4 week compás challenge - week 2

Flamenco Bites compás challenge week 2 | www.flamencobites.com

It's time for week 2 of the compás challenge! How did you go last week?  If you missed last week's introduction post you can read it here.

4 Week Compás Challenge

Below is this weeks suggested training program. Remember you can change it to suit your needs and feel free to send us an email if you need any help along the way.

Day 8

10 minute body warm up - Spend some time to get your body moving (*if you have a foam roller it would be a good time to roll out your legs and back before you start each session)

  • roll your shoulders forwards and backwards
  • circle your head slowly to the right and then the left
  • lift your arms above your head and reach for the ceiling, let your tailbone be heavy as you separate your ribcage from your hips
  • roll down your spine down and back up again nice and slowly

30 minute practice

  • walk in compás  (5 min) -  to engage your mind and body choose a compás and walk to the beat. This week I want you to try walking backwards as well as forwards. Walk forward for a couple of minutes until you can feel the rhythm and then do the same thing except this time walk back. Make sure you have a clear space with nothing to trip over!
  • golpe practice (5 min) - practice doing single golpes on each leg and move the accent each time. So you will start with an accent on the first golpe, then start again and put the accent of the 2nd golpe, then start again and put the accent on the 3rd golpe and so on. Try to keep the exercise continuous with the accent moving each time.
  • planta tacón tacón (5 min) - this step adds a balance challenge. Keep it steady and try not to bounce. 
  •  take some time to work on your chosen step (10 min)

Day 9

  • Pick a song from your chosen compás (email me if you need help with this renae [at] flamencobites.com) and listen to it a few times. Once you can hear the rhythm practice accompanying the song with palmas. This time try to hear the remates that happen in the song and do your palmas to match.

Day 10

10 minute body warm up (see above)

30 minute practice

  • walk in compás  (5 min) -  to engage your mind and body choose a compás and walk to the beat. Once again practice walking forwards and then backwards.
  • basic marcaje (5 min) - start marking in place and then progress to marking with a weight change. Make sure your weight is fully transferred for each beat in the compás. If you are struggling with this it could be because you haven't engaged your weight centre.
  • brazos with direction change (5 min) - start with a straight marcaje for 16 counts (2 x 8) and then change to 16 counts of the same movement with a spiral at the waist. Don't push beyond what is comfortable for your body but try to separate your shoulders from you hips. Work on keeping in compás with you shoulders turning and coming back to center.  
  • take some time to work on your chosen step (10 min)
  • contratiempo practice (5 min) - practice contratiempo with palmas (against a song) or against your feet.

Day 11

  • sing a rhythm - work out a way to sing the rhythm of the step that you are focusing on for the month. Once you have it, see if you can come up with a variation that enhances the dynamic of the melody. 

Day 12

Rest Day

Day 13

10 minute body warm up (see above)

35 minute practice

  • walk in compás  (5 min) -  choose a slower compás like soleá or tientos - think about dropping your weight into the floor and breath through each step. Think about how you can transmit the depth of feeling that you get from the palo as you walk (on to the stage) across the floor.
  • planta tacón practice (5 min) - warm up the muscles of the foot. Do this exercise is single and then double time (4 beats each). For more advanced dancers double into triple time.
  • redoble con golpe (5 min) - start slowly then work on having a clear accent at the end of the redoble. If you are able try practicing the combination exercise with the redoble.
  • take some time to work on your chosen step (10 min)
  • marcaje por bulerías (10 min) - experiment with this step, keep the movements small (your feet under your hips) but clear. If you are out of time your movements (especially your arms) are likely to be too big.

Day 14

Take today to do what ever you need to help your body. Think of it as an active recovery day.  I like to spend one day a week foam rolling at regular intervals and working on mobility (while listening to flamenco of course!). You can chose anything that suits your body, even going for a swim is a good idea. You can count your strokes in compás.


How do you know if you are in compás when you are practicing by yourself? A good idea is to video your self doing a step and then try to accompany the video with palmas. I will often do this when I am filming our videos for you and find that even though it will feel good when I am dancing I am actually slightly ahead or behind the beat. 

Developing good compás is all about developing your awareness for the rhythmical cycle.