Working up the nerve to dance in public

Relay for Life show


This is my fourth year teaching sevillanas here in Rota, I had some repeat students which was great, and a whole bunch of new ones eager to immerse themselves in the Spanish culture.  Mostly women, and some men, dragged by their wives :-).  Others come voluntarily hoping to dance with a Spanish “señorita” at feria.  I must say I am very proud of them, they've worked very hard. It is a very fast paced class (3 months, 4 sevillanas).  Very ambitious program, impossible to perfect in such short time, but good enough to have an idea of what to do in feria, and be able to participate.  Towards the end of the course, their numbers begin to shrink, but there is always a dedicated few that hang in there.  Once the students realize it is the last day of class, they begin to choke and become very nervous about dancing in feria.  I reassure them: "don't worry, no one is looking".  But it does not work...


Pre-Feria fashion show


I now a thing of two about choking...

I know I made a complete fool out of myself a couple of years ago at Feria, in El Puerto de Santa Maria, the same caseta where Sara Baras had danced the day before.  There was a cuadro flamenco playing bulerias, and a friend of mine insisted that I should step out there and do a "pataita" short buleria.  BIG mistake...I don’t know what it is with me and the bulerias, I can dance it in class, at home and among a very intimate group of people, but as soon as all eyes are on me, I choke and cannot remember any of the steps, nor hear the "compas", beat of the music.  Why is that?  Stage fright? I guess. Maybe it's that I respect the dance so much that I don’t consider myself worthy of dancing bulerias.  What ever the case may be, I know how my students feel the first day of Feria, and the  first time dancing sevillanas on their own.  The only solution I can offer, is practice, practice, practice.  And yes, get out there, I know, I dread it too.  However, I hope that this does not stop them.  And for me?  Well... I’ll keep trying, really late at night, with the lights off, or just the cleaning crew watching...maybe a few bottles of sherry would be helpful too...


My favorite pic, all my students ready for their first feria and dance.

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