Amalia’s Journey #1

Photo by Greg Mauger. Amalia La Romera by the river Boise Idaho

Amalia’s Apprenticeship: Update on the journey

This should be an introduction of Amalia. With apologies to the public, I will explain why I have not yet produced ‘Get to know Amalia’ material.

 I (Estefanía) have collected a digital mountain of photos and video. I have collected journal entries from Amalia herself, that address her personal feelings on Flamenco, the life of a student teenage dancer, her summer adventures and more. I did not realize the challenge I had put in front of myself. To read between the lines of a young Hispanic woman that is trying to find her way in this world, to protect her privacy, to nourish her self confidence, to build trust and to allow for her fans to understand her on their own proved to be a tad more of a challenge than I had considered.

 I have a mountain of notes on every single class that I give Amalia, because I like to write the experience with every detail as soon as it happens, to record the fresh untainted image for my later use. Then the next day, I reflect. I make a plan for the next class that is focused just on Amalia. The smallest adjustments to help her but not ‘do for her’ and the big adjustments to help her get to the next ‘ahah’ moment. After all, the apprentice will have some imprint of the master in their creative endeavors. I want my first apprentice to be thoughtful, to be confident, to love herself unconditionally,to be a warrior when she has to be, but to choose the higher harmonious road if she can. Long ago, I discovered that Flamenco can be used as a method for working out emotions and challenges in life that are difficult to verbalize or communicate with language. A goal of mine is to help Amalia use Flamenco as another way to communicate things that she otherwise might be silent about. A channel to transmit those larger than life emotions and the pesky ambivalent ones.

I believe that I am getting to know more about who Amalia is and who she wishes to become-a tricky mind boggling thing for a relative that has watched this little girl grow from a tiny infant to the creative strong teenager that she is today. I realized from my interviews with her that if I am not careful, I could present Amalia-the little girl I knew not Amalia the fiery inquisitive thoughtful sensitive young lady that she is becoming. I will take time-not too much time, but time and stick to the facts for now like….

Session 1 por Sevillanas  has ended….

The first 6 week session began in the dry summer heat July. When air conditioned studio space was unavailable, we danced in the coolness of the late summer nights or early in the morning before the sun began to burn the air that we breathed dry. The heat aggrivates a pre – existing medical condition that we both happen to share (thank you genetics!) so we had to get creative about the times we were in session as well as things we could do that allowed her to learn without over exerting herself.

Sevillanas, the dance form we learned in the first session, is typically danced in partners. Amalia presented what she learned at Boise Art Museum’s annual event Art in the Park. There are four parts to the Sevillanas dance. She danced two parts with another student Bethany Hull while I sang. Then she danced two parts with me while Bethany sang. The video clip below is with Bethany singing. We needed someone to sing for us and Bethany was kind enough to learn the verses in Spanish in one week! 

Thank you Amaya Odiaga for sharing these videos with us!

Feed back from family and audience members that have seen Amalia dance in the past were:

‘Amalia has reached a new level of confidence and grace on stage!’

‘She exuded more strength and a comfort level on stage that she did not have before’

‘Where did little Amalia go? Who is that young lady dancing that looks like Amalia?’

Session 2 Bulerías

We are now past midway into our second 6 week session. Amalia picked up the choreagraphy quickly. So quickly in fact, that it gave Amalia the confidence to mention a bad habit that she would like to get rid of. It makes me so happy to see her reaching for improvement on her own, without prompting from me. We will update her progress in the next blog post

Achili Pu- Amalia has been dancing this one with us since last fall! Guitar by Joel Gongora and Mateo Romero.

 Cajon by HP Marshall Vocals-La Ishi Dancing: Bethany Hull and Amalia

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