FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This class is the perfect introduction to flamenco. No prior experience is required. Students will learn basic technique including: footwork, arm movements, and “marcajes” (marking steps). Students will gain an understanding of flamenco rhythms, music, and structure. At the Beginner Level, each technique, step and movement is reviewed many times, so students may join the class at anytime.
This class focuses on general flamenco technique for those who have a basic understanding of flamenco. A minimum of one year’s experience is required. Footwork, arm movements and “marcajes” are all explored in greater detail and at a faster pace than in Absolute Beginner. The class will continue the study of flamenco rhythms, “compas” and music, and students use short choreography sequences to strengthen their technique. At the Beginner Level, each technique, step and movement is reviewed many times, so students may join the class at anytime.
BEGINNER ADVANCED GENERAL
This class focuses on general flamenco technique in the advanced beginner level: footwork, arms, “compas” (rhythm), and “marcajes” or marking steps. While the class does not focus on choreography, we will use short segments of choreography to gain a deeper understanding of the music, structure, and artistic concepts. The “palo” or type of flamenco song changes every few weeks. So, it is never too late to join the class! Many classes feature live “cante” and guitar.
INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED GENERAL
This class focuses on general flamenco technique in the intermediate level: footwork, arms, “compas” (rhythm), and “marcajes” or marking steps. While the class does not focus on choreography, we will use short segments of choreography to gain a deeper understanding of the music, structure, and artistic concepts. The “palo” or type of flamenco song changes every few weeks. So, it is never too late to join the class! Many classes feature live “cante” (song) and guitar.
INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED CHOREOGRAPHY
This class spends more time developing each choreography. The “palos” or type of flamenco song do not change until a full choreography has been taught. Many classes feature live “cante” (song) and guitar. This is a chance to further develop your knowledge of the music and structure of flamenco. Students who participate in this class will also have an opportunity to perform in our student shows.
To be part of this classes you should attend the general classes too at least once a week.
This class is dedicated to students who want to perform in the student shows. We will review our growing repertoire of choreography, allowing students to improve on dances they’ve already learned or giving students another chance to learn choreography they missed the first time around. This class is an important opportunity to learn about the art of performing, staging, the structure of each palo, and the way the choreography works with the music and song. The level of this class varies depending on what palo we are reviewing at the time. Students will receive email-updates as the palos change. The class often features live singing and guitar.
This class breaks apart the mystery and complexity of “Bulerias” (a traditional and often improvised type of flamenco song). Students will learn how to improvise in relation to the singing through simple steps, an exploration of the “Cante”, and structure. We will review several different types of Bulerias and their variations. The class often features live singing and guitar.
This class breaks apart the mystery and complexity of “Tangos” (a traditional and often improvised type of flamenco song). Students will learn how to improvise in relation to the singing through simple steps, an exploration of the “Cante”, and structure. We will review several different types of Tangos and their variations. The class often features live singing and guitar.
This class will answer your questions, solve your problems and as a group class, take on the challenges of dancing Tablao style. Dancing in a tablao is the goal of many dancers who study Flamenco, but this type of improvisation and thinking on your feet can be hard to practice. Free-form in style, this class does not feature specific choreography or steps. Rather, students bring steps they have, the patas and the palos and the teachers will guide the class through transitions, resolve. issues and help the dancer find confidence to dance, perform and improvise! Advanced Beginner Level is required foor this fun and innovative instruction into the heart of Flamenco!
GENERAL/FIRST TIME STUDENTS
I have never danced before: can I start Flamenco Classes?
ou can start Flamenco at any time in your life. We recommend Absolute Beginner Classes for basic Flamenco technique and rhythm.
I have dance experience, but no Flamenco: what level should I choose?
We recommend the Beginnner Class (or Absolute Beginnner is fine too), so Sonia can observe your technnique and you can experience how Sonia teaches. Afterwards you can have a one-on-one conversattion about what is right for you.
Is there an age limit?
Everyone can take Flamenco and adults of all ages are welcome to come and learn, and enjoy!
What should I wear?
Clothing you can move in is important. Eventually dancers will wan to wear a skirt, vest or light jacket to work with, but for beginners i is important that Sonia see your posture, legs, annd footwork. Gym attire/athletic pants/ leggings work well for this.
Do I have to wear authentic Flamenco shoes to start?
Flamenco shoes allow for the important sound in footwork, and most students will want to start with these shoes. However, a character shoe with at lease a 2" heal for women or a Cuban heal dance shoe for men is ok to start with. (Ballroom/high heals are not appropriate for Flamenco class).
Are there ever opportunities to perform?
Sonia & Ismael's Company do regularly present student performances in New York City Venues. The date and venue change, depending on availability and interest from the students. These shows come together in choreography classes, and students who wish to perform commit to learning the choreography.
I want to take classes, but I don't know if I can commit to classes every week, or multiple times a week. Can I come to class when I can, or will I fall to far behind?
For general classes, while Sonia uses steps so that everyone is dancing and enjoying, the focus is on technique and she constantly reviews. Choreography classes build on upon another. Of course, the best way to improve is to come to class!
May I observe a class before I decide to join?
In general, Sonia & Ismael allow people observe class, but it must be arranged ahead of time via email or through this website. Please note that certain COVID- 19 restrictions may prevent observers, depending on the class and class size.
How do I know if I'm ready to move from one level to another?
This is a conversation between you and Sonia. There are many elements to Flamenco. Many students take classes in multiple levels to find a balance of challenging themselves and maintaining technique.
What are Cante Classes?
Cante classes explore the technique rhythm and music of tradition of the Cante Letras, or verses (the words of the Flamenco songs). These classes are important for singers who want to explore Flamenco music, but also very important for Flamenco Dancers who want to expand their knowledge and dance with the traditional Cante.
I can't sing, can I still take Cante Classes?
Yes! Cante Class is more than just singing! It is also learning about how the songs and the dance intertwine. Learning the rhythm, letras (verses) and elements of Cante does not depend on the voice alone. We do learn singing and breathing techniques in class.
How important is taking Cante class while learning Flamenco Dance?
Learning Cante and the elements of Flamenco Letras help dancers achieve a better understanding of Flamenco Dance. Cante is not separate from the dance or dancing and Cante Class helps understand these essentials. In authentic Flamenco, Cante and Baile (dance) are partners.
How can I get news on class and the Sonia Olla & Ismael Fernández Flamenco Company?
You can sign up for our newsletter on this website, look for news on this website (our Calendar updates current events and classes info, and our News section also has updates), and follow us on social media @soniaismaelflamenco on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook!
How are students informed to any changes in the schedule?
We send out emails, update our social media and our website.
When do new classes begin?
The classes and workshops are on-going, and people are welcome to join at any time. We send out emails and update the website when new palos (specific Flamenco dances/rhythms) are about to begin.
Are classes open to men?
Yes. Classes are open to everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity or gender expression. Traditional Flamenco uses traditional male/female roles in some choreography. Students may choose which gender role they wish to explore during class.
Are classes open to children?
Classes are geared toward adults. Parents should contact Sonia directly about their children and whether classes are age appropriate (send email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Do I have to make a reservation, or can I drop in?
You can drop-in or reserve through the website (if you reserve through the website, you can choose to pay through the website or pay in-persoon). New students are encourage to contact us ahead of time so we can provide any relevant information and answer any questions you may have ahead of class.
How do you receive payments?
We take cash or check made out to Sonia Olla LLC. You may also pay through the website through PayPal.
How much is a single class?
Single classes are $35.
Can I pay for a group of lessons in advance? Do you have packages?
Yes: please also see our Subscription page on this website! We have 10 class cards available with a 90 day expiration date which offer a discount. We also offer seasonal discounts so please check our promotion emails and this website.
Are private lessons available?
Yes: please contact us directly either through the contact section of this website or at email@example.com.
Can I give lessons as a gift?
Yes: we are happy to provide gift vouchers for private or group classes. You can order gift vouchers through the website, or contact us for a customized gift.
ONLINE CLASS QUESTIONS
What platform do you present online classes?
We use Zoom for our online classes.
How do online classes differ from in-person classes?
We do not use shoes on online classes. Our online dance classes teach steps and rhythm, without focus on footwork technique.
Can you do both online and in-person classes?
Yes, of course: our students have found that the online classes have supported their in-person learning. And many students have done online Cante classes that have really helped their dance progress!
What if I miss an online class?
You can purchase the video of the online class through website.