Living in Spain and bringing up a Spanglish family during the current 'crisis' and trying various ways to make some 'dinero'. Enjoying life in the sun, crafting and blogging as much as possible.

22 Jan 2013

Using Flamenco Fans in Dance

The fan is arguably the most dramatic of the flamenco props, after the skirt itself. With it, you can punctuate movements or pauses and convey pride and power. You first need to practice opening and closing the fan. Once you master that, you're ready to add it to your dance.


Practice Fan Basics

1 Distinguish between the front and the back of the fan by looking for its spine, or the wooden support. Hold the front, smooth side towards you and the back towards the audience.

2 Hold the flamenco fan closed in your right hand and raise your arm to a little above eye level. Open your fan with a movement of your wrist, letting the fan drop down so it forms a half circle, with the straight edge of the fan facing downward.

3 Close your fan with a movement of your wrist, moving your wrist away from the fan and bringing the straight edge of the fan parallel to the ground. The fan closes on itself.

4 Practice opening and closing your flamenco fan until it's second nature.

Use the Fan in Your Dance

5 Create a dramatic effect by holding your fan high in the air and opening it. Turning your head away from the fan as you open it can create even more drama. You can then use the fan in any way you like.

6 Echo the movement of your skirt as you open the flamenco fan by pulling your skirt into your body as you raise your hand, and then swirling your skirt back to your side as your fan drops open.

7 Gesture with your fan by drawing it across your body or waving it towards yourself in a flirtatious manner. From here, you can create a nice closing for a section of your dance by bringing your arm out so the front of the fan faces the audience. Close it as you bring your arm down so it's at an angle to the floor.

8 Dance with the curve of the fan facing the audience when you hold the fan high. Turn the fan left, echoing its curve by turning your face in the same direction.

9 Hold your closed fan overhead with both hands while you do turns, and then punctuate the end of a turn by opening the fan.

10 Close your fan at different heights and in different ways to notice the effect each height has on the quality of your flamenco. Close it with your left hand in addition to closing it with your wrist to experiment with different effects.

Read more: How to Use a Flamenco Fan in Flamenco Dancing |


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  2. Is there a name for the movement of closing and opening the fan?

    1. I am not too sure - I have been trying to find out for you. So far I only found this description and a guy refering to the opening as 'discharging the fan' I will keep investigating this!