First up, what is a Bulerías Bag?? Good question.
It's a term I made up. Just now.
It's like having a bag of tricks up your sleeve. But instead of tricks, it's Bulerías steps.
A big ol' bag of Bulerías steps that you can pull out and use when it's your turn to dance Por Fiesta. Clever huh! 😎
✔ Marcaje – at least 3 different marcaje steps. 5 is better. Marcaje is used a lot to mark time while you are listening to the cante, so you want to have plenty to mix it up and not get stale!
✔ Remate – at least 1 super cool remate. 2 is better. Just in case you're up there for a long time.
✔ Paso de Bulerías – get to know one. Put it in the bag. You'll need it.
✔ Llamada – 1 llamada that is unique to you! No one else is doing the same one. At least, no one in the same town as you..
✔ Final – 1 or 2 moving marcajes to help you dance back to your spot, and 1 remate to finish with a flourish. Olé! 🏳
🔑 IMPORTANT - - Only put in the bag your signature steps – steps that you have practiced many (many, many, many) times, steps that you have made your own and you feel super comfortable and confident dancing them. So confident that you don't even have to think about the steps.
Why? Because you need to be free to be thinking about, and responding to, the cante.
The improvising part is not coming up with new steps on the spot. The improvising part is using your steps in conversation and harmony with the cantaor/a.
And the best way to do that, is to have your Bulerías Bag ready 😊
I share my step-by-step framework teaching flamenco dancers how to pull off the perfect pataíta and dance 'in the middle' (aka improvise!) without feeling terrified, not hearing the cues or knowing the parts of the dance!