Flamenco 101: Shoes

What would flamenco be without flamenco shoes?!

Flamenco is very much defined by the fast and strong footwork, or zapateado. And of course, like any dance form, flamenco has very special shoes that are specifically made to create incredible sounds and add the finishing touch to the classic flamenco outfit. Each pair of flamenco shoes is crafted of leather or suede with nails in the toes and heels to help create the unique sound the dancers make with their complex combinations of footwork.

Their are three different types of heels of flamenco shoes that vary in heights and shapes: standard, carrete (curved) or cubano (short and thick) and range from four to seven centimetres.

There are many different ways to style the flamenco shoe. The artisans that create these dancing pieces use different leathers and colours, and can either cover the wooden heel or leave it polished and exposed. Some shoes will have laces or straps or buckles, adding even more to the variety of designs that dancers can choose from! Men’s shoes are often heeled boots that can also vary in colour.

Take an up close look at how flamenco shoes are created, from when the very beginnings when the leather is cut, right to the final hammered nails!


A Little Flamenco Inspiration!

You’re never too old OR too young to enjoy flamenco!

Truly. Flamenco knows no bounds for enjoyment! From performing to watching, it doesn’t matter how old you are: from 85 year old grandmothers in the audience yelling ‘vamanos!’ to 80 year old gitano (gypsy) singers to two year old toddlers dancing to the palmas (claps) of his family! Yes you read that correctly, even a two year old can dance flamenco and feel the passion of the music!

Now if this video doesn’t inspire you to learn flamenco, perhaps it will inspire you to come and see Karen Flamenco’s Swan Lake! If this little gitano baby can make you gush from his adorable flamenco rhythm, imagine what the skills of trained dancers, seasoned guitarists and spirited singers can make you feel when they bring the dark and beautiful tale of Swan Lake to life on stage in a way that’s never been seen before!

So enjoy the charming two year old Juan, a bailaor (dancer) dancing bulerias! 

Scroll down for more information on Karen Flamenco’s Swan Lake!



Karen Flamenco And David Cooper Video Collaboration

David Cooper invited the talented flamenco dancer Karen Pitkethly into his studio to experiment capturing motion, rather than stills. Here is a look at their collaboration together. Thank you to Brandy Svendson for helping out on camera.
Music by Daniel Mendez.


Workshop Alert: Maria Juncal!

Next week at the Karen Flamenco Studio: Maria Juncal!

Hey Vancouver flamenco lovers! Don’t miss your chance to learn from the amazing bailaora, Maria Juncal!

Starting next week, Karen Flamenco will be playing host to world renowned bailaora, Maria Juncal! From July 9th to July 15th, you will have the chance to attend this exclusive and intensive workshop to learn from a flamenco great and expand your dancing horizons.

There are still a few spaces available to dancers of varying levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced, professional). Call, email or drop by the studio today to reserve your spot!

Now let us inspire you! Enjoy this video of the beautiful and talented, Maria Juncal