Tecnica de pies - Chaflán and Latiguillo

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Do you know your chaflán from your latiguillo? If the answer is no then I'm happy to say we'll be correcting that today.

Both the chaflán and latiguillo are advanced steps but you can include these basic exercises in your practice and you'll be dancing with them in no time at all.

If you haven't seen it already you can find both of these steps in the little bit of footwork I did for Guajira as part of Doce Beats Cada Día. 

So, first we have 'chaflán'. 

Chaflán is a two part step. You start by standing on one leg and shunt yourself along the floor while standing on the same leg and then the second leg that you have been holding up behind the body comes down to the floor with a golpe (stamp). Remember you don't jump up in flamenco, your weight is always down into the floor. 

Have a look at the video below and you'll see what I mean.

Next up we have latiguillo. This looks a lot like the shuffle step that you see in tap dance but the technique is very different. 

To do this step you stand on one leg and then extend the other leg out to the diagonal in front of your body and tap the toe of the foot on the floor twice. Once when the leg swings to the front and once coming back to the starting position to make two tapping sounds. 

The difference between this step and the tap step is that the extension of the leg is controlled rather than thrown out and the foot taps by lowering the foot to the floor by moving the ankle joint.  Its a bit hard to see exactly because the picture is blurry when the foot tap is happening but you should get an understanding of what is involved.

The video below gives you a nice progression of exercises to get you working the heel of your standing leg as well as the leg doing the latiguillo.

One more thing, only do about 10-15 minutes of latiguiilo practice a day. It is hard on the knee so you want to be careful not to overwork the leg.