Escobilla por Alegrías - 4 different steps

Escobilla por alegrías - 4 different flamenco footwork steps to learn | flamencobites.com

The definition of the word escobilla is 'brush' and it gets its name from a particular step that is very famous for being used in the escobilla por alegrías.

This step of which there are many variations incorporates the brushing of the front of the foot across the floor away from and then back in towards the body.

We've got 4 variations for you. The first one is the easiest difficulty level and the last one is quite advanced. 

1st version

The escobilla step starts on count one with a quick triple sound (1 + a ) which is a planta (1) tacón (+) golpe (a) and is then followed by two golpes each on counts 2 and 3.

Count 4 is the first sweep of the foot out, count 5 is the sweep back in and count 6 is another golpe.

This same pattern is repeated for the second part of the compás from counts 7 through to 12.

1 + a 2 3 4 5 6 7 + a 8 9 10 11 12

The second compas starts the exact same way except that you will repeat the sweep step 3 times which takes you all the way to the end of the compás.

1 + a 2 3 4 5 6 7  8  9  10  11  12

You would then repeat this step (both compás) on the other leg to continue.

2nd version

This step is the same as the first one except that in between the sweeping of the foot you add in a tacón (heel) on the standing leg.

The rhythm changes to...

1 + a 2 3 4 + 5 + 6 7 + a 8 9 10 + 11 + 12

1 + a 2 3 4 + 5 + 6 7 + 8 + 9 10 + 11 + 12

3rd version

The third version is the same as the second one except that we will change the opening step to something a little more difficult.

The step is ...

planta tacón tacón planta tacón tacón golpe

The rhythm is..

1 + a 2 + a  3

It's quite quick so you may need to spend come time practicing the roll of the planta tacón tacón before you get the hang of the speed. 

The whole step will be..

1 + a 2 + a 3  4 + 5 + 6 7 + a 8 + a 9  10 + 11 + 12

1 + a 2 + a 3  4 + 5 + 6  7 + 8 + 9  10 + 11 + 12 

4th version

This step is another level up and although it does away with the brush step it still follows the same basic pattern for alegrías footwork.

This step also uses contratiempo rhythm - at first it will seem quite hard but once you get the hang of it I think you'll find it a lot of fun.

This is not a step for beginners, if you've been dancing for less than a year, stick with the first two videos. However, it will be good for your ear to just listen to this step and see if you can reproduce the rhythm by singing it. 

OK on to the step.

It starts in the same way as the 3rd step but as soon as you do the golpe on count 3 you have to be very quick and do another golpe on the off beat ( + ). Then you will continue with the off beats (the contratiempo) with a tacón on the same foot. You will do this twice and then come back in with a golpe (on the other leg) on the next whole beat. 

Here is the rhythm - the black letters have no step on them

1 + a 2 + a 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 7 + a 8 + a 9 + 10 + 11 + 12
1 + a 2 + a 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12

I know its confusing! Its best to just watch the video below.

Short short Long

Just before we go, did you notice another pattern with all of these steps?

They all started with a short version of the step that was 6 beats long and then finished with a different version of the same step that was 12 beats long. 

You will find that this short, short, long pattern occurs often in alegrías footwork. We don't have any guitar with these videos but if you can listen to it you will find that this pattern matches the melody played on the guitar.