Chicago News

Flamenco dancing an expressive art form

Friday, October 04, 2013

It got its start in Spain but today flamenco is extremely popular around the world and a school in Chicago specializes in the vibrant dance.

This is the 10th anniversary of Flamenco Chicago Dance Studio, which offers a fun, but serious, learning environment. Classes are small to insure personal attention.

Instructor Rossetta Magdalen says the passion and power of flamenco offers a stimulating way to relieve stress and overcome physical and mental tensions. Magdalen teaches students graceful, beautiful moves.

"People from all over the world who now live in Chicago come to Flamenco as a way to express their emotions through dance," she said. "Flamenco is unique in gendering confidence and empowerment. Through dance you are able to express joy, sorrow, even death."

Students range in age from teenagers to seniors. Many are moms and professional business women during the day, but treasure their moments in class when they are allowed to fully express themselves to guitarist Tomas Kimball's playing.

"It is very primitive and passionate, not just the guitar but all the elements of flamenco," Kimball said.

"I am taking flamenco because I believe that art is necessary in life and I am able to express myself through such a beautiful art form," said student Kristi Emmons.

"It is something different from their daily life," Magdalen said. "It puts them outside all the responsibilities they have as modern women. Through this they are able to escape."

Magdalen says Flamenco allows students to improve their coordination, concentration, grace and expression while becoming more self-confident. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in the school's annual showcases.

Mother of four and salon owner Marlene Salas loves the challenge.

"What inspires me is that we have shows and that inspires me to keep going," she said.

Michelina de la Serna loves the fieriness of it and the passion.

"It is feminine, bold, confident and sexy and it is very empowering, at least for me," she said.

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