‘Life is not about learning how to survive the storm but rather learning how to dance in the rain’.-not sure whose quote this is..it just happened to be a what my 13-year-old niece Yzabella thoughtfully used to describe my experience being pregnant and dancing Flamenco…
After almost 9 months of watching my body be taken over by the child growing inside of me I had finally begun to learn how to move with the waves of physical and emotional change. To accept what IS and flow with it. The marking steps that looked great on me one day…seemed silly on me the next, or were just plain un-do-able. Preparing for the show that we will be presenting in Portland May 13th has been a challenge- with the baby taking up all that space inside of me I couldn’t fill my lungs with enough air to sing like I used too. As if Flamenco isn’t challenging enough already!!
Like Luis says, ‘Flamenco has it all’ and there has been plenty to keep me entertained that didn’t involve dancing. For instance learning palmas (palmas=clapping out Flamenco rhythms) is mind challenging and fun. It gave my body a break, and I’m sure all of those sounds must have been interesting for the baby.
I went into labor while dancing por bulería in our Wednesday Por Fiesta Class…who wouldev thought. I actually didn’t know that I was going into labor. I wrote off my contractions as the ‘false’ Brauns-Higgins kind..and it seemed that moving around made me feel more comfortable so I kept right on dancing. CRITICAL NOTE: I wasn’t doing any footwork stomping jumping or jerky movements and I had approval by my medical provider.…dancing the way I was taught by Luis and his family–casually, comfortably, in my own way. Taking my time to listen and enjoy what Luis was singing for us. Focusing on fluidity. Reacting on the second I felt the urge to..being in the moment with the music…feeling the music. Not trying to hard to do anything, just doing-what the moment called for. Breathing into my entire body. (Funny how this was all of the same advice I got from my yoga class for going into labor..so all of the things I had been practicing in dance class, ended up helping me when it came time for Miguelito to enter the world.)
So that sums up a bit of what’s been happening here in the Escuela de Ritmo family. Classes are still on-both dance and rhythm, we’ve even added a Compas (rhythm) class to Wednesday nights and have started a children’s class this past Saturday! The exercise I’ve been getting from class is helping fight the ‘baby blues’ by keeping me active. Critical Note #2-I have had approval from my medical provider w/strict instruction to listen to my body, and to not try to push myself or over exert.
When we are not with baby or in class, we are rehearsing for the show we will be presenting in Portland May 13th called ‘Con La Fuerza De Mi Madre’. It’s an original Flamenco Theatre Luis wrote that will feature song verses written by his mother and himself. This show is coming straight from our hearts and we feel honored to share it with Portland’s Flamenco community. If you are in the Portland area, this show is not to be missed!!
I only wish that we had taken some pictures of La Ichi embarrasada..the best we could do a drawing by Luis!