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Luiza the flamenco dancer

Rhythm is a dancer, and her soul’s companion

A new way of exercising, a self-esteem booster and a key to solve the worries she might have. To Luiza, becoming a flamenco dancer was not an obvious choice, but it turned out to be one of the best ones she had ever made. By finding rhythm in dancing, she found better rhythm in life.

Luiza Teixeira was looking for a way to exercise and had been trying all kinds of sports – ball sports, going to the gym, doing gymnastics – you name it. She never really liked any of those and when a friend suggested that she should come try flamenco she hesitated all the way to the dance studio.

“I had always been terrible at finding the right rhythm. I remember thinking ‘how could I possibly be doing this’. But you know what; it was love at first try!” Luiza remembers.

Flamenco is a professionalized art form based on several cultures and folkloric music traditions of Southern Spain. It includes three main elements – a dancer, a singer and a guitar player. But it also contains chorus clapping, handclapping and finger snapping.

“The three main elements should be in perfect balance. During a performance there are moments when they all have their time to shine,” explains Luiza.

Overcoming the difficulties to move in the right rhythm was a bit tricky at start, but being together with the singer and guitar player really helped.

“In flamenco you are never alone; you constantly feel the presence of the others. As a dancer I follow the tones from the guitar, and if the singer begins to sing a bit slower then I need to answer with a slower dance.”

It is a very democratic and structured dance with many technical aspects, and you need to train a lot to become really good at it. There is not much room for improvisation, but the dancer still has lots of possibilities to make an impact on the dance and how it’s perceived by the audience.

“It can be a special way of doing movements with your hand, how to position your body or the way you look into people’s eyes. That way you can really make it your own.”

In the beginning Luiza doubted if she would feel strong enough to dance in front of an audience. But already during her first performance the anxiety disappeared.

“Flamenco has helped me realize that I am beautiful the way I am. This dance requires me to trust myself, accept myself and always hold my head up high. It has really boosted my self-esteem.”

During several moments in Luiza’s life, when she has been sad or going through hard times, the flamenco has been the break through path to feeling better. She is really fond of her dancing teacher who, among many other things, taught her to use the dance to see things in a different way.

“Being in the dance studio relaxes me and makes me focus on dancing instead of worrying. I leave my troubles outside and afterwards I often feel the solution to the problem deep down in my heart.”

Luiza is dancing flamenco six days a week. She always has her dancing shoes in the back of her car and her favorite part of the dance is actually about the shoes.

“It is the tap dancing, a special way of tapping or striking your shoes against the floor. I just love the sound of it and the fact that my feet are part of creating such emotional music.”

In the same way that she feels challenged and enthusiastic by her job to coordinate operations within customer service and imports at Getinge’s Sao Paulo office in Brazil, she feels that she will continue to develop her flamenco skills for the rest of her life.

“There is always something new to learn, and I love challenges. I am really grateful for everything that flamenco has done and continue to do for me. Not only did I find a way of exercising back then, I found a soul companion, a passion for rhythm that was greater than I could ever imagine.”