It is the thing that everyone dances, even the guitarists and the singers.
It is where we really let our personalities show.
It is SO MUCH FUN.
But there are certain must-knows for doing this dance.
Perhaps the first is that we all need to do it. I'm not joking about that.
You can’t do flamenco and NOT do bulerías, even though I used to think you could.
It is not easy.
We know that.
So let's look at five essentials, five things we need to know in order to dance bulerías:
1. We come in with the singing of a letra
We come in with the cante, more specifically, with the letra.
We do not come in before the singer has started singing, nor do we come in after she's finished.
We come in while she is singing a verse.
No need to get caught up on an exact perfect place within the letra because there are MANY, which I'll get into later. But as long as the singer has started a letra, and as long as we are in compás, we are good.
Which leads us to …
2. We stay in compás
We DEFINITELY stay in compás. Or at least we quickly get back in if we fall out!
I know that may seem obvious. But sometimes we can get so nervous that we forget to listen to all that is going on. We can forget to pay attention to the rhythm.
Compás por bulerías is complicated.
Listen a lot. And learn it well.
When you get up to dance, keep listening.
Tune into the palmas. Tune into the guitar. See if you can let your body feel it.
3. We keep it brief
La Bulería de Jerez is meant to be short.
This is a fiesta dance.
Everyone gets a turn, so we leave room for this.
It’s as much about playing palmas and giving jaleos while watching others dance or while listening to the guitarist play a falseta as it is about dancing. Bulerías can't happen with just one person. It's about the group. As dancers, we form part of the group, and dancing is just one of our jobs. So,
We get in,
We have fun,
We get out.
4. We need not get fancy
This is a baile por fiesta.
You may have a million complicated steps shouting at you that they're the coolest things in the world, that you need to figure them out, that you need to do them. That's fine. But, for now, you can set them aside.
What a relief!
5. We follow the structure
Bulerías has a “formula.”
And this is very good news.
We learn it, and we follow it.
Not in any kind of a robotic way. But in our own way.
Following the structure allows us to trust and relax into the dance.
The structure, which I'll be talking more about later, leaves plenty of room for us to do our favorite moves, so please don’t worry.
Okay, let's review those five essentials for dancing bulerías:
1. Come in with the letra
2. Stay in compás
3. Keep it brief
4. Keep it simple
5. Follow the structure
Want to Finally Get This Bulerías Thing?
We'll uncover some of the mysteries in the upcoming Understanding Bulerías Workshops, and the nitty-gritty will be discussed in detail in the accompanying e-books. (And in case you're wondering why you might want to study this with me, I tell you here. It has something to do with me not wanting you to have to go through what I did to really learn it, with me wanting to make bulerías more accessible to you and hopefully help you learn from my mistakes.)
Dance Bulerías in its Birthplace
Learn bulerías in Jerez! Join me for the Flamenco Tour to Jerez to study this incredibly fun dance in the bulerías heartland. Find out more here.
So, tell me. Did this help? What else do you want to know about dancing bulerías? What do you find is an essential to doing this dance? Let me know below.