To finish of the summer, Antonio "Tiriti" Tran and I performed at the Chestnut Hill School's Spanish Adventure Camp. Here the campers ranged from ages 3-9. We first started with a clapping sequence that led into a short call for bulerías. With that, we grabbed the kids attention and I danced a guajira, a light, fun, and flirty dance where I used a fan for a prop. I gave a brief history of flamenco to the campers but mostly got them involved as true lover's of flamenco. I led them in a few rousing choruses of ¡ole! and then they were off on their own, cheering me along gleefully at every moment. My favorite thing, was one small girl, who just could not stay seated but kept finding herself drawn to the front of the stage. Her body was swaying and accenting as she followed along with my dancing.
The second half hour was spent with the slightly older campers, ages 7-9, and here we spent most of our time in a large circle doing: palmas (clapping), tacaneo (stomping our feet), floreo (fluttering our hands like butterflies), braseo (moving our arms) and learning a special poem and the movements I have choreographed to it:
Se coje (reach up and twist an apple off a branch) la manzana
Se muerde (pass the apple by your mouth as if to bite it) la manzana
Se tira (throw the apple to the floor) la manzana
Se pisa (stamp stamp stamp stamp) la manzana
Here is a nice excerpt from the thank you note I received:
"I wanted to write and thank you again for coming in to the school to perform. The campers LOVED the performance - they were talking about it for the rest of the day. We even had one parent email us and express her happiness - her son said it was one of the best days in camp this summer! Many other parents remarked that their children were practicing the moves you showed them throughout the evening. The campers have been writing 'Ole!' on all of their art projects, and using it to express delight at a range of activities."
For me..this is what it is all about!