europe that called themselves gypsies. They were a bunch of performers. They always got together around a camp fire singing songs either made up or repetitive ones. They just danced around really just trying to have fun and make people laugh. More types of styles evolved from it. Some of them that I’ve learned are called Alegrias, Bulerias, Fandango, Rumba, Sevillanas, Tangos, and many more that I haven’t been taught. In Santa Barbara every summer we celebrate old Spanish days with Fiesta. There are “Mexican” style parties every where. Mexican food, dance, music and everything. Flamenco did originate in Spain, but moved to Mexico later on and is similar, but not at all the same as the traditional Mexican “big skirt” dance. There are parades and the biggest part for flamenco dancers are the Spirit try outs. There is a Jr. and Senior Spirit of Fiesta elected a few months before the next Fiesta comes. Yes it has always been my dream growing up to be the girl in the white dress performing in front of everyone at the opening ceremony of Fiesta at the famous Santa Barbara Mission. (the white dress is a symbol of purity) Now that I am eligible to try out I realize that the meaning of Spirit has changed. The Spirit is someone to look up to, they are supposed to represent Santa Barbara. This has taken a turn. I am older and more involved in the dance community and realize that the Jr and Senior Spirits haven’t had those intentions. Yes they are extremely talented dances, but that is why they want the title. The title of “Best Dancer” goes to the Spirit. Absolutely not all of them are like this, I admire every single one of them. Just my opinion of what I have seen. I just hope that this will stop before it keeps happening. I hope the amazing dancers know what they want to do for Santa Barbara, how they can represent it in the best way.
That is what I want to do if I ever become Spirit, I want to see smiles on everyone’s faces, I love going to the community centers and preforming for the elderly because they love getting a special performance just for them. Every where my group and me go isn’t just another place I have to do the same dance. It is a new chance to bring happiness to someone. My dance group is like a family, and I hope it stays that way. If I ever get the chance to be the Spirit of Fiesta I would do good for the community and represent my beautiful home in the best way possible. I love the dance and the passion with it, all the emotions and simple yet powerful movements that come with it. I can’t wait to share more of my passion with you. What is your passion or what drives you in life?
Dance is my outlet. It is how I get away from everything. It is my passion, my life, and what I love to do.