The Flamenco is a Spanish dance form that is highly expressive as it is a solo dance that includes hand clapping, detailed hand and arm and body movements with percussive footwork. The dance -well known for the sweeping arm movements and rhythmic feet stomping- has roots in the Arabic, Indian and Spanish culture. The dance is accompanied with guitar music and sometimes with a singer. The origins of the Flamenco are associated with the Roma or Gypsy people from southern Spain in the Andalusian region. Therefore, the dance is a result of Roma music enriched with cultures of the Sephardic Jews and the Moors residing in the south of Spain.
Flamenco dancers known as Bailaores and Bailaoras follow a strict and vigorous framework of rhythmic patterns however, when performing, the steps involved are dependent on the traditions of the song that is being played. Another key element to the dance is the facial expressions of the performer that change many times according to the steps being performed. This is an extremely important part of the dance since the expressions help to convey the emotions of the performance and make it complete, thus a sight to be witnessed as a member of the audience. The art of the Flamenco dance is certainly a difficult one to master hence a great deal of patience is required for it. Along with learning the steps of the dance, it is important to have exceptional non-verbal communication with the musician or singer the dancer is performing with in order to not miss a beat.
The dancer will often stand motionless and expressionless for a few moments when the song starts playing and as soon as the dancer starts feeling the rhythm and beat, they might begin a steady beat of loud hand clapping. As the song continues, the emotion builds up, the dancer begins a passionate dance with fierce feet stomping (sometimes percussions are attached to make the movements sound louder) and graceful hand and arm movements. Occasionally castanets, a percussion instrument for the hands are used as well and sometimes to add a greater visual impact folding fans are also used. A definite treat for the eyes.