We are so pleased to be able to share with you the first exercise that we recorded with Paloma Gómez!
These exercises are all quite different to what we would normally share with you so we hope that you enjoy the variety and the challenge of moving your body in a new way.
All of the exercises we are going to share from Paloma include the use of castanets.
If you are studying castanets then you'll know that one of the biggest hurdles you'll need to jump over is being able to actually dance while you play. These exercises are going to be perfect for you if you are not sure what you should be doing in that area.
If you don't play castanets you can also learn these exercises and just use your arms and hands as you normally would for any flamenco dance movement. All of your basic arm technique applies.
On to the first exercise!
To begin let's take a look at Paloma demonstrating the exercise in full.
What did you notice about this phrase of movement?
Let's break it down with some quick observations..
- The rhythm is a 3 beat cycle
- The weight of the body is constantly shifting from one foot to the other
- The phrase moves across the floor (rather than staying in one place)
- There are changes of direction (pay attention to the direction of Paloma's gaze)
- There is a single turn (at the end of the phrase)
- The movement and positions of the arms are very clear for each bar of music, note how the arms stay connected to each other through out and the location of the arms at each beat
The whole phrase is 8 bars of 3 beats (8 x 3 beat cycle)
Let's look at the phrase again, this time with a count overlaid on the video and then slowed down a little.
In the gallery below (use the white arrows to change the photo) you can see Paloma's position at each beat with a couple of basic descriptions as a guide to the movement happening.
To understand the full movement and all the transitions you will need to study the videos but these photos should help give you some landmarks to orientate yourself to the phrase.
Now we have a video for you of the exercise from the back.
And here Paloma performs the exercise more slowly without playing castanets.
Finally we have a demonstration of the castanet pattern used for the phrase.
Here is the castanet pattern written out for easy reference.
You can click the image to make it bigger.
To help you when you're practicing at home we created a more in depth reference guide which breaks down each part of the step. You can download it by clicking the image below.
Let us know how you get on with this exercise. Coming up we have two more to share with you, if you download the reference guide above we'll send you an email to let you know when they are ready.