Flamenco is a Spanish art form made up of three parts: guitar playing (“guitarra”), song (“cante”) and dance (“baile”). Flamenco originated in the southern regions of Spain, but it’s thought to be influenced by many world cultures, including Latin American, Cuban and Jewish traditions.

Originally flamenco dancing was not set to music; it was only singing and clapping of hands called “toque de palmas.” Some flamenco dancing still follows ancient tradition, but the use of guitars and other musical instruments has become more popular in modern flamenco.

Traditional flamenco dancers rarely received any formal training. Instead, flamenco was passed down from friends, relatives and neighbors.

While some flamenco musicians and dancers still learn the flamenco on their own, most modern flamenco artists are professionally trained.

Flamenco dancing can have many different purposes. Whether the dance is intended to be entertaining, romantic or comforting, flamenco is a very emotional style of dance.

Flamenco dancers try to express their deepest emotions by using body movements and facial expressions. As the dancers perform, they may also clap their hands or kick their feet. Many dancers also snap small percussion handheld instruments called “castanets.”

 

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    • Hi there, Miah! Thanks very much for your WONDERful comment– we are so happy to have great Wonder Friends like you! :)

  1. I really liked that girl she was amazing…

    Just to be random… I like Cosentino now he is the best at magic I enjoy watching his new tv show. I watched it last night….

    How it sticks on the glass.

    • Hi there Wonder Friend H! We agree– the flamenco dancer was FABULOUS! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about magicians like Cosentino– it’s fun to Wonder about magic! Have a WONDERful day! :)

    • It’s really fun to watch a Flamenco dancer on the floor, isn’t it Libby K? We bet it’s a lot of fun to let loose and dance, whether it’s ballet, jazz, Flamenco, swing, ballroom… the list goes on and on! Listening to different music might inspire different dance moves– what is your favorite kind of dance? :)

    • How cool, Elana, you’ve been comparing and contrasting ballet and flamenco dancing! We think there are some similarities between the two types of dance, but they are also very different! We Wonder if flamenco dancing has five main positions? We hope you’re having a grand jeté kind of day! :)

    • How cool, Elana, you’ve been comparing and contrasting ballet and flamenco dancing! We think there are some similarities between the two types of dance, but they are also very different! We Wonder if flamenco dancing has five main positions? We hope you’re having a grand jeté kind of day! :)

  2. I love the little girl’s reaction to the dance :-) She looks absolutely adorable when she starts moving her fingers and started dancing! Pure joy! Often we “adults” are so consumed by our daily worries and concerns that we often forget how to let go and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us everyday. *sigh* and oh the flamenco dancer’s performance is riveting wished the video was a bit longer :-) Thank you for posting this. Ally’s own little performance made my day!

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What is flamenco dancing?
  • What are the three parts of modern flamenco?
  • What are castanets?

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Wonder #114 - Flamenco Static Image2Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Castanets add percussion to the flamenco. Make your own castanets from recycled juice bottle caps, and get snapping as you work on your flamenco moves.

You’ll be dancing to your own beat in no time!

 

Still Wondering

Have you ever thought about creating your own dance? There’s no time like the present! Visit ArtsEdge to learn more about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and create your own interpretive dance in The Dance of the Butterfly!

 

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