Instructor Amity Skala (right) teaches flamenco to a dozen people at Creative Roots on Saturday.

Flamenco workshop brings exotic flair to town

The art of flamenco isn’t just about stomping your feet and waving your arms.

The art of flamenco isn’t just about stomping your feet and waving your arms.

It’s a style of dance that requires rhythmic movements, delicate but powerful arms and strong and precise leg work.

Roughly a dozen locals learned just how challenging flamenco can be in a two-day workshop taught by Amity Skala, an instructor from Victoria, at Creative Roots last weekend.

Flamenco is an art form that comes from the province of Andalusia and encompasses traditional song, dance and guitar from southern Spain.

Skala, who has been teaching flamenco for the past 15 years, said the movements are all about personal expression and contrast.

“It’s a coordination puzzle. If you talk to any of the ladies in the class, they’ll tell you it’s a little like rubbing their tummies and patting their heads,” she said, noting she performs roughly eight to 10 times a year.

“I think there’s a real separation and contrast in flamenco. Movements go from fast to slow from big to small. There’s even a contrast with my own body. From my waist down, I’m really grounded and earthy and from the waist up, I’m reaching and stretching up. It’s having two opposing styles that make it look dynamic.”

According to Skala, it’s a form that anyone can learn to perform.

“It’s open to people of all ages, all body types, you see entire families dancing together. It doesn’t really matter if you’re good at it, it’s just that you get out there and you do it, that you dance like you or sing like you or improvise around the steps that you know. It’s very inclusive,” she said.

Over the past few years, flamenco has grown in popularity, which Skala believes is because of its exotic nature.

“Thinking about sunny southern Spain when you’re in the middle of a snow bank is appealing for people,” she said.

“I think the music is very captivating. The guitar music appeals to people and the rhythms. There’s this exotic appeal about flamenco that captures people’s imagination,.”

This is the first time Creative Roots has brought a flamenco workshop to Smithers.

Amanda Dorscht, the owner of Creative Roots who also participated in the workshop, said it was an opportunity to introduce something new to the community.

“It just draws people in, people who have different interests but don’t want the pressure of committing to a full year,” she said.

“I loved it, it’s definitely a brain workout. Once you get the steps and the rhythm, I can see how it can be very easy to add your own flare to it.”


Just Posted

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The framework for reconciliation

Guest View from writers involved in the United Nations declaration.

Lego League provincial champions

Smithers’ Marley and Amelie are B.C. Lego League champions, and are fundraising to compete in Texas.

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read